Folk Fest vendor robbed of handmade jewelry

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Thousands of dollars worth of artwork and supplies were stolen out of a local jewelry-maker’s trunk overnight Wednesday, hours before the vendor planned to set up shop at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/07/2018 (1504 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Thousands of dollars worth of artwork and supplies were stolen out of a local jewelry-maker’s trunk overnight Wednesday, hours before the vendor planned to set up shop at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Nathalia Polischuk said she woke up Thursday to find her car in a mess; the glove compartment was open and a bin that contained 450 pairs of handmade, leather-painted earrings she had planned to sell this weekend was missing from the trunk.

“It was quite a loss to wake up to; I would approximate $16,000 worth of merchandise in that Tupperware,” the 29-year-old artist said Friday. “It was just heartbreaking.”

ANDREW RYAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Jewelry artist Nathalie Polischuk had about $16,000 in products stolen from her car, but is staying open at the Winnipeg Folk Festival this weekend.

Polischuk makes a living as a jewelry designer, leather worker and illustrator, selling work at her online store Zococo and at festivals year-round.

She said she set up a booth at the Folk Fest for the first time last year, after more than a decade of attending and volunteering at the event. It ended up being her most successful festival, so Polischuk made arrangements to return this summer. She planned to set up her goods Thursday at the annual music festival at Birds Hill Provincial Park. To save some time, she said she packed her trunk the night before.

Among her wares are belt buckles, bookmarks, bracelets, guitar straps and leather wallets. She said her leather leaf earrings are the best seller by far.

FACEBOOK Jewelry-maker and Winnipeg Folk Festival vendor Nathalia Polischuk figures she lost about $16,000 worth of merchandise after her car was broken into overnight Wednesday.

“I’d say 70 per cent of my sales are my earrings, so it’s going to be a bit slower for me this year,” she said, adding it was hard to go ahead with the festival after the incident, but her friends have been “extremely supportive.”

She posted to Facebook to let her friends know what happened; it was shared more than 500 times by Friday afternoon. A friend also started a GoFundMe web page, Polischuk said.

She said she filed a police report and will watch Kijiji and other resell sites.

“I don’t really have high expectations of my merchandise being returned, I’ve just kind of come to terms with the fact I need to remake everything,” Polischuk said. “By Christmas season, hopefully, I’ve rebuilt my stock.”

maggie.macintosh@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @macintoshmaggie

Maggie Macintosh

Maggie Macintosh
Reporter

Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.

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