Constance Mann-Leonard, owner of GIRGI (God’s Ideas Are Good Ideas) Ltd showcases her crochet art. Courtesy Photo.

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Constance Mann-Leonard, owner of GIRGI (God’s Ideas Are Good Ideas) Ltd showcases her crochet art. Courtesy Photo.

Constance Mann-Leonard, owner of GIRGI (God’s Ideas Are Good Ideas) Ltd., creates unique clothing, accessories, dolls, and other items, utilizing Crochet. Her “crafty” items also include jewelry and other unique items she makes by hand. An upcoming event will bring “makers” like Mann-Leonard and consumers together under one roof.

It’s the “1st Annual Times Community Services’ Baltimore Maker Marketplace.” The event will take place Saturday, September 18, 2021, 10 a.m. –4 p.m. at Coppin State University located at 2500 W. North Avenue. The event will feature products made and sold by Baltimore-based businesses.

The event is being presented by Times Community Services, Inc. and The Baltimore Times, in collaboration with The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), the Coppin State University Center for Strategic Entrepreneurship (CSE), MCB Real Estate, LLC, and Catalyst Enterprises.

“COVID-19 affected many small businesses,” said Joy Bramble, founder and publisher of The Baltimore Times. “We want people to come out, buy and support small businesses. The event will also feature demonstrations. Through these demonstrations, people can see the things people are making in Baltimore. The demonstrations will also provide attendees with a chance to meet the owners of these businesses.”

She added, “The Baltimore Maker Marketplace will be a free, fun, family-oriented event. It will also provide a gateway for consumers to come out and see first-hand, the wonderful things being manufactured right here in our community. We are encouraging makers to submit applications to be a part of this wonderful expo of talent and entrepreneurship. This event presents a phenomenal opportunity for participants to showcase their brand.”

Interested businesses need to submit applications before the August 7, 2021 deadline. Submission of an application does not guarantee acceptance. A jury will review the applications and select vendors for the event. If selected, a vendor fee of $100.00 is required. The vendor fee includes one six-foot table with two chairs, promotional mentions in The Baltimore Times newspaper and on its website

All applicants will be notified by email by August 16, 2021 of their acceptance.

The event will also feature live entertainment, and selected Baltimore Maker Marketplace businesses will also have an opportunity to apply for a grant.

Andy Cook is the executive director of “Made in Baltimore,” a community of manufacturers, retailers and maker spaces working together to create and promote locally-made products.

“We are excited to partner with Coppin and The Baltimore Times,” said Cook. “It’s the right thing to do and this is our first public event with Coppin. We have a reputation as an organization that does maker market events, so we are often contacted by groups putting them on. This event fits in with the work we do. Our message is always about getting people to support local businesses.”

Made in Baltimore was founded by Cook with the intention of supporting local entrepreneurs and advocating for reinvesting resources back into the Baltimore community.

“We are always very involved in the marketing of the ‘Buy Local’ concept,” said Cook. “We often receive feedback from our audiences and partners. We also partner with the media trying to gauge what is the reach of the ‘Buy Local’ message. Having identity with the communities they live in resonates with people.”

He added, “This is a city of entrepreneurs per-capita, and that gives Baltimore so much character. People in Baltimore are really willing to do whatever it takes to make their vision come to life. Do It Yourself is big here. I started Made in Baltimore with the intention of highlighting and showcasing those companies.”

“Oftentimes, entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of time to promote, market and publicize their businesses. Our role is to step in and be a marketing driver for the small businesses we work with in our network. Events like the Baltimore Maker Marketplace helps us to achieve those goals.”

For more information call (410) 366-3900 ext. 3022. To apply to be a vendor at the Baltimore Maker Marketplace event, visit

Constance Mann-Leonard
Constance Mann-Leonard, owner of GIRGI (God’s Ideas Are Good Ideas) Ltd models one of her hand-crafted hooded sweaters. Courtesy Photo.




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