What is Yapoma?
A lot of people have beeing asking: exactly what is Yapoma? Yapoma is an online handmade boutique based in Baltimore city.
Back in 2010, fresh out of college, I worked at the Women’s Exchange of Baltimore: a consignment shop where everything sold is handmade by local, primarily female, artists and crafters to help supplement their income. It’s been around since the 1880s and was part of a movement sweeping across the country — women’s exchanges were (and still!) are everywhere! For each item sold, the artist made a cut so people were supporting local arts and business on every level.
When I decided to start Yapoma, I began by selling many antique items that my father has collected over the years. He’s originally from Turkey, so the style of the art and handmade goods from that area are especially inspiring for my brand. The name “yapoma” is the phonetic spelling of el yapımı, which is the Turkish word for handmade. My father used to bring home all sorts of souvenirs from Turkey and sold them himself at local fairs and festivals. I started selling them on etsy along with my own handmade projects. Now I’ve begun working directly from artists and makers to become part of Yapoma.
This not only creates a direct link between makers and their customers, it also allows creators to actually make a profit from what they do so that they can continue to do it! Crafters often must create large quantities of work and attend craft fairs where there is no guarantee that they will be able to make back their initial investment. It can become very costly for crafters attempting to start or sustain their business! It can be impossible for many creators to have enough to have and run their own shop — the appeal of being able to see and hold a handmade item before purchasing cannot be overstated. A lot of Yapoma makers also do not have their own online stores or presence, so the store also becomes a forum for them to get their names out their, beyond the local market.
I hope you'll help us continue to grow and support the creative people here at Yapoma! If you're interested in getting involved yourself or have any questions, get in touch!
Owner and Curator