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The Patchwork Market’s ‘Insta-Auctions’ are giving local vendors a marketspace

(04/08/20 4:00am)

The highest bidders in The Patchwork Market’s Instagram auctions win hand-crafted prizes, but founder Morgan Grimm’s hope is that the featured makers come out victorious, too. In a different version of reality, more than 75 local makers are preparing to sell their handmade goods at Patchwork’s Spring Market, which would have been held April 27 at the Durham Armory. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has now become the Summer Market, which will be held Aug. 23. In the meantime, Grimm is facilitating a series of virtual auctions on the market’s Instagram page — dubbed Insta-Auctions — to support the makers, many of whom are dealing with significant virus-related business repercussions. “Going online was definitely not something that I saw in our future, but I felt like we needed to adapt pretty quickly, just because a lot of makers have this as their sole source of income,” Grimm said. “They need to constantly be making money, and with all of the markets canceling, they’re not able to do that.” The first two auctions took place on March 21 and April 5. In a 24-hour period, featured items were posted on Patchwork’s account and patrons posted their bids in the comments. The makers then contacted winners directly to arrange payment and delivery. “[The first auction] went really well. I’d say 95% of all the items were sold,” Grimm said. “I like that it really creates accessibility for a lot of people — most people have phones and most people can get Instagram, so I think that that’s really cool that even if you can’t get out to the market in person, you can still support those makers.” Grimm described the shift to online programming as simply a “continuation” of Patchwork’s overarching mission of helping the Durham handmade community by giving Triangle residents a consistent place to purchase their goods, a sentiment with which calligrapher and small-business owner Kathryn Carter agreed. “In 2018, I went to my first Patchwork Market and it was fantastic. I admire how they foster a communal environment between customers and vendors [at] every pop-up market. Patchwork is all about bringing people together and when I saw the … Insta-Auction I thought to myself, ‘They’ve done it again,’” Carter wrote in an email. “Patchwork Market wants to see local businesses continue to thrive  — even during uncertain times  —  and as a small business owner, I appreciate their ingenuity and efforts towards this.” Carter, who balances running her design company Uncapped Calligraphy and Design with her fashion and textile management studies at N.C. State, said she’s feeling the consequences of COVID-19 in both her personal and professional life. On top of moving back to her parents’ home and dealing with online classes, her business has seen a decline in sales during the first quarter of the fiscal year, which Carter described as “notoriously slow” even in years not affected by a global pandemic. 

Zoom has to be temporary

(04/08/20 4:00am)

Over the past few weeks, undergraduates and professors alike have worked to transition our learning experience onto Zoom. As this attempt to salvage our semester continues, however, it is important to remember that it also acts as an experiment. The widespread acceptance of the Zoom classroom across the country will spawn large sets of data regarding the efficacy of “distance learning.”

Duke men's basketball 2019-20 player review: Tre Jones

(04/06/20 9:33pm)

Season breakdown: With the departures of freshman phenoms Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish last spring, the 2019-20 Blue Devils became Tre Jones’ team. Jones rarely left the floor this season, averaging a team-high 35.4 minutes per game, while also leading in numerous other categories, such as steals and assists.