Those who long for the nonstop of street markets each summer brings can get an early start on April 29 at Flat 51’s inaugural German Village Makers Market.
The outdoor market will be held in the parking lot at the corner of City Park Avenue and Thurman Avenue, and will look a little different from traditional farmers markets, said Flat 51 co-owner Jen Brown.
“It’s a makers market so it’s anyone who makes anything from cupcakes to candles to apparel, jewelry, home décor, vegan face cosmetics, et cetera,” Brown said. “It’s diverse and it’s people who are more established that you might have heard of in the community, but we’re giving startups a chance, too.”
While some of the 50 or so vendors were chosen through personal connections, the selection process was largely done through an online application, said Flat 51 co-founder Chelsie Casagrande. The process was also fairly deliberate.
“We took a limited number of certain types of vendors, so there won’t be excessive jewelry or candles because we wanted to make sure there weren’t tons of competing vendors,” Casagrande said. “We want everyone to be very diverse, feel excited to be here, and feel proud of their products.”
Aside from the traditional market layout with aisles of makers selling art, home goods, food, apparel and personal accessories, the German Village Makers Market will look different in other ways, too.
“We have different things happening within the market that are abnormal to typical markets, but are going to be more of an experience,” Casagrande said.
Brown and Casagrande said part of their emphasis is on diversity, so they wanted people; a free yoga class in an offset, calm area; a live performance from acoustic guitarist Ryan Smith; and food trucks from Pitabilities, the Tasty Good, and Fetty’s Street Food.
“[Ryan Smith] will be set up right out front and then we’ll have a seating area for people to get their food, and then they can listen to music and sit down,” Brown said.
This community, hangout vibe was important to the pair since the start.
“[German Village] is such a young and vibrant area,” Brown said. “It just seems like a good Sunday neighborhood for people to walk around.”
Casagrande said in order to emphasize local makers and their products, the artists will have opportunities to connect with the people –– beyond just selling their work.
“We want to support our fellow artists and makers because it gives accessibility to people who maybe aren’t at the level to sell in stores or boutiques yet,” Casagrande said. “We want people to come and talk to the vendors and ask how they made a piece of work.”
And since many of the vendors have online stores, Brown said they are hoping this focus will be cool for shoppers, too.
“So many of [the makers] don’t have a true store, but have this great online following,” Brown said. “I think it would be neat for people to be like, ‘I see you online and here you are, an actual person with all your stuff.’ That’s what we’re hoping for.”
Brown and Casagrande also have another hope:to make the market a seasonal event with a date in spring, summer and fall. By doing so, they feel that they will be able to deliver the best event each time.
“We want a lot of diversity and new [makers] every single time,” Casagrande said. “That’s just hard to do once the frequency increases.”
But at the end of the day, being able to interact with the community in this way is enough.
“We want it to be amazing,” Brown said. “We want the vendors to be proud that they signed up and a lot of people here who are glad they came.”
Rain or shine, the German Village Makers Market will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 29. For more information, visit www.flat51.com/gvmm.