Pop-up markets featuring antiques, handmade wares and repurposed pieces have become the place to do shopping for decorating and furnishing. The trend emerged partly due to the economic downturn of the past decade. A temporary retail space allows for less overhead, and it creates more of an urgency for customers to purchase, knowing that items won't be there long. The idea of retailers creating short-lived spaces paired with the new shabby-chic craze and demand for quality handcrafted goods is a perfect combination with perfect timing that has brought about several pop-up markets in the Region.
“I think the popularity of pop-up events has been driven by so many people taking the courageous leap to use their talents to generate income for their families," says Carey Keenan-Rowell, founder of Crown Point’s Hunt & Gather Market, the first such market in Northwest Indiana. "It is so wonderful there are so many local venues for small businesses and artists.”
Other markets have since popped up. All are run by inspirational and particularly crafty women who have used their business sense to bring together artisans from near and far. It’s a big win-win for the market creators, their many vendors and those who are in paradise spending a day browsing through an upscale market. The 2017 market season is underway, so be sure to mark your calendar.
HUNT & GATHER MARKET
Nearly four years ago in late spring, Keenan-Rowell exited a long creative career to be at home with her toddler twins and be there for her older child. “My son was struggling terribly with addiction. As a way to help cover medical and treatment expenses and help build business for local artisans, Hunt & Gather was born,” says Keenan-Rowell. “My motto for starting Hunt & Gather has always been, ‘We rise by lifting others.’”
Over 165 vendors bring their antique, vintage and unique artisan-made goods to Hunt & Gather. “I strive to have a wide range of style and originality at each market,” says Keenan-Rowell. “What’s unique about Hunt & Gather is the unbelievable family of creators that have come together to support, encourage and build one another up and the energy you feel when you enter our events. So many amazing people with incredible stories and awesome talent. This market is so much more than a venue to sell your goods. It is a place to grow and a place to help others grow into their dreams.”
When not busy with the markets, Keenan-Rowell also owns and operates a shop called Society in downtown Valparaiso where she sells a lot of the artist goods you’ll find at her markets, along with custom furniture.
Part of the proceeds of every Hunt & Gather event goes toward addiction and suicide awareness. “I am passionate about helping families find hope and help for their loved ones affected by this disease,” says Keenan-Rowell, who founded a support group for parents of addicts that meets weekly in Lowell.
Upcoming Hunt and Gather Markets in 2017
March 3-4, July 14-15, Sept 15-16, Dec 8-9
Fridays 5-10pm, Saturdays 10am-5pm
Lake County Fairgrounds
889 S Court St, Crown Point
For more information, call 219.690.7025, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Facebook.
Pamela Dennis always enjoyed flea markets and vintage stores, and for several years she owned a shop in Homewood that featured local vendors and repurposed items, which were really starting to trend when the store closed. “I had about 45 vendors in the shop at the end and when it closed I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Dennis says. “I decided to put my favorite things together. My passion is for treasure hunting and hosting events and then, of course, supporting small businesses after owning one myself.”
Dennis approached the village of Lansing about holding a market at the airport’s historical Ford Hangar, a 1920s structure of exposed brick that had a vintage/retro feel. “It was a big hit and kind of boosted me into this fun job I have now. It really snowballed from there,” she says.
Dennis’s Fetching Market at the Ford Hangar was repeated the following year and she’s since held pop-up markets at various locations in Indiana and Illinois—the grounds of the Kaske House in Munster, Glenwoodie Golf Club in Glenwood, Illinois, Locavore Farm in Grant Park, Illinois, Centennial Park in Munster, and the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond. The markets attract artisans from throughout the Midwest.
“I’ve always been a party planner and very organized, and it’s like planning a wedding every two or three months. You plan and you execute the party and I love that. And when one’s done, I start over and I don’t mind starting from scratch.” One aspect of market planning and hosting that she sees as an advantage over running a store is the convenience of being able to do a lot of the work at home. “I’m a homebody and I love to be home,” she says.
Dennis also mentions that the venture has been a family affair; her husband works on the technical side of the business and books musical entertainment, her son does her graphic design and artwork, and she says she can always count on her sisters, mother, nieces and many friends to be there to help on market days.
Upcoming Fetching Markets in 2017
St. Michael Parish
1 W Wilhelm St, Schererville
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September (dates TBA)
Historical Ford Hangar
November (date and location TBA)
For more information, call 708.895.9465, visit fetchingmarket.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram.
THREE LITTLE BIRDS MARKET
The “three” in the Three Little Birds Market represents the trio that founded the market, which debuted in 2016. Kathleen Cusson and Kathleen O’Neill are the owners of the Valparaiso store Sandpaper, and Candace Jorden has a business making custom signs and doing sign parties. Jorden says that she was selling her signs and doing monthly parties at Sandpaper and had participated in markets before. The three of them one day started talking about starting a market of their own.
The Three Little Birds Market was born and Jorden says that the response to the spring market was so good that they scheduled two more dates in 2016. Each market features about 75 to 80 vendors with a big focus on handmade merchandise. “It’s all handmade or vintage/upcycled. Nothing is commercially mass-produced,” Jorden says. “We have some vendors that make just beautiful handcrafted items.”
Among the artisan products are dolls, soaps, jewelry, signs, facial products, candles and food items. “We bring in food trucks and it’s at one of the nicer venues. It’s a whole experience,” Jorden says. Valparaiso’s Central Park Plaza is the setting for each Three Little Birds Market. “They were just finishing the pavilion when we thought about doing a market. We thought we’d try one and we absolutely fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful spot for having a show there.”
The trio plans to repeat its schedule in 2017 with Saturday markets in the spring and fall and a nighttime market in the summer.
Upcoming Three Little Birds Markets in 2017
Central Park Plaza
70 Lafayette St
July and October market dates TBA
For more information, call 219.322.1500, email email@example.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram.
BLUE MOON VINTAGE MARKET
Blue Moon Vintage Market is heading into season number three as a stylized pop-up market that happens on the fourth weekend of each month and on three holiday weekends in a warehouse about a mile north of downtown Three Oaks, Michigan. Jen Kerr, who runs the markets with her business partner and mother Vicki Kerr, says they started after a nearby market she’d been a vendor at decided to discontinue.
“That market was seasonal, but then we found this location and it was heated and we could have markets year round,” says Kerr. “It’s a stylized market, so it doesn’t have booth spaces like a typical market. It’s all staged together and we set up and tear down each month.” In addition to the 6,000-square-foot market space, there is a 1,000-foot salvage room where pieces can be purchased for patrons' own DIY projects.
Each month the market will have an entirely different look. “We might have some of the same merchandise, but nine times out of ten it will be in a different location,” Kerr says. She says that they also carry the popular Annie Sloan chalk paint and that one of their vendors is Danielle Colby from the show American Pickers, which airs on The History Channel.
Upcoming Blue Moon Vintage Markets in 2017
February 25-26 (and fourth weekend of every month)
The market is also open on the weekends of Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
16860 Three Oaks Rd
Three Oaks, Michigan
For more information, call 219.851.0900 or follow Blue Moon Vintage Market on Facebook.