The arts are exploding in Ridgewood at a new monthly artisan flea market, bringing a unique flair to an industrial area.
“I did this to support local artists,” said Sarah Feldman, the market’s creator. “Art in Ridgewood can be underappreciated. I feel like there should be more of a connection to the arts around here.”
Roughly 50 vendors set up shop at Gottscheer Hall on Sunday, April 14 for almost 200 shoppers coming in and out of the ballroom. Local residents came to browse the selection, as did customers from well outside the borough.
“I’m a big flea market person,” said Sara Andrews, a shopper from Westchester County. “I would rather buy from individuals. I like oddities, and I would definitely come back to this.”
The atmosphere and getting the opportunity to meet different artists was also an experience Andrews valued about the Ridgewood Market.
“The thrill of meeting all of these people is an experience in itself,” she said.
The market offers everything from vintage goods, to pottery, to paintings, handmade jewelry and food. For some vendors, it was their first time showcasing their work to the public. For others, it was simply another day on the job.
Rudy’s Pastry Shop has been a part of Ridgewood for 79 years, but came out to join the community at the new market and also present some of its new, gluten-free, vegan items.
“We still have the same old recipes, but we also have new items for the new neighborhood,” said pastry chef Cristina Nastasi. “We wanted to support what’s going on in Ridgewood and be a part of it.”
Feldman first got the idea to bring the unique market to Ridgewood after selling her own vintage jewelry at other venues.
She noticed there were very few vendors offering homemade items, particularly for an affordable price. And so she created the Ridgewood Market, with $25 tables for vendors, and has attracted a variety of sellers.
First-time vendor Amelia Toelke brought her unique jewelry pieces to the market – first, she creates a design on her computer, then she converts the design onto a piece of acrylic, creating laser-cut necklaces.
“This is a hard thing to get into, it’s been a while trying to sell and get this stuff happening,” said Toelke. “But this seemed like a really great market, and I love the neighborhood.”
Toelke does larger-scale sculptures as well, and said her jewelry line, Piecemeal, reflects her work. While trying to get the line off the ground, she works part-time for a jeweler and as a technician at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
The market’s opening was a successful one, and next month will consist of new artists with new pieces. Feldman said the variety will keep on coming – the vendor waitlist is growing by the minute.
“To see other artists here with such amazing work, it just blows my mind,” said Barbie Rodriguez, who makes handmade dolls, jewelry and purses. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
For more information on the market and next month’s date, visit www.ridgewoodmarket.com.
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