By Emily Bloxam
Last month, St. Pete’s Indie Market launched their Makers Showcase at Nova 535 in downtown St. Petersburg. On the first and third Saturday of every month, newcomers and merchant veterans set up shop at the market to give their work exposure and create a relationship with their customers. Each market brings its own diverse group of independent retailers with booths ranging from new and vintage clothing, to handcrafts, arts, plants, homemade jewelry and more.
Market creator, Rosey Williams, started selling vintage clothing in a brick and mortar shop in the 600 block of St. Petersburg. When she realized there wasn’t any kind of craft fair in the city, Williams and her team put together a sidewalk sale to help local vendors and have since turned it into the semimonthly showcase featuring 40+ retailers.
The craft business has become more accessible over the years, with websites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Etsy growing in popularity. Artists and craftspeople utilize these tools to cross over from a hobby to a certified business. For those who already have a shop on the internet, the Indie Market gives them a physical outlet to sell their work.
Bay area merchant The Genesis aka Lauralie Bradford has been able to draw a following through the market circuit while using Instagram and Etsy as an added platform. She even used her social media influence to bring people to the Makers Showcase with a special offer. “I’m giving five dollars off to any of my Instagram followers who came to the market after seeing me post about it,” Bradford said.
Running an account on multiple sites becomes a full time job in itself; not to mention attending markets and actually creating product. Karla Rave, head of festival sales at Hopcloth, has manned the booth at multiple Indie Market events. She explained how much time goes into doing what she loves, saying, “It can be a lot of work because there’s only two of us making the product and trying to market it and get it all out. Christmas, especially, you have to be patient with our Etsy site!”
Keep up with the St. Pete Indie Market on Instagram for more photos and updates, at @IndieMarket, as well as their website, www.stpeteindiemarket.com. To learn more about The Genesis follow on Instagram @ShopTheGenesis and ‘like’ Hopcloth on Facebook to view their products.