Markets For Makers, A Mega Gig Company & Traveling Road Show throws a Life Line to Sole Purveyors of All Things Hand Made
Market For Makers unspooled this weekend in the ‘Louis Vuitton’ Plaza located in the heart of the Miami Design District. With over 200 artisans, bakers and curators (ABC’s ) providing curated and juried lifestyle and fashion collectables is an event that drew 1000’s of shack wacky visitors. The Exclusive Sports Events, Publix Health & Fitness Expo and oceanfront 25 Mile Marathon, February 12 and 13, in Ft. Lauderdale are early indications that a league of cautionary citizens and civic leaders are optimistically traipsing out into public spaces after a year of self imposed and government mandated confinement.
Markets for Makers ™ presided over by the unflappable Natalie Christensen and dedicated team served up an Über pop up gathering the last weekend in February and is set to return on March 20 and 21, same time – same place. Comprised of curated installations and mini shops are selected by a jury of their peers. Situated in a vast open space the seasonal outdoor marketplace serves those seeking “one of a kind wonderful” and as a litmus test for the best and worst of times we live in.
Reminiscent of a Parisian Brocante or a Moroccan souk here is a cabbage patch of pristine white tents saddled by the luxury laden Miami Design District and burgeoning Mid Town Miami. ‘Soul’ proprietors originating from the four points of the compass thrive in stark contrast with the posh, extravagantly priced emporiums nearby. ’With each stand impeccably designed both presenters and guests celebrated the season’s first installment.
“Markets for Makers” pedestrian courtyard with a giant Louis Vuitton Mural as a backdrop was called a ‘magical place’, fragrant with night blooming jasmine, lush foliage and outdoor seating. The next “M4M” boasts evocative art by artists deserving of greater recognition with , demonstrations of seasonal epicurean fare and eclectic original live music.
The staging serves as a backdrop for the bespoke exhibits that included over a 100 exhibitors. Le Edom Jewelry (leedom.net) by Marriana Berrio, a seasoned blogger hones in on trending fashion, travel and lifestyle. She is improving the lives of artisans in her native Colombia with a collection of handmade and custom made baubles and jewels. Ocean Plastics ™ is taking jewelry and ocean conservation to the next level, by repurposing the lamentable proliferation of micro plastics. Abby M. forages the detritus found on beaches fashioning it into necklaces , bracelets and rings. The adornments make a powerful statement that reminds us that we are the stewards of our planet. Part of the proceeds are donated to the Surfrider Foundation.
Several additional standouts among the purveyors of Accessories, Baby to Kid ware, Body Care, Candles and Soap Makers, and Eclectic Lifestyle items of every color and stripe were BNatural Miami , Camellia Naturals, and Salt & Soul. Home goods displays were au courant collections of hand crafted items indispensable for a “Home Sweet Home“. “Plant Me Rosy” lends to the greening of our environment with a selection of succulents that do not require a ‘green thumb’ to thrive.
For the sartorial minded there is a fashion statement for every age and persuasion from flow-ey to boho and classically minimal. Here are one-of-a-kind collections from emerging designers at “gasp” prices that undercut even the Big Box store fast fashion glut. Vanessa Salazar is carrying on her mother’s legacy as a second generation designer of De Palma World sustainable swimwear, replete with more pastels than an Easter basket. The Primal Bakery, a division of Green Global Foods and makers of dense nutrient rich breads ended the M4M market with fresh loaves gifted among the vendors and stragglers.
The gathering of creative independent purveyors admitted in the words of Pedro Camaco and partner of Handmade Apothecary Soaps, “Since the devastating economic fallout of the global pandemic our ‘side hustle’ has become, as for many, a full time occupation. Many among us are adopting a new millennium perspective”. National Public Radio calls it a ‘cosmic point of view’, that is, life is more about deceleration than a frantic pace underpinning a endless ethos to buy-buy-buy! Watch this column and at artbasil.org for a calendar of future Markets for Makers Events and Artisan Pop Ups throughout South Florida and beyond where “Purchasing power is a license to purchase power.”- Raoul VarneigMiguel and Marem.