Makin' It (or how to make it in America)

SKINNYFATTIES-vintage-ties-menswear-brooklynToday is the start of an exciting new weekly series on the blog dedicated to designers, makers and enterprising folks who are on the road to doing their own thing on their own terms. It's ironic that we never developed a series all about this before (even though the reality TV series bubble folks were hot and heavy on us back in 2008). The truth is, making it is and has always been what Artists & Fleas is about. And it's what the Maker Movement now ever-so popular across the borough of Brooklyn and beyond is all about. Whether that means making something and selling something at the market for the first time or making it big so you can move on up like George Jefferson (RIP) did, the wordplay is intended and apt. And it's through a fresh pair of eyes that we took note of the acceleration in the trend of independent designers and entrepreneurs coming to the market. With the arrival of new market manager Michele Longo (formal intro coming soon...), we saw that there were a lot of newbies coming to market. Many of them are setting up with their art for the first time ever. These super creative people are just beginning to figure out the transition from their full-time, undesirable day job to an independent artist making a living. Artists & Fleas has always been that place to test out the waters. The market gives them a chance to present their goods to the public and receive some valuable feedback. With the crowds of people that come through each weekend looking for unique items like upcycled ties, whimsical watercolors, handmade swimsuits and vintage jewelry, emerging artists are finding out what works well and what needs improvement. It's a kind of baptism by fire but it's also a communal bath and one where there's no hurt, all nurture and support.

Next week, we get inside the intense and vintage-obsessed mind of SKINNYFATTIES' founder Joshua Adam Brueckner whose Day 1 debut was this past Sunday (photo above). He's coming back this coming Sunday. We'll see what he learned, what he's changing and why he's coming back.

Nothing like being thrown right in.