Flashback with Cyclical Industry

cyclical_industriesSince first setting up at the market less than 2 years ago, FIT grad artists and industrial designers Sean Kwac and Suhyun An, have catapulted their cycling-inspired jewelry and accessories design line, Cyclical Industry, into a thriving enterprise with a spin-off brand - Blissfulcase NY - dedicated to high-concept iPhone cases and more. In doing so, Sean and Soo have become regulars holding sales with Fab.com (the current sale ends tomorrow!) and even getting picked up recently by a MoMA design store buyer perusing the market in Williamsburg. Here's their story.  1) When did you first sell at Artists and Fleas?  August 2011

2) What's your fondest memory from that day? My first customer was a mom and little daughter who loved red so they bought matching bracelets.

3) What don't you miss from that day? I was so nervous that when I was adjusting sizes, my hands were shaking.

4) What's your most memorable customer interaction? A bride came in looking for friendship necklaces and bracelets for herself and her brides maid. I was so happy to be part of her memorable wedding preparation and she sent me wedding photos months later.

5) What's your secret weekend snack? I love DuMont burger and Verb coffee.

6) What's your proudest moment? I first started selling my collection (see photo) three years ago and the designs were original and no one had them. All of a sudden, they were everywhere so I felt mine weren't unique enough. But earlier this year, I was selected by the MoMA Design Store for their 2013 catalog so I took a lot of courage and joy from that and will keep creating!

Check out the fabulous collections from Cyclical Industry and BlissfulcaseNY each and every weekend at the market in Brooklyn and see what can happen when you flea!


The Vision for a Downtown Market

fulton-fish-market-lower-manhattanAnyone who has had the opportunity to meet and speak with Robert LaValva, president and founder of the New Amsterdam Market in Lower Manhattan, quickly realizes that at the core of Robert's being in not only the plight of ensuring the future of the South Street Seaport Historic District (check the petition) but the broader cause of ensuring the vitality of public markets as mainstay institutions, venues, gathering places, business opportunities and much more for New York City and residents and visitors alike. Over the years, through both its market events and the support of its market participants and advocates on the local and national food scene (Fleishers, the Mast Brothers, the list goes on and on), the New Amsterdam Market has breathed new life into the downtown neighborhood proving both the viability and necessity of the market. And now there's momentum to restore and transform 2 City-owned buildings into market homes once again. We encourage you to get involved, become aware and speak your part. Connect with NAMNY on Facebook or their newsletter to find out the next time and place to have your say and show your support.

Photo credit: Jennifer S. Altman, New York Times

Spring Sensations on the Mind

fare-well-vintage-tradingYou wouldn't know it from today's snow blanket but this weekend teases us with a kiss of Spring. And with Spring's renewal always comes the promise of so much amazingness. Fare Well Trading (see photo) is the love child of Alison Buatti and Mia Graffam, 2 cool chicks legitimately obsessed with housewares and wall adornments both vintage and handmade. They bring their masterful style and some of their loot to the market this weekend just in time for our own little Spring-cleaning market makeover.

Quoise bucks some of the conventional hair accessories trends by creating pieces that can best be called fashion-forward statement pieces. Designer Ashlie Darrel knows that when you're standing there looking fabulous, the crowning achievement is what you've got on top for the whole world to see. Saturday only

Paul Woodvine is Poetry in Print, an exploration of the the world of poetry through illustration and screen prints. His limited edition originals can take you from the Wasteland and beyond, brining words to life with images in a kind of multi-media throwback. Check it all weekend long.

Ponda Posse first debuted at New York Comic-Con in 2011, an auspicious launching pad for many and Cassandra Louie's outfit will not disappoint with a line of shirts featuring pandas in various acts of mischief and adorableness. It's an edgier riff on the world of twee. Come see what we mean this Saturday only.

Who doesn't dig vintage especially when it comes from an industry insider with deep connections to some serious collections? That was rhetorical, clearly. Selena McCartney's Eloisa Vintage has got game and flavor and loot for stylists, fashionistas and everyday people. Saturday only


Makin' It: Tripping with A5

A5-ayaka_displayA5's Ayaka Hara is an intensely talented artist caught up in the space between light and dark, positive and negative, almost yin and yang. And out of it all emerges brilliance. On one side she showcases pieces of jewelry created with thoughts of destruction, sickness, and natural disasters. You can get lost in the pieces if you look closely. On the other side is a table covered with flower petals and beautiful displays of things made with vibrantly colored dried flowers, like jewelry and greeting cards. The most intriguing of all the pieces are her dried flower vials. They come in a few different sizes and would be great for bringing some of that positive energy into any space.

You won’t want to miss Ayaka’s unusual creations. Find her at the market in Williamsburg this Saturday and Sunday.

In Mad Love With Rubina

Rubina-clutches-BrooklynIt's rare that we gush so effusively. But when designer and artist booster Kari Litzmann brought Rubina to market this past weekend, we were blown away. And we haven't stopped thinking about her collection. Kari and a design partner are making it in the world of remixing old and new - tapping into traditional forms of craft-making and mashing them up with contemporary design. The West Bengali technique of shantiniketan is comprised of embossing and hand-painting goat leather. Rubina employs 6 artisans in Kolkata in taking this traditional craft and turning it into market-ready marvels. Dig the colors, the textures and the stories. Kari was on to tell the stories behind the work last weekend and she returns this Saturday, March 9th to Williamsburg to do it all over again.

Follow Rubina's story on Twitter and Facebook

Get Touchy Feely This Weekend

Origins-Style-BrooklynWho doesn't like to touch before they buy? Lucky for you, this weekend's crop of new designers and makers is ripe with textile lovers, texture kings and people who just do it so right with raw materials. Origins Style by Nasozi designs and creates modern home decor accessories inspired by and utilizing a broad sampling of African prints and textiles and gives them a distinctively Brooklyn flare (see photo). Designer Nasozi Kakembo calls it African Shabby Chic. That kind of coy name-calling is a dare to play in our book. Saturday only

Kim Lyons of Kim Lyons Benchcraft Jewelry does things with molten metal, semi-precious tones and silver that you might have a hard time imagining if you didn't see it standing there in front of you in real life. Lucky for you, she's bringing her outrageously cool collection to show in Williamsburg this weekend so you can put your paws all over them.

Rubina is designer Kari Litzmann's certifiably hip collection of fold over clutches and zip pouches that play with color and geometry and are - in a word - designed to DAZZLE. In another word: WANT. As in, we want these! Sunday only

Salome Sylvia Gordon is half of Spain-based SIPASSITA, a jewelry design studio that fuses vintage and handcrafted materials to create works of wearable art. This is her Brooklyn debut so love all around for the ladies of southern Spain.

We are fiends for things to put on our walls. Photographer, artist and urban explorer Alissa Huff brings her mixed media works to show combining digital images she shoots in the city, the country, the beach and beyond and mixing them with her own inspired original artwork and jewels. Serious multi-media stuff here.

Two of the tailored kind that tickle our fancy: old friend Greedy Seagull whose been holding it down in Astoria with her fab vintage wonderland, Pin-Up Queens, checks back into Brooklyn this weekend to share some finds. And newcomers Custom Sewing Services (does the name give it away?) aka Moorscode brings a full line of mens and women's clothing to show. Bring it!

March is here and Spring is in the air...check out the bounty in Brooklyn and the lovelies at our Chelsea Market pop-up located in the heart of Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Avenue), open daily 10AM-7PM.

Makin' It: Elephant in the Attic

caitlin-elephant-in-the-atticElephant in the Attic is the brainchild of Caitlin Brubacher, a playwright who has merged her love of thrifting and upcycling with her love of for the written word. Caitlin came to NY to study playwriting at Brooklyn College, and began to make plays out of materials that are often over-looked: a bizarre text found from a 1950s encyclopedia on women's health, an overheard conversation on the subway, even a transcript of the  contemporary reality TV show wife-swap. Through Elephant in the Attic, she has continued to frame the past and make something new of it, but now doing so through the visual medium of framing and matting vintage prints from mid-century books and other cultural paraphernalia. Her space at the market is a wonderland for the curious and eclectic-loving. Every space is filled with interesting items from hanging frames and baskets of matted prints to feathered hair clips and more. Caitlin irresistibly draws on her own theatrics with a greeting that is often quirky and memorable. Inquire about custom orders if there's an old book you're in love with or visit her facebook page to submit an inquiry and to follow her process.

Behold the delightful world of Elephant in the Attic every weekend in Williamsburg.







Makin' It: Prints & Patterns

Cora-NY-mini-market-pop-up-williamsburgIf you’ve ever come to A&F looking for a new dress, chances are you’ve tried one on from Erika Nakajima's design line Cora. With their whimsical prints and simple silhouettes, they are an easy dress to wear casually or dressed up. And that’s exactly what designer Erika Nakajima was going for when she started the line just a year ago. Around that time Erika split from her business partner to pursue her own unique line of clothing, which she had been showing at A&F every weekend. Since then she’s moved up, moved on and gained a following through her participation at Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market last Spring and Holiday seasons. This past weekend she revealed her new collection and new booth at the market featuring handmade furniture by a local woodworker who has made custom furniture for others at the market - viva la collaborations! - turning Cora's booth into a legit mini pop-up in a market.

Come see the new Cora for yourself and find yourself in a cute number just in time for Spring!

Shanna Nash is Snash 24/7

snash-jewelry-brooklyn-shanna-nashIt's funny to look back and remember the first day that folks like Snash Jewelry's Shanna Nash came to the market to set up and show. Her now famous (we daresay iconic) grills are but one of the many knock-out pieces in her arsenal. And as Shanna takes to the road for shows far and wide to share a little bit of that Brooklyn vibe in her part-time role as Artists & Fleas ambassador (sorta), she wins the hearts and minds of hundreds who invariably say: When I grow up and move to Brooklyn, I wanna be like Shanna Nash. When did you first sell at A&F? March 2011

What's your fondest memory from that day? Explaining to Ruby and Noa how to take a mouth mold

What don't you miss from that day? Being the new kid on the block.

What's your most memorable customer? The first day someone asked for an 18k gold tooth

Your favorite weekend snack? Froyo yo!

Your proudest moment? Getting to the market on time!

Got a favorite bathroom graffiti? The pigeon that likes my shoes.

Get down with the wit and charm of Shanna Nash every weekend in Williamsburg. Wanna become her new BFF? Bring some froyo...



Lovely Stuff, Brooklyn Style

brooklyn-vintage-pop-cultureLast weekend's white-out pushed a few fine sellers' schedules back a bit. And they're here this weekend in all of their glory with the benefit of time to make and collect and be ready for some show and sell. Honeysuckle & Hearts is known to many vintage enthusiasts around Brooklyn for their pop-up presence at last year's DeKalb Market and at Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market. They're coming home with a treasure trove of awesome finds for dudes and the fairer set. Good picking for those who dig the hunt.

ArinMayaMade is Brooklyn-based designer ArinMaya's downright fascination with recycling and up-cycling textiles and textures and turning them into objects of envy and obsession.

If you like it, put a cap on it. Or a fedora, panama or porkpie. C'mon, this is Brooklyn in 2013 after all and Antoinette & Aurora are a modern-day haberdashery and millinery that gives throwback styles a contemporary twist. The most perfect of all accessories for your weekend galavanting, you know.

A5 is artist and designer Ayaka Hara's stop-you-in-your-tracks jewelry and home decor from dried flowers. It's a well-known form of expression but Ayaka's wearable art is not to be missed and it makes us long for Spring flowers...

Williamsburg vintage devotees may recognize Kate Amendala's Forever Tragic Vintage from her keen eye for women's wearable vintage clothing from the 1970s and 1980s, eras that are worthy of so much fine fashion critique. Thankfully, Kate's bringing the best of the best for the all-knowing Williamsburg set.

Plutocracy gave us a false start last Fall but designer Anitra Michelle is revving on all pistons and is bringing her ready-to-wear womenswear to WillyB on the heels of Fashion Week. Vroom!

Makin' It: With Whimsy & Wood

into-the-forest-williamsburgInto The Forest is the beautiful, artistic and dream-like collaboration between two lovers living in Brooklyn. Sarah Zar is a dreamy artist full of whimsy, and her partner Naaran is an exquisite woodworker. She is inspired by literature and secrets and loves to share hidden things with strangers; he loves wood and builds custom furniture interiors found in cafés and restaurants around NYC. Together they built an alcove out of recycled wood and set up shop to showcase their art objects at A&F for the past two weekends. Stepping up to their booth felt like being transported into a fairytale where the imagination can run wild: small paintings in handmade frames, necklaces made from chandelier crystals up-cycled with drawings, memory fingers for gifts, bird cages to catch ideas, and antique lockets with miniature paintings. We can't wait for them to bring their world of wonder back to the market this Spring!


Falling in Love, a Valentine's Day Special

patty_shmataWhat's a maven? Ask Patricia Lie, designer, collector and vintage curator behind Ahshmata. We last did a catch-up during the Summer of 2011. Time flies and a lot has changed. When did you first sell with us? Fall 2010

What's your fondest memory of that day? That weird, fuzzy feeling of not having a boss and all the money I earned was MINE!

What don't you miss from that day? Packing it all up!!!!!!  (Now when the market closes, I just shut the lights).

What's your most memorable customer interaction: CL (2ne1) shopping incognito and loading up on shmatas right before her big show. Serious stuff!

What's your proudest moment? Seeing City girls on the streets wearing shmata leather shorts.

It's not yet shorts-wearing weather but Patricia is hard at work on her Summer collection and you can peep it in previews in Williamsburg any weekend day.

Falling in Love Again with FSMNYC

ronnie-aminov-FSMNYCWe're the first to admit it. We have something of a father/son obsession and pride with FSMNYC, Ronnie Aminov and Cynthia Caterra's fashion jewelry design line. The A&F community is a large extended family and the success story that is FSMNYC (formerly FancySexyMe) is one that we're proud of and love to share. We caught up with Ronnie, part of the dynamic duo the other day to hear a bit of their story looking back over the years.

When did you first come to Artists & Fleas?

Mother's Day weekend, 2009.

What is your fondest memory of that first selling day?

Someone actually buying something. We had no idea if we would sell anything. Seriously.

What don't you miss about that day?

The unknown - feeling hopeful, scared, excited and extremely nervous.

What's your most memorable moment?

I made - half as a joke - a really bad Australian impression to a customer. It turned out to be Kylie Minogue and when she pulled out her credit card, I nearly shat my pants.

What's the highlight of your time at the market?

Every single time we sell something, we make someone happy. I cannot get enough of it.

3 Ways to Shop Markets

enchanted-forestIt doesn't matter if you grew up in markets or got turned onto them as a weekend fling, chances are if you've been spending time with us these past few months or done any Brooklyn flea marketing, you've undoubtedly asked yourself what kind of market-goer you are. As veteran marketers (as they call us) who do marketing (as they call it, truth) for a living, we took a step back and asked ourselves what's the best way to shop and flea? And while lists are great blog-fodder, we took this assignment to heart. 1) Go with the flow: depending on the market and the extent to which it's overly-curated and overly-designed, many markets take flow seriously. Where you walk, how you walk, how fast you walk - these things matter. And while they may not be engineered the way traffic is in Times Square, there's a method to the madness. Don't try to out-smart it. Go with it. Be zen about it.

2) Go with no plan: any market worth its salt is part discovery to equal part surprise. If you've got a plan (I need to find a pair of roller skates or I cannot leave until I find Prince's 1999 on vinyl), you've got an expectation that will probably leave you disappointed. So drop it. Don't have a plan. Let the market unfold in front of you.

3) Listen and linger: the magic of the markets is the sensory overload and the relief from that overwhelmingness and sense of intimacy that stepping into a seller's space provides. Do yourself the favor of listening to what sellers' stories are. They're constantly crafting them and they're there for you.

There's no doubt that others have their own market approaches. Got a strong pov on something we missed? Tease us...tell us. We are infinitely curious to know.


Your Valentine's Hook Up

AF_Valentines_DayThe puns are potentially endless. But we're in the mood for love (and lust and more). And for your Valentine's Day pleasure, we're bringing together a line-up to delight your senses and put some vroom into your V-Day. Kick off the holiday that knows no limits this weekend with cool kids in Williamsburg.

V is For...a Valentine's shopping weekend at Artists & Fleas on North 7th Street this Saturday & Sunday from 10AM-7PM.

Makin' It: Origami far from Ordinary

chelsea-hrynickChelsea Hrynick creates art using cut origami paper and is inspired by the natural patterns that surround us. Her work, composed of individual squares consisting of brightly colored paper cut into shapes, comes together at scale when multiple tiles are placed alongside each other to create mind-blowing explosions of color, pattern and texture. An engineer by education, Chelsea soon realized that she was more left brain artist than right brain engineer. But her love of mathematics and geometry couldn't just go by the wayside so upon arriving to NYC this past Fall from Wisconsin (what's the story with the superstar Wisco representation at the market?), she has been focusing on getting her art out there and is actively seeking a home for her large-format installation. Stay tuned and check her out this Saturday in Williamsburg.


Hip and Happy Shoppers

sarahandjesse-hip-happy-shoppersSo many folks have got the look. Some bring it to the market. Some find it at the market. And many come back every week once they get turned on to the fab finds that await them. Sarah (@kicklat1) is from Germany and Jesse (@jessekotansky) is from Nyack, NY. She lived in the East Village for 5 years and now calls Brooklyn home. Last weekend was her first time at the market, but Jesse, a local musician and composer, been coming for a while. They love vintage hats and jewelry. Can't ya tell?

Got the look and wanna share it? We'll show you ours if you show us yours!

A Gathering of the Tribes

nomad-truckCreativity knows no bounds this weekend and doubtful it has anything to do with the Superbowl. There's tons of inspiration blowing through Brooklyn and we're feeling like this is ground zero for a lot of new projects as they seek firm footing before Spring time beckons. Into The Forest is artist Sarah Gonek's collective obsession with wood: reclaimed, salvaged, historic and elegant. Whether it's oil paintings, frames, accent pieces, pocket watches or home furnishings (folks may recognize Sarah's studio's touch from Pop's on North 8th), wood is at the core and it makes for a world of enchantment. Saturday & Sunday

While Jessica Goldenberg retro-fits her newly purchased and old school delivery van into the wandering fashion boutique that it will become, Nomad stays true to its wandering name and ethos and pops up this weekend with a collection of hand-picked items (his & hers, fashion and accessories) from Jessica's wanderings (see photo). It's a mix of boho and tribal and vintage and new to tease that little nomad wanderlust in each of us. Saturday & Sunday

Poppy Lunari makes its market debut bringing an explosion of flowers to the show with jewelry and lamps made with real flowers and an array of one-of-a-kind handmade purses made from vintage, handwoven and embroidered fabrics with floral notes. Saturday & Sunday

Attention grabbing neckwear for the free-spirited and fearless is how Jaw Droppers Jewelry likes to call it. And man, do we dig the bold and the beautiful to which we say to designer Phyllis Beard: bring it on! Saturday only

Chelsea Hrynick Browne  mixes the worlds of nature and urban environments to create brilliant one-of-a-kind tiles from hand-cut origami paper glued onto wood. Total explosions of color and textures that are equally at home on your wall, your desk, your bookshelf or even your bag. Saturday only