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!


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

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.


Makin' It: Vintage Duds for Cool Dogs

bone_thugsShari Neal and Scarlett Cussell are Artists & Fleas regulars who’ve bonded over vintage clothes and their love for dogs. This past weekend they birthed a lovechild of sorts, fusing their passions and introducing Bone Thugs, a hip new line of cool street wear for dogs. The first collection is a Winter-weather appropriate hoodie, embellished with vintage army patches from the 1940s, sewn on by the two, and modeled by their precious pups (pictured above) Buffy and Oscar.

On the horizon is a complete line to include leashes, collars and toys 'cause cool kids need awesome vintage gear for their favorite four-legged friends. Check 'em out this weekend --- a great Superbowl party pick-up.

Williamsburg Flashback with Helene Pe

Helene-Pe-jewelry-and-artFrom time to time, we look back and revisit some of the core artists and designers that make up what we call "the family" here at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg. This week, we chatted with Helene Pe, a French transplant with a decidedly tres Brooklyn flair.

When did you first sell at Artists & Fleas? About two years and a half ago.

What's your fondest memory from that day? I was very excited to sell my work for the first time in New York and I had really positive reactions, comments and laughs!


What don't you miss from that first day? I was so scared, I couldn't talk to anyone.

What's your most memorable customer interaction? Sacha Baron Cohen ("Borat") bought a necklace for his wife at my booth, this happened in few seconds, but I remember picturing him with a red wrestling suit while he was going away with his family and laught to myself.

What's your secret weekend snack? Fresh fruits!

What's your proudest moment? Every time I sell an original painting. I'm always so happy and proud when someone brings a little piece of me into their home!

Enter the imaginarium of Helene Pe each and every weekend in Williamsburg at Artists & Fleas on North 7th Street where Helene holds it down with her mighty cat paintings, exquisite hand-made jewels and her wit and charm.

Making It: From Italy to Williamsburg

Leonardo-Sarubbi-printsTogether with his brother, Leonardo Sarubbi took over their father’s lithograph business in Florence in the 1980’s. Their father started the business in the 60’s after working for an artisan who sold postcards in the city. He was in school to become a lawyer but fell in love with print making and opened his own workshop instead. The Sarubbi Brothers currently create lithograph prints in their Florence workshop which are sold to shops in Italy, interior designers, and directly to customers around the world. Their library consists of over 3,000 antique images including vintage maps, classical botany subjects and gorgeous creatures like butterflies (!). They print onto cotton paper from large aluminum plates, and then hand-paint the intricate designs.

Leonardo has been showing his work at A&F for some months now and it’s the only location the prints are sold directly to customers. When you talk with him about his family's business, his passion for hand-made, artisan goods comes through loud and clear and he continues to be committed to his father’s mission of bringing antique images back to life. Check out this stellar video about him and make sure to check him out on January 30th when he returns fresh from his studio with a bounty of goods for 2013!

Makin' It: Cloud Coffee on the Williamsburg Scene

Kendall-Holmes-Cloud-Coffee-Williamsburg-BrooklynFew folks on Brooklyn's artisan craft food scene can claim the bona fides that Cloud Coffee's Kendall Holmes can. Kendall is an alumnus of the early generation to have worked at The Brooklyn Kitchen and has overseen special ops for McClure's Pickles but his fondness for culinary invention (his Instagram attests to it!) and service are what first led him last Spring to help Prospect Heights-based Sit & Wonder's first foray onto the market scene setting up outside Artists & Fleas with their salvaged New York City mid-century street vending cart, appropriately named Stand & Deliver. Earlier this year, Kendall took the reigns of the cart and set out on a path of glory to take his passion-fueled interest for experimental coffee-based products and launched Cloud Coffee. He reached out to Brooklyn-based Café Grumpy to offer a curated selection of their beans and has been steadily turning out new products that he debuts regularly at the market with plans to get them into broader distribution in the months to come including a possible fab collab with the Grumpy folks to take his mind-altering cold-brew favorite, the Storm Cloud coffee soda (concentrate + soda water), beyond the friendly confines of the borough.

Coffee lovers and market shoppers can find Kendall in his sharp attire beneath the red & white umbrella of his cart every weekend day at Artists & Fleas on North 7th. Make sure to check his holiday gift options new this season, including a Cloud Coffee Productivity Kit featuring his coffee bomb candies, a 12 oz. bag of coffee, tasting journal, and cold brew concentrate - all locally-made, of course.


Makin' It: One Eyeball at a Time

KT-Ferris-Vintage-Doll-jewelryWe first met Kt Ferris in late October just around the time that Halloween was approaching and were stunned by the spectacle of her jewelry: she makes pendants out of the blinking eyes from old dolls found at flea markets. Drawing inspiration from an obsession with how eyes can convey messages, KT started making the pendants after scouring a market for a new material to work with. Before that, she was making jewelry out of melted Barbie faces. We sense a theme here... For KT's current work, she seeks out the rare and the, um, eye-catching. Each eyeball is a different size and she has to create the setting by hand. And she doesn’t just make two eyeball pendants – there are 3, 4, 5, and 6 eyes as well. Her jewelry line also includes big pyramid rings and honeycomb bracelets that are hand carved and cast in her studio at Studio Jewelers in Manhattan.

Recently, photographer boyfriend Zack Dimen teamed up with his black and white photos of freak shows at Coney Island. They're both back Saturday, December 22nd for a final holiday Secret Santa hook-up. See for yourself!


Makin It : A story of Wanderlust and Wild Hearts

Vanishing-Tribe-global-makersFolks with some bi-coastal markets fred may have recognized Portland-based Vanishing Tribe the past 2 weeks when they sprung up in Williamsburg (first at Renegade, more recently at the market). Led by Courtney Keene, the Tribe is a tribe indeed - a full-fledged design company consisting of a small family of artists inspired by travel and culture, village tribes, and old world processes. But wait, there's more. Each season they source materials directly from artisans in remote parts of the world that are incorporated into their line of jewelry and accessories, and mixed with hand-made pieces from their studio in Portland for the upcoming season.  

Old Tibetan turquoise, hand-stamped brass, Indonesian Ikat textiles, waxed canvas, and leather are just some of the materials they use to create products that have vibrant stories to tell. Their line this season includes these unusual belt bags beautifully made with deerskin leather and bright Ikat fabric. Pair one with an armful of their patterned brass bangles and you’ve got some rad accessories (or the perfect gift for the earthy woman in your life.)

That's a ton of time globe-trekking.

A regular at the Portland Saturday Market for the last few years, Vanishing Tribe is debuting their latest collection this holiday season this coming weekend at the market in Williamsburg and in big, bad Manhattan at Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market beginning Monday, December 3rd and running through December 16th inside Chelsea Market.



Halloween Then & Now

Halloween-Merry-Makers-2010 One thing's for sure in these changing times, they can't take history away from us. So for all you nostalgia fans and Halloween dress-up freaks, we've culled through the fan photos from the past several years and invite you to peep 'em and see if you remember those days (or the day after, for that matter) of a fateful and fabulous Halloween costume contest from October 20__. Some gems of a photo of folks we haven't seen in a while including Andrew Clancy of Any Old Iron (2009), Giana Stanigar of Greedy Seagull (2010), last year's contest winner Shanna Nash/Snash Jewelry (see below) and many many more.

Got a photo we missed? Share it with us on Facebook or email it to us and we'll include in our world class Williamsburg is Always Halloween album.

Makin' It: One Vintage Find at a Time

Melissa-Draugsvold-Vintage-Jewelry-BrooklynThere’s a real hidden gem at the market each weekend - pun intended. Her name is Melissa Draugsvold and she's the longtime creative force behind Draugsvold Jewelry, a design line made entirely out of vintage findings and semi-precious stones. Melissa's designs are - like the maker herself - quirky and fun. Each piece makes a statement even if they're not intended to be "statement pieces." Her start, however, is the kind of Chapter 1 to what could become a fairytale if things continue in the direction they've been heading recently.

8 years ago Melissa took all of her money, bought some beads and stayed up the entire night making jewelry. She spent the next day selling it at the only place that would welcome creative free-spirits in those days (in Manhattan at least), TheMarketNYC. Disclaimer: Melissa wasn't buying the idea that folks were shopping in Williamsburg back in 2005. 

She killed it.

Since first appearing this past Summer in Williamsburg, Melissa has been turning heads and getting noticed. Her work comes to Grand Central this Holiday season and be on the look-out in some fabulous fashion magazines for pieces that are unmistakably and undeniably hers. Onward.

Visit Melissa every Saturday & Sunday at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg on North 7th Street from 10AM-7PM.

Makin' It: On the Road

Erin-Curet-Little-CirclesThis past weekend, we had the pleasure of meeting Erin Curet of Little Circles, and her entire family alongside. Erin creates with quilled paper, an art form reminiscent of those 1970s crafts our grandmothers enjoyed, but her pieces are modernized and very colorful. Using strips of pulling paper, homemade wooden dowels, and a very intricate process similar to mosaic, she creates images out of hundreds of paper swirls. The end results are whimsical, 3-dimensional framed wall pieces and wearable art. Her artwork features images of nature, animals, and women, and her earrings feature every color combination imaginable and are like tiny works of macramé to dangle from your ears. It’s pretty impressive that she doesn’t follow any patterns. Instead, she dreams them up all on her own - literally.

In addition to making her art, Erin runs an amazing website called ipublicate where she and other artists share PDF tutorials of their process and designs in an attempt to connect individuals and their knowledge. Amazing resource!

Brooklyn was one of the Curet family’s first stops on what might be an endless journey around the country that started only weeks ago. Erin and her husband recently quit their full-time jobs, started homeschooling their kids, sold their house, and hit the road and will be selling her paper art along the way. That's what making it is all about!

Makin' It: Crayolas, iPads and Handmade

Jordan-Dene-Crayola-Handmade-coolIt's not often that you'll find something online that mentions the iconic school-house brand Crayola alongside iPad but designers and makers Kira Silver and Jordan Ellis are doing just that. And literally doing it side-by-side as they did this weekend and do this coming Saturday & Sunday in Williamsburg. Kira's By The Baker label hand-weaves high-quality scarves and cowls using mostly silk and wool, and uses the left over pieces to make chamomile or lavender filled sachet packets. She also has hand woven iPad cases. She's been doing it for several years but is just now starting to get the business off the ground in a real way rockin' the looks, polishing her Etsy site and getting to market. Jordan Ellis of the quasi-eponymous jordan dene makes aprons and costumes for kids as well as a genius Crayola crayon holder belt that would be the bomb of your holiday gift-giving (pictured above). The crayon belts (or bandeliers as the locals have come to call them) are going to be featured in Real Simple later this fall but if you want to get a jump on it and touch and feel them in real life, Jordan will be holding it down this weekend. 2 makers making it and loving it.

NYFW at Chelsea Market

Fashions-Night-Out-shoppersJust as we wrap up our fabulous New York Fall Fashion Week event at Chelsea Market (Racked, DailyCandy), we prepare for our return to the magical space where it all started last December for a Fall and Holiday season market bringing over 30 designers, vintage collections and visual artists to transform the vast industrial space inside Chelsea Market's western end (10th Avenue & West 15th Street). The photos have made the rounds. Be sure to check our web album on Facebook to peep some shots from FNO as well as our Instagram feed. Got your own to share? We'd love to see them via info@artistsandfleas.com.


Part Art, Part Flea, 100% Original Brooklyn

Artists-and-Fleas-Sign-Williamsburg-BrooklynArtist Jenny Berry showed up earlier this August and on her back came some excitement and some fresh perspective. Like most artist souls, Jenny is wide-eyed, open and candid. She instantly fell in love with the market and connected with several of the characters and motley crew (awesome visual portfolio of Shanna Nash and Ricky Becker) who make Artists & Fleas their home. This weekend she took the time to document and share her newfound love and we're excerpting it below. Part guest blogger, part newbie perspective, total breath of fresh air. Whatever you call it, we're digging it. And it's awesome eye candy (via Jenny's sharp eye and talent with Hipstamatic). Click after the jump for the full piece.

If you’re a New Yorker you’ve certainly heard of the bustling weekend vintage & artist’s market; Artists & Fleas in the epicenter of hipsterdom, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. If you’re planning a visit and have a soft spot for all things unique, rare, hand-crafted and just plain jaw droppingly cool… I strongly suggest you add it to the adgenda. I seriously love this market!

There’s nothing like it anywhere, trust me on this one. Over the years Mark and I have sold our art in every way imaginable...This one is truly unique and one of my all time favorites...continued

Make New Friends & Keep the Old

bugcicle-devin-kain-upcycledThey say good things come to those who wait. And luck comes in pairs. And probably a myriad of other cliches so true and so true. This weekend was proof of them all. Devin Kain was a not-to-be-missed builder and part of the A&F community several years back before he moved out West for what he thought would be a short-lived project and turned into a multi-year journey. He was best known for upcycling old, barely worn hardcover books from the 1950s and 1960s and turning them into clocks so that they'd still have a place and home on your bookshelf. He popped in on Sunday to take in the sights and sounds of the market he called home for a year and change in 2010 and he shared what he's been up to. His business, Bugcicle, has gone beyond books to touch on things hi-fi and audible (see photo). We might even call it - forgive the copy, Buzz - SciFiHiFi. The stuff is good and Dev will be back.

Olivier Brisoux had some of the most wicked vintage Euro sportswear and an accompanying collection of classic R&B soul and funk and pop on vinyl back when he used to hold it down French flea-style on North 6th Street. So it was no surprise that he still had some of that superfly going strong when he came for a spin of the scene this weekend. He's now producing tracks full time and doing the DJ thing as DJ Ol'Stark. He'll be back for some guest appearances and some walks down memory lane.


Treat Me: Fun & Flirty for When You're Dirty

Treat-Me-Bath-Body-BrooklynAfter a brief hiatus melting in the hot sun, @mollsrawks is back with her latest In Case You Missed It dispatch: Like it or not, it’s summer in the city. That means sand, sun, swimsuits and tan lines.

In a city like New York, with all that brunching and cocktail-slinging, you have to WORK to keep that summer body. Indulgence comes with hours of sweat afterwards.

Teneshia Griffith and husband Cam are the fun for your pool party, bringing sweet-smelling soaps in the shape of tantilizing treats for your body and your bath. Wipe away that urban grime and get some good smell this weekend!


Tea Slingers for Everyday Royalty

Carriage-House-Social-Club-tea-makersThere's no doubt that tea is having its artisan moment. And Carriage House Social Club stands head and shoulders above the crowd, driving the tea zeitgeist with their specialty hand-crafted micro blended teas. Partners Adriana Paolucci and Eric Fralick used to run a shop in Dumbo where they created a variety of classic teas and original blends of loose leaf teas to characterize the city they call home (St. Marks Hojicha, a fruity Bushwick Blueberry, the list goes on and on). But the money shot for this duo? Tea pops. Take that tea of yours and stick it in the freezer - these delightful iced novelties can play up and down the Williamsburg Waterfront well into the Fall, especially with flavors like blueberry hibiscus and blood orange hibiscus. It's tea on a stick and it might just be the next big thing.

Get some tea love this weekend and follow Carriage House Social Club on their tea-making exploits via Twitter.

Fresh Perspective: Mr. Drinkwater

Mr-Drinkwater-David-SchellDavid Schell is a life-long artist - a painter, political cartoonist and satirist. Like most working artists, he is the consummate observer. A few weeks ago, he brought his graphic design sense and sensibility in the form of Mr. Drinkwater Cartoons to the market in Williamsburg. Fast forward 1 week and voila, his 2 day stint selling and sketching has turned into a limited-edition t-shirt based on local characters shopping the flea (see photo). David gets his inspiration from the every day. A woman that he sees biking down Leonard Street on a regular basis. A simple silhouette of a Brooklyn walk up and one of our own vendors doing her things with a customer. It's the kind of stuff that makes shirts and totes to make you smile. It’s just enough of a warm fuzzy without being too saccharine. Can’t wait to see where his next inspiration will strike next? See him this weekend in Williamsburg.