Two years ago when we first caught wind of the the launch of Shwick Market, it was still a dinky affair in out-of-the-way Bushwick. Since then, their effort to highlight made-in-Brooklyn goods has outgrown that location and evolved into a rotating pop-up more than 100 vendors strong, with about 80 percent of wares made right in the borough. (All the rest are still conceived of and designed in New York, even if the fabrics come from far away places).
This weekend they’re going for their largest-ever Maker’s Market event inside of some pretty special digs–the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, now fancifully know as Weylin. “This is the biggest market we’ve ever done, and the venue is crazy beautiful,” said Chris Carew, one of the founders of Shwick. “And I think a lot of people haven’t been in there. Just the architecture, to come in there and see it, is an experience on its own.”
Indeed, originally opened in 1875, the bank was long neglected when Juan Figueroa bought it in 2010. Over the next few years it was painstakingly restored and reopened as a private events space by his cousin, Carlos Perez San Martin, who eventually took over the project. Yet even with all these glorious new changes (the city even gave the project a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards) it has mainly been used for weddings and other private parties. Few people in the nabe have had the chance to peek inside– mostly we just wave at its magnificent dome as we pass across the Williamsburg Bridge on the JM train, idly wondering, “Huh, wonder what goes on inside there.” That seems to be changing as the Weylin hosts more public events, like this weekend’s Maker’s Market.
“While we host many private functions, it’s important to us that Weylin functions as both a cultural hub and a community landmark for the South Williamsburg neighborhood,” said Perez San Martin. “We will continue to partner with individuals, agencies, brands and nonprofits to host events and diversify the event programming and open our doors to the public so they can experience this building’s stunning architecture and historic presence.” For instance, the rest of summer you can experience the Weylin in a particularly interesting way as part of the Speakeasy Dollhouse immersive performance. Of course, those tickets will set you back about $60 a pop, so the Maker’s Market this weekend is a (so far) rare chance to walk inside for free and see what all the fuss is about.
But, besides ogling the magnificent stained glass oculus, specially engraved marble, and meticulously restored bird-cage elevator, what else can you expect at this Maker’s Market extravaganza? There’ll be the typical craft market oodles of handmade soap and natural bathroom products, of course, and also unique jewelry and clothes inspired by cultures all over the world, funky household decorations, and perfect hipster Father’s Day gift ideas. We scoured the vendors and lined up a sample of some of the most interesting wares on offer:
1. Buttery leather wallets (For father’s day, or just for fun) from Henry Green Leather
2. Macrame planters from Prissage Studio
3. Handmade vegan lipstickies from Color Me Chad
#Repost @shwickmarket ・・・ #BrooklynMakersMarket sneak peek #Repost @marketsofnewyorkcity ・・・ Here are your Weekend Market Picks! And if you don’t know about @colormechad amazing lipsticks that are vegan, check them out here: http://www.marketsofnewyork.com/2016/05/weekend-market-picks-may-28-29-2016-color-me-chad-vegan-lipsticks/ #MadeInBrooklyn #MadeInNewYork #Brooklyn #NewYork #NYC #vegan #lipstick #beauty #style #love #fun # #Bushwick # #Brooklyn #Williamsburg #igers #instagood #instspic #picoftheday #fashion #ethicalfashion #noanimaltesting #peta #shoplocal #retro #handmade
4. Keyboard waffle iron — need we say more?
5. Super funky jewelry, like rings from Rogueries.
6. Essie Spice’s African-inspired condiments.
7. Plenty of cutesy ceramics, like Curious Clay’s artful mixture of jewelry, mugs, and small decorative objects.
8. Delicate hats and fasteners, such as these from Chapeau Echo.
#chapeauecho Her Eye 她的眼睛, 2016. Her eyes hide in the leaves. Forever entwined in her everlasting glaze. Where are you now, my love. She is nowhere to be found and you have gone with the wind. This hat is going to present at #brooklynmakersmarket #vintagehat #onlyoneforonlyyou
A photo posted by Chapeau Echo (@chapeau_echo) on
9. Cee Cee’s Closet’s West African prints, sourced from Nigeria.
10. Beautiful glass-blown specialities for your drinking (and smoking) pleasure, via Evan Chamberlain Glassworks.
A photo posted by Evan Chamberlain Glassworks (@chamberlandia) on
And don’t forget about the foodie options, which should have enough to keep your mouth watering as you browse.
1. Indonesian street food newcomer Waroeng’s first ever popup.
2. A Little Bit of Fun’s gluten-free funnel cakes:
Old Time Fun from our Sweet funnel cakes! Get yours this weekend @licflea . . . #Repost @shinyunicorn . #alilbitoffun #glutenfree #licflea #food #foodporn #eat #dessert #yummy #NYC #LIC #nyceats #funnelcake #follow #eeeeeats #yum #foodie #tastemade #thrillist #doubletap #eater #vendyawards #foodstagram #foodbaby #newforkcity #foodphotography #nycstreetfood #OMGITSBOMB
A photo posted by A Lil’ Bit Of Fun LLC (@alilbitoffun) on
3. Matzah Brei’s surprising sandwiches.
4. Sweetness overload, thanks to Pie Corps.
A photo posted by Pie Corps (@piecorpsnyc) on
5. And drinks galore from Pilot Kombucha.
Maker’s Market, June 18th and 19th 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Weylin, 175 Broadway, Williamsburg.