All ye makers of artisanal Sriracha and hand-crafted jewellery and normcore t-shirts, rejoice! Come August 23, there’ll be yet another market in New York City’s most maker-y borough, from which to hawk your unique and occasionally maligned merchandise.
The good people at “SHWICK, market of makers,” are busily preparing to launch a regular weekend bazaar in Bushwick—and early-bird vendor applications are now open.
“We felt Bushwick was ripe for a market,” says Chris C., one of three people behind the initiative (who would prefer his last name not be mentioned because “we’re trying to stay really low-key right now”). “It’s time for a market, and it could go on for 40 years! Who knows?”
Chris has plenty of experience as a vendor himself, as co-creator of a clothing company also based in Bushwick—where he first began living in 2005. Having spent time in other parts of the country, he moved back at the start of last year to find a much changed ‘hood.
“There’s a lot of things going on [in Bushwick],” says Chris. “And a lot of cool spaces. I think a market would bring it all together.” He hopes the market will attract Brooklyners and Manhattanites (and a select few tourists) to a neighborhood they might not usually venture to, because, as he puts it, “Williamsburg is getting a little overcrowded.”
The organizers have just started accepting the first round of applicants, and are eventually hoping to collect between 40 to 100 makers—some of whom will be signed up for the season, and others who will only drop in for a day or two. Chris hopes for a mixed bag, combining all the good aspects of other markets in the city: from jewelers to clothing makers to packaged foods to toys to artists.
“We’re even venturing into the possibility of maybe doing a stoop sale at the end of the month,” he says. “So if you’re moving to California you can get rid of some of your stuff. And if you’ve got good taste, you’ll make some money off of it for the trip out west.”
They’re scouting for locations, and are definitely planning on holding the market indoors, but currently have nothing set in stone. “We’re just trying to figure out how many people will be willing to sell there,” explains Chris. Things are looking positive so far, he says, having gotten some good interest from word-of-mouth.
The first installment of the market will run up until the first weekend after Christmas, before closing for Winter. If all goes well, they’ll plan to open up again in the spring. And in terms of the maker boom, Chris doesn’t think it’s in any imminent danger. “Brooklyn is the center of it all, and Bushwick is even more the center now, I guess,” he says. “It’s just gonna be migrating through the borough… It moves across the land. But Bushwick will still be a good place.”
And the name? “Oh, SHWICK. It’s just Bushwick without the B and the U,” says Chris. “And it makes a cool motto: Be. You. Shwick. It looks cool and sounds cool, and it’s fun.”