There’s no shortage of indie markets in New York to satisfy any handicraft/artisanal/homemade needs you might have. We’ve got #MadeinBrooklyn affairs like the Maker’s Market and plenty of hungry-foodie fleas such as the Gansevoort Market and the newly restored Essex Street Market. Of course there are the good old seasonal-standbys– Brooklyn Flea and the Renegade Craft Fair– which often feature hundreds of vendors and can make you forget you’re at a mini-bizz event and feel more like a giant mall (with cooler stuff, granted).
But what if you’re looking for something a bit more personal, and just chill?
That’s what Alana Branston and Ali Kriegsman had in mind when they geared up to launch the Bulletin Market earlier this summer. Until last Christmas, Bulletin only existed on the Internet as an e-commerce site that aimed to give smaller indie vendors a glossier presentation, complete with professional photos and in-depth information about the vendors. Now they’re IRL and returning to the streets of Williamsburg for the seventh go, and featuring close to 30 vendors, along with plenty of outdoor game opportunities to let your inner child run free (but with alcohol, of course).
Bulletin’s setting up shop for the weekend on the corner of North 8th Street and Driggs Avenue, and will provide plenty for guests to eat and drank while they browse and hang out. Thanks to a partnership with Hangry Garden, which organizes food markets and fairs, there will be a full bar with drinks for purchase to prevent you and your pals from getting overwhelmed by the dreaded “I’m hangry” pangs.
Shoppers will be able to take a break from spending all their rent money and play some shuffleboard, foosball, ping pong, and even beer pong (!!). If you wanted to, you could relive your Bud Light-soaked college days, except this time around you don’t have to go to midtown and get blackout wasted– you can chug pretentious craft beers instead.
Although this weekend’s market won’t have the slip ‘n’ slide that was present in previous weeks (wah wah!), the organizers are prepared in case the temperatures get too unbearable again. “There is a giant misting tent because its been so hot out,” Kriegsman said. There will also be a DJ set on both days, with Stephen Steers and Roxy Cottontail spinning records on Saturday and the Rhythmic Summer party featuring STA7CK and Brian Lee McCloud shaking things up on Sunday.
A rotating cast of food vendors will be on duty to supply hungry/slightly tipsy shoppers, and this weekend organizers are bringing in the Meatball Shop and their assortment of ball-shaped meats, and Snowys NYC, which specializes in shaved ices with various toppings.
Stuff vendors include Brooklyn Firefly, who will have hand-poured candles for sale. You can find crystal and stone-centric jewelry from Rose Wolf Collective, and homemade hot sauces from Silly Chilly Hot Sauce.
Kriegsman emphasized that many of the goods came from women-owned businesses. “There are a lot of women-run small brands, and it’s this amazing community where everyone’s an entrepreneur,” she said, adding that getting to know the vendors and their products in person was an important step to understanding the work that goes into finished product and often goes unmentioned in online listings. “You would see these hot sauces online and have no idea it takes six hours to produce them,” she said.
Bulletin has been around for about two years now, but Branston and Kriegsman didn’t start “Bulletin IRL” until they launched a holiday pop-up last December in SoHo. Afterward, they decided to try their luck with a market inside Bushwick’s Lot 45 in April of this year.
“It’s a beautiful space, I think we might do a holiday market there this year,” Kriegsman explained. The popularity of the market, which featured an open bar and a food truck, inspired the founders to continue hosting smaller, more relaxed markets with plenty of opportunities for people to browse and get some one-on-one time with the vendors themselves.
“It was a different market experience,” Kriegsman explained. “For the people shopping, it wasn’t this crazy overpacked thing, it was a little more chill, you could grab some Prosecco and just try on some bracelets.”
Kriegsman and Branston had been eyeing the lot on Driggs for a while now, since they both lived in the neighborhood.
“We started Bulletin as an editorialized Etsy, almost like a shop-able magazine,” Kriegsman said. “We thought Etsy was a very depersonalized and messy way to shop from indie designers,” so they attempted to give each vendor their chance in the spotlight. “We wanted to bring indie creatives and their work to life rather than just have it sit there in a product grid.”
With little interviews and photographs showing the artisans in their studios or at work, it really does feel like they’re trying to introduce you to the people behind the work.
Bulletin Market, 510 Driggs Avenue between North 9th and 8th Street, Williamsburg. Saturday sand Sundays, 1 pm – 9 pm.
Correction: a previous version of this article didn’t specify that Bulletin’s first pop-up was in December of last year, with their first established market taking place in April 2016 for three months at Lot 45.