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Coming Soon: BUFFALO INDIE MARKET

If you’re looking for Buffalo-themed paraphernalia covered in the furry beasts, and graphic images of our modestly growing skyline, well… kudos for the hometown pride, but that’s not the kind of thing you’ll find at the upcoming Buffalo Indie Market.
Instead, expect handcrafted original works by artists selling everything from pottery and stationary to jewelry, handbags, clothing, and more. Mary Stephens is the owner & designer behind Ry Stephens Design, handmade cards and invitations, and the driving force that is creating a monthly market for local artists in Buffalo. The mission of Buffalo Indie Market, as declared on their home page, is “to bring a monthly market of handmade products to the Buffalo community”, creating a “new way to shop locally.” Along with the market there will be a monthly newsletter, available both online and in complimentary printed pieces at local cafes and shops. Participating artists will be featured each month, encouraging both local consumers and retailers to buy from local artists.
While starting her small business, Stephens experienced firsthand the need for a steady, year-round event in the area that would bring local artists together for a convenient and valuable independent market—that would benefit not only the artists, but also consumers, shop owners and wholesalers alike. “Another thing that sparked this was the difficulties in trying to find retailers to sell your work,” she explains, describing the countless hours of online research, phone tag with storeowners, and correspondence with wholesalers. Although there are occasional craft shows and networking events in our area, until now there hasn’t been anything occurring consistently throughout the year, and nothing from November to March—which leaves many artists with very limited opportunities to sell their work. “This would get wholesalers and shop owners to come at their convenience, and serve as another outlet for the artists to get their work out.” Inspired by artist markets in cities such as Chicago and New York (where Stephens participated in the Brooklyn Market), the advantage is having a variety of local artists together at a regular day, time and location that people would be able to count on: for example, the first Saturday of every month, from noon – 5 p.m.
There will be an application and table fee for each vendor to participate. “The goal is to keep the fee as low as possible, to help offset the cost of rental space,” Stephens specifies. Artists will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, to avoid an over-abundance of one particular type of vendor. With over fifty vendors who have expressed an interest thus far, there’s the potential for a great variety of quality, locally-crafted selections.
Stephens is in the process of securing a venue in the downtown Buffalo area. The ideal place, she says, would be a cafe or bar atmosphere where people are already coming in and mingling regularly. Hoping to open as soon as possible, she estimates the Buffalo Indie Market will be up and running within the next few months. Stay tuned for more information, and check in at www.buffaloindiemarket.com for all the latest updates on this exciting new part of our community.

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