Brooklyn’s Innovative and Independent Local Economy

BK Night Bazaar
BK Night Bazaar

At the Brooklyn Night Bazaar in Williamsburg this past weekend I was thrilled to check out all the DIY designs, live music and tasty and inventive snacks on hand (peppermint patty CAKE, omg). They’re going strong Fridays and Saturdays through December 22, 6pm until midnight.

Thousands of locals came out to see the crafts and culture and share it with friends this holiday season. Tweet about your favorite DIYer @bklyntheborough or use #BKLYN if you see any good items out in the markets and get a retweet.

I stopped by a ton of booths to talk to local DIYers and document how and where these independent folks do what they do. The aforementioned peppermint patty cake was the concept of lifelong baker Meghan Daly, whose company Daly Pies, has a firm motto. Eat what you like. Who doesn’t like peppermint patties?

Victor Spinelli’s giant photograph of a naked lady in a crazy looking giant old helmet drew plenty of people up to his table full of prints mixing photography and painting. Turns out that Victor has released two books and photographed Michael Phelps pretty much in the buff back in 2008 along with the entire US Olympic Swim team.

From a vintage suitcase nearby sprung bow ties by the adorable Wonder Lee made from reclaimed items like Legos and comic books. This inventive local artisan is usually on North 7th Street wares on hand, and sells via a website where you can watch a BEX video that features her signature Lego stylings.

The Jewelry selection at Brooklyn’s artisan markets is always fierce. Melissa J Tyson’s necklace and earring designs are sophisticated and wearable, with beautifully textured surfaces and unique and light natural shapes. She has done some beautiful custom pieces for repeat customers and offers classes on how to make your own at The Bloomfield School in Gowanus.

Another Bloomfield teacher, Kerrie Yeung was nearby with sophisticated earrings and rings as seen on her Etsy page. Her chunky carved silver rings are gorgeous and simple.

For brightly colored natural necklaces we went for Imprint by Eileen, who blogged about her table at the Bazaar. Eileen has been in business for one year and is going strong.

The last jewelry table I saw was With Roots, which was not convincingly a jewelry brand upon first look. The concept: live moss plants inside glass shaped in beautiful and unique ways creates a wearable terrarium. No, you don’t have to water it, it self sustains. Who knew?

We’re definitely going back for a pull through scarf from Arin Maya – Made, which can also be found on Etsy. Arin is also a singer as seen on SoundCloud.

The star of our short video has to be Mark from Top Shelf Premium Vintage, whose shop is by appointment only and features some real premium moments from the past.

While we were there we met Imran Khoja and signed up for the curation site he founded called Designed Good, which features unique products with good stories every week.

I also got to meet Brandt, an architect at thefuturefuture, whose got a good design philsophy. And just when I thought I’d get out before ruining my dinner, Joseph at Dreamscoops made me (ok he didn’t MAKE ME) try a few bites of sea salt and caramel ice cream and their Grumpy’s Cafe latte ice cream. They were both so good, I couldn’t decide which I liked more.

We also said hi to General Assembly Tees, Baked in Brooklyn, It’s a Cuppie, Greenpoint Trading Co., Ayaka Hara rings, Rosamund Grill and Dub Pies.

Thanks to all the artisans who participated in our video and the many of you whose tables were so great. I’ll be visiting more markets all season and hope to see your DIY business on my travels.

Share more with the borough: if you have a local DIY business, retail or Etsy store, send a link to your YouTube video  about being a local artisan to news at brooklyntheborough dot com and we’ll post a YouTube playlist of all the submissions every Friday this December ahead of the weekend holiday markets.

Read more about our campaign to create DIY media – LOCAL ORIGINAL LIVE CONTENT – for and by Brooklynites by visiting IndieGoGo.

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