Among the chatter of shoppers and local craft creators surrounding him, Samuel Parkinson, a Sacramento-area clothier specializing in custom garments, sat hunched over a sewing machine as its needle poked teal thread in and out of a simple cloth bag.
Behind him, his scratch-made shoelaces, hats and other merchandise sat neatly on display, catching the interest of a pair of curious women passing by.
Parkinson was one of 55 vendors invited to sell their handmade goods, crafts and arts during Saturday’s Makers Mart, held in an office building off Folsom Boulevard, near California State University, Sacramento.
The event is regarded by many in the local makers scene as a well-branded and competitively curated opportunity to sell their goods. Maker culture prioritizes handmade, one-of-a-kind products over mass-produced goods bought at name-brand stores.
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“I think it’s definitely a hit,” said Parkinson, who runs the custom clothing shop Bespoke by Samuel Rose and participated in the event for the first time Saturday. “I’m just out here to meet people and I guess spread the word a little bit.”
Makers Mart started in 2009 at Bows & Arrows, a mixed-use art gallery and mixed-use retail space, said Trisha Rhomberg, who helped run the store. While Bows & Arrows later closed, the crafts market continued, growing in size over the years. In that time, the shopping event began attracting vendors with higher-quality and modern branding, she said, distinguishing itself from typical craft fairs.
Makers Mark usually happens twice a year and tends to pay off for the artists that are selected. Last year, vendors totaled about $40,000 in purchases from roughly 2,000 shoppers during the holiday event, Rhomberg said.
“It’s helping people’s respect for handmade craft,” said Rhomberg, who owns Old Gold at the Warehouse Artist Lofts’ Public Market. “When you meet the people behind the products, it helps you understand why it’s worth what it’s priced.”
West Sacramento artist Joe Triglia is one of the event’s returning vendors, participating for the fourth time on Saturday, he said. For him, Makers Mart helps draw new clients to his business, Tufarock Design, while reconnecting with loyal clientele. His products include hand-sculpted planters and accompanying ferns, cacti, succulents and other plants that he also grows.
“I’ve had at least five people today already who knew I was here,” he said. “It’s exciting to build those relationships with people that are local and have their support.”
Shoppers buzzed around the market Saturday afternoon, including Ashley Mack, a midtown resident who attended the event for the first time. She praised the curation of the event and said she liked the variety of goods available.
“At other places, it’s more crafty,” she said. “There’s more quality here.”