PHOTO: At the market, Debra Tidwell sells old keys upcycled into rings, necklaces and magnets.
By Lyah Fitzpatrick,
Pop by Central Park on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll see Market Director Debra Ariola selling jewelry and rainbow face masks alongside her son. A few steps down, Debra Tidwell stands behind her collection of hand-decorated keys.
The Davis Craft and Vintage Market provides a space for small business owners, or simple crafters, to sell wares. Sellers will come together every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Christmas. At-risk shoppers have the option of arriving at 10 a.m.
When the market was first created in 2012, it featured a fair-like environment with live music and open tables. In 2016, the “vintage” aspect was added on.
This year, shoppers and sellers follow pandemic precautions. Face masks are required and sanitizer bottles top booths. “That wasn’t a problem at all; everyone cooperated, everyone was on board,” Ariola said. “It was a great thing to see.”
Crafters say the market brings people together. “It’s really community oriented,” said Davis High alumna Barrett Hale, owner of Barrett’s Balms and a two-year market vendor.
“The people are very fun and friendly. […] There’s all sorts of different kinds of people,” adds Tidwell, owner of FindersKeypers.
Connections are also made between vendors. “We help each other out if need be,” Tidwell said.
Last Sunday, Tidwell arrived at around 7:50 a.m. to park and unload her car. Next to her, another crafter set up their booth. “They were like, ‘we’ll take care of each other,’” Tidwell said. If one crafter left, the other would watch over their station.
Each seller holds a shared interest. “We all have one thing in common, and it’s crafts,” Hale said. “We’re all creative in some aspect.”
The market is run by Couleurs Vives, a nonprofit art gallery and studio that often supports artists with special needs. “It’s actually a very inclusive operation,” Ariola said.
As director of the Crafts and Vintage market, Ariola has a primary goal: “to create a way for local small businesses, creative small businesses, to be able to sell and be successful.”
“It’s nice to be back,” Tidwell said.