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New Boerum Hill flea offers local crafts, by Halley Bondy

If you want to shop locally, but don’t feel like navigating the bustling streets of South Brooklyn, there’s a new unique flea market for you.

The F.a.d. marketplace pops up every other weekend at 51 Bergen St. (photo by Bondy)
The F.a.d. marketplace pops up every other weekend at 51 Bergen St. (photo by Bondy)

 

F.a.d. weekend (it stands for Fashion, Art, and Design) is an indoor pop-up market with a Parisian feel located at Invisible Dog Art Center, a 30,000 square-foot multipurpose space on Bergen Street. Every second and last weekend throughout the summer, shoppers can roam through the seamlessly curated space and find everything from jewelry to clothes to baked goods to kitchenware – all handmade by local artists.

Beginning in the fall, the market will move to another yet-undetermined spot in South Brooklyn. In the winter, f.a.d. will move again, and so on.

For now, however, The Invisible Dog Art Center experience is far more charming than a mall, more comfortable than roaming the streets in the blazing sun, and more delightfully immersive than shopping online. There’s even a serene sculpture garden in the backyard, if you need a break.

“There is a ton of support within this community for the arts,” said Jennifer Bailey, who launched f.a.d. in May at The Issue Project Room downtown.  “With so many independent businesses closing down, it’s important to have a platform for artists and designers to showcase their work around here.”

For vendors, f.a.d. can be a great opportunity to sell wares. Steve Riley, a jeweler based in Red Hook, was having good luck with sales on one particular Sunday afternoon in July.

Market for handmade
“It’s buzzing with activity and people have been coming in all weekend,” Riley said behind his booth. “I think it’s going to grow and get a good reputation as a market for handmade objects. I recommend it to other artists, but get your foot in the door now because soon everyone will be trying to get in.”

For others, like larger-scale Red Hook artist and fabricator Eric Jacobson, sales weren’t fantastic. But he’d still do it again.

“People seem to come here so far for smaller inexpensive items, but it’s a positive experience even though things aren’t flying off the shelves,” said Jacobson, who sells pot racks for kitchens, steel brackets, outdoor sculptures, and more. “[Jennifer Bailey] is incredibly nice and supportive, and it’s a good way to be out in the neighborhood.”

Both men agree that, for vendors, the market is affordable compared to most. At just $100 a day and $180 for the entire weekend (with nominal fees for a table and chairs), it’s relatively easy to break even and beyond. F.a.d is also outstandingly curated, with Bailey rotating vendors constantly and minimizing competition between similar artists. After sifting through applications, Bailey chooses about 40 vendors for each market.

“We try not to have too much of the same thing, which makes it great for the vendors but it also keeps it interesting for the audience,” Bailey said.

In the future, f.a.d. will include more food, a larger rotating cast of artists, and hopefully, even more foot traffic.

“Considering that we’re quite new, we’ve had great turnout here and wonderful support from the community,” Bailey said. “We plan to stick around and grow!”

F.a.d. Weekend will be operating August 13-14 and August 27-28 at The Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen Street, from 11 am through 6 pm.

Thereafter, the pop-up market will move to a yet-determined location in South Brooklyn. Shoppers and vendors can stay up to date at www.fadweekend.com

For information on Steve Riley’s jewelry, www.steverileydesigns.com/
For information on Eric Jacobsen’s work, www.jacobsonsculpture.com/
For information on Matthew A. Yanchuk’s work, www.mayware.com

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