We were so sad to see the words “final show” in the recent promotion of Make Shop and Studio‘s biannual Urban Street Bazaar. But when Make owner Julie McCullough Kim told us not to worry, we figured something exciting was on the way.
How’s this for exciting: The Urban Street Bazaar is evolving from a twice-a-year outdoor weekend event to a six-days-a-week indoor market. Kim is leasing a 5,000-square-foot building at 216 W. 7th (pictured), which is just north of the former Quinn, and turning it into what she calls a “micro-boutique marketplace”. Essentially, the concept is an antique mall but with booths showcasing 50-80 Etsy crafters along with local local fashion and furniture designers. The indie shopping mall, IndieGenius, is Kim’s answer to the dilemmas of the bazaar (weather uncertainty; how much and which products to make for a weekend show; customers who wanted more frequent bazaars) and a way to help independent crafters of handmade products who can’t afford the overhead of their own boutiques, and often have day jobs in addition to the craft-making.
Plus, this October 2-3 will be Kim’s 11th Urban Street Bazaar, and since the original, others have followed suit in organizing indie craft shows. “I’m flattered,” she says, “but we can either compete, or we can innovate.”
Eleven vendors have already signed on (Kim is offering specials for the first 25), including neighborhood crafters such as Lisa Lindholm of FreeLisa and Stephanie Hindall of Tefi Designs. Kim also is hoping to collaborate with other neighborhood businesspeople — for example, The Soda Gallery and Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters will sell cold drinks and drip coffee for customers to sip as they shop. (Not a standalone coffee shop, Kim was clear, just coffee machines.) She plans to open IndieGenius for business in October. And don’t worry, she told us — the Make Shop and Studio is an entirely different concept, and is not going away.