Rosemary District Indie Market brings the funk to Sarasota

Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor
Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor

This Saturday, Nov. 19, marked the first ever Rosemary District Indie Market, an outdoor event mixing together elements of farmer’s markets, craft fairs and vintage flea markets into one space celebrating the artisan, creative aspects of the local Rosemary District.

The event featured 20 vendors, all of whom were from Sarasota and neighboring towns. The emphasis was on all things “indie” (short for independent) as the name suggests, which manifests in things like vintage clothes, handmade jewelry and repurposed furniture.

Ashley Rogers, lifelong Sarasota resident and owner of Canned Ham Vintage, a vintage furniture, clothing and accessory store at 701 Cohen Way, where the event took place, calls the event her “brainchild.”

Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor

“We’re not a farmers market, a flea market or a craft show – we’re a place where you will find the most random, awesome stuff,” she told Sarasota Magazine prior to the event. “We don’t fit into a box.”

In an interview with the Catalyst, Rogers explains how growing up in the Rosemary District, she was surrounded by strong, creative women. This inspired her to continue that legacy in the neighborhood. After owning Canned Ham Vintage for a year and having travelled to vintage markets across the state, Rogers felt it was time to bring these markets local.

Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor
Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor

“Sarasota is our home, and we’d like to bring the funk to Sarasota,” Rogers said.

“There’s a lot of young, college students here, and we wanted to work with that young vibe,” she continued.

The market itself did indeed have a young vibe, with lots of local families with small children and college aged students checking out the thrifted clothes. Inside Canned Ham Vintage, things were a little bit more representative of what Sarasota is known for – shoppers mainly fit into the upper class, white retired demographic, with enough money to drop $250 on a vintage dress for a Gatsby themed benefit gala.

Even if it a bit out of our student budgets, it’s nevertheless a very cutely curated shop worth a visit. Rogers knows her stuff, too, with each item tagged with the era the piece is from and the available info about the piece. For those shoppers looking for clothing from a specific time to match an event, Rogers was quick to direct them to which pieces would be appropriate or anachronistic to the era.

Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor
Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor

And for all you record collectors, both the store and other vendors at the event sold staple albums at a decently fair price.

Other vendors at the event included Hearts Art Designs, owned by Sarasota native Sean O’Malley, who repurposes salvaged and reclaimed wood for one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture in a collective-type space in the Rosemary District. New College students have previously come to him for Independent Study Projects on furniture-making.

Other vendors included Fresh Farmer, a pop-up thrift boutique, Kari Bee Designs – who makes jewelry out of dead bees – and Sunshine Canning, owned by a New College alum.

Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor
Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor

“This is where your Sociology degree will get you,” Lisa Fulk joked, the owner of Sunshine Canning.

The event also featured produce from Geraldson Community Farm, a farm based in Bradenton that specializes primarily on Asian variety vegetables and CSA (Community-supported agriculture) shares, where people from the area can pay an annual fee and receive a portion of the produce.

Unlike much of the the Sarasota Farmers market, products sold at the Rosemary District Indie Market were actually local.

Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor
Photo credit: Magdalene Taylor

As with much of Canned Ham Vintage, many vendors at the market remained a bit out of a student budget, but the notable exceptions, like the vegetables from Geraldson Community Farm and the yummy unique jams and pickled produce from Sunshine Canning make it definitely worth a visit. On top of that, Yummy Kebab’s food truck was parked at the event serving up tasty and fairly priced Mediterranean food.

There may be some change-over in vendors in the future, and the event is likely to grow. The current plan is for the market to happen every third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., with free admission and free parking.

There’s nothing to lose in checking it out – you might walk away with something you can’t find anywhere else.

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