Last Saturday, April 30, 2011, Raleigh’s Designers Downtown Market returned for its third show of 2011. Designers came to sell their crafts in this open-air market from 9a.m. to 3p.m. in the Ornamentea parking lot at 509 N. West Street.
Designers Downtown Market has been around since 2005. Originally called “Crafter’s Flea Market,” it focuses on North Carolinian artists featuring apparel, jewelry, art and food. Each year there are five shows from March through November. For 2011, only three are left, July 16, September 24 and November 19.
Designers Downtown Market strives to promote local entrepreneurs, new and returning, who have a passion for craftsmanship. Anyone may apply to sell, but the organization “only allow[s] designers, artisans and craftspeople who make (or represent) handcrafted goods.”
The market had about 30 booths filled with North Carolinian artists, young and old, eagerly selling a range of items from jewelry to rugs made from old stripped t-shirts and everything in between. All items were unique, one of a kind, and handmade.
Each tent was accompanied by the individual designers and their crafts, organized in displays of all sizes. With the number of vendors and variety of items to be sold, there was a little something for everyone.
If shoppers succumbed to the munchies, they could enjoy a hot pizza or pastries offered from Klausie’s Pizza Truck and other food vendors. Many other dining establishments, such as Armadillo Grille and Mellow Mushroom, were also open around the corner on Glenwood Avenue to hungry market-goers.
Beading enthusiasts who were done with their trip around to see all the vendors could end their stroll by popping into Ornamentea, the small, locally-owned bead shop, who sponsored the market in their parking lot.
All those who have a love of arts are encouraged to go to the Designers Downtown Market. It is the best small-scale event for people to go support, admire and help promote local entrepreneurs right here in North Carolina.