The holidays have finally come and gone in 2015, and so small business owners from coast to coast are breathing a sigh of relief. For many, the months of November through January are spent preparing–and ultimately surviving–the busiest time of the year. For us, it was no different. For three back-to-back weekends during this past holiday season, Denny and I set up shop to sell vintage and antique goods at markets around New York State in Kingston, Brooklyn, and Hudson. While it may not sound that impressive, if you’ve seen our elaborate setup you can probably tell that we spent excruciating amount of time–about 3 hours–setting up and tearing down… and don’t even get us started on the time it takes to collect all this stuff! Still, the devil is in the details, so with the help of coffee, friends, fellow vendors and complete strangers, we powered through and had a great end of 2015.
As market vendors, the highlight of the holiday season is always Basilica Farm & Flea, taking place on Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend in Hudson. The event, which grows exponentially every year, drew nearly 12 thousand visitors throughout the 3-day weekend. No doubt, part of the draw to this market is its location at the Basilica Hudson, an 1880’s factory that once operated as a forage and foundry for steel railway wheels. (These days, it’s a non-profit arts and event space.) The interior, though raw, is nearly pristine, while maintaining its rustic-ness with beautiful brick walls, high ceilings, and large windows that allow plentiful natural light. Then there’s the outside: the massive factory is nestled right along the Hudson River, the Catskill Mountains loom in the distance, creating scenic backdrop.
Every year, the Basilica Hudson folks pair up with Hudson River Exchange, who act as vendor coordinators, to put on the event. The combined crew–along with sponsors, artists, and many others–works hard to transform the industrial space into a winter wonderland, with rodeo lights and large white sail pennants strung from every rafter. With multiple buildings, 17,000+ square feet of raw space and over 100 vendors, food tents and workshops, the Basilica Farm & Flea is the largest market of its kind in the region.
This is our second year participating in Basilica Farm & Flea, and our third market there. (Besides the holiday market, there’s also a summer market outdoors during a music festival called Basilica Soundscape.) Our booth, The Brew and Compass, sells American vintage clothing and antiques. This year, we co-presented an additional smaller building called the Back Gallery, helping to coordinate and decorate the space, which housed all the vintage and antique vendors.
The Back Gallery included many top-notch vintage collectors and repurposes, including our buddies from Steve’s Clothing, Like Minded Objects, John Doe Records, The Grey Birch Vintage, Brookside Bungalow, Luxxor Vintage, Christina Bolt + Studio ‘n the Round, and North Country Classics.
Also in the back gallery was Chad Dziewior, of Chara Amplification, who creates “amptiques”: tube amplifiers in housed in antique and vintage casings. Based in Hudson, NY, the amps are entirely hand-built and feature the highest quality components, materials and craftsmanship.
Ben Lebel of The Village Common hammed it up for our camera. Hailing from the Poconos Mountains, he and his partner Blake own the Village Common, selling vintage and antiques alongside their amazing scented candles, roll-on perfumes, and room sprays.
When Justin and Darbie of Lovefield Vintage aren’t writing music or touring with their band Bishop Allen, they’re buying and selling vintage. Based in Kingston, these guys were real market warriors this year–participating in each of Phoenicia Flea events for the summer–before holiday markets on three back-to-back weekends.
Photographer Kate Orne launched her publication Upstate Diary early this year. The magazine documents “the creative possibilities that thrive in communities outside of city limits.” Its collection of stunning photography and stories about Upstate artists, which is also available online, will leave you inspired.
Hudson River Exchange, who helps put on the event, had their own booth at the market selling their signature “Creativity Loves CompaNY” tees. Created by Kate Moore and Stella Yoon, Hudson River Exchange creates spaces in and around Hudson that showcase the art and food in their vibrant community.
This years vendor list included 100+ makers, farmers, and vintage collectors and repurpose-ers. Above, in the main building: Hudson Naturals, Hudson River Exchange, Wishbone Letterpress, and Idunn Clothing are just a few of the talented makers and creators who participated in the event. For a full list of vendors, follow this link.
Outside, the two-part, large food tent was jam-packed all weekend. Farmers, pop-ups and restaurants from the upstate region fed market-goers soup, pizza, salads, sandwiches, and more. Our favorites were the beer/cheddar/calliflower soup from Gaskins, Truck Pizza‘s wood-fired personal pies, and the maple syrup cotton candy by Maple Leaf Sugaring.
That’s not to say there wasn’t food inside though–oh, and a bar (!) provided by local Hudson restaurant Fish & Game. Some other highlights for inside food vendors included Poor Devil Pepper Co., Brooklyn Oyster Party, No. 6 Depot Cofee, and Red & Brown.
New this year to Basilica Farm & Flea were educational workshops, including a jewelry workshop by Nancy Soriano, DIY lamp making by Elise McMahon, and reusable gift packaging by Margot Becker. Here, Margot of Nest and Den explains the art of shibori, a cotton dying technique with a focus on geometric folding and experimentation. Participants not only learned the process hands-on, but they also came out of the workshop with their own take-home piece.
And that’s a wrap–thank you so much to everyone who is involved in Basilica Farm & Flea for allowing us to participate in such a big way. See you in 2016!