White lights, colorful ribbons and Halloween decor accented the dark walls of The Shakedown, where vendors both local and new to Bellingham were packed side by side to present hand crafted items and baked goods.
The autumnal decorated venue set the mood for the first ever Harvest Pop-up Market, a 21+ event that offered a variety of alcoholic beverages, home-cooked food, as well as various styles of artwork and jewelry for those attending the adult-only occasion on Sunday, Oct. 16.
The Shakedown hosted many artists and bakers, in addition to tarot and palm readers for those interested. Vendors featured at the event included Gathered Confections, VAVA Lingerie, Henna Moon, Sea Witch Botanicals and Fringe Boutique. There were several others at the event, with no two vendors alike in style or craftsmanship.
Cake designer and owner of Gathered Confections, Sarah Woods, initiated Sunday’s fall market. Woods, who has called Bellingham home for nearly a year, said she had the idea for the market as a method of local exposure for her business.
“Starting a business isn’t easy,” Woods said.
Woods spent the last year developing a new website, filing an abundance of paperwork related to business ownership and running her own Kickstarter campaign to fund orders from clients, she said.
Both Woods and her sister were vendors at the event, in addition to others who Woods met along her entrepreneurial path. One of Woods’ friends, Natalie Ransom, showcased her personal work, which was focused around succulent jewelry and terrariums.
Ransom, a self-made business owner, started her floral business in April 2015 where she primarily focused on floral arrangements and wedding bouquets.
“In a town like Bellingham, it’s almost a novelty to have something that’s explicitly adult oriented. It’s also nice to have something that’s a little bit different.”
Gathered Confections cake designer and owner Sarah Woods
In the last two to three years, Ransom began to steer away from purely wedding and bouquet related creations, and began experimenting with succulent jewelry which is much easier to sell at a small market and lasts longer, she said.
“You can wear it as jewelry for about a month or so and then you plant it either indoors or outdoors,” Ransom said.
Ransom usually makes her jewelry on the side to sell on occasions like the market, but also caters to special requests. Recently, she created necklaces and headpieces for Western graduates to wear during graduation ceremonies.
Another vendor featured at the Harvest Pop-up Market was collage artist and Astoria, Oregon native Timothy Root, a recent Bellingham resident as of three weeks ago. Root staked his claim at the Sunday market through his friendship with Woods in Astoria, where they both lived and met around five years ago.
“It’s great art for a great price for great people,” Root said.
Root began putting together his collage artwork about eight years ago, recycling everything he used to make his creations a collective piece. Using old National Geographic magazines, reclaimed wood and recycled paint, Root makes every piece of artwork unique from the previous one.
“I reach out into the atmosphere,” Root said. “The best part about art is infinite invention.”
Root hopes to fund radical movements and causes that he feels are important in the community by selling his art.
While the market brought success to vendors, not all of them are sure they would participate in similar events.
Woods said she liked the idea of her event being focused toward an adult crowd, but is not sure if she will continue that for other possible market events down the road.
“In a town like Bellingham, it’s almost a novelty to have something that’s explicitly adult oriented,” Woods said. “It’s also nice to have something that’s a little bit different.”
As of now, there are no concrete plans to have another market just like this one, Woods said. She said she would like to hold another event experience similar to this one around Valentine’s Day, which would be more focused with a dark and romantic theme.