A New Shopping Model

Last weekend I was at the grand opening of The Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, MI, and I was blown away! The concept is a year-round weekend market, that features handmade and vintage items made by local creators. Housed in a former Old Navy store, owners Chris & Tiffany Best had their work cut out for them transforming the old store into a vibrant, artistic space. Some sellers are there every weekend, some only a day here and there. This fresh line-up of vendors allows for new and interesting goods to browse. And have I mentioned the look of this place? It is beyond fabulous, a total eyegasm of the senses. The booths of around 60 vendors are set up so creatively, utilizing every inch of their space, from wall to ceiling, with colorful and appealing displays that draw you in.
In addition to the vendor spaces, there are stunning artistic features all over the place. The center of the building features a handmade wooden stage that features occasional live music, and cozy couch-side seating to sit and enjoy the show. And there’s plenty of room in front for the little ones to shake a hip with each other. There are also hand painted murals and art hanging on the walls, and some very unique lighting sculptures dangling above the stage.
Not only is this space visually appealing and packed with talented artisans, but the idea behind the space is even larger. Here we have a break from the mall and the Hallmark stores, where independent artists are working together and sharing experiences, in a year round venue to build something better than corporate. I’m really interested to see how it all goes, and to see what kind of other forward thinking ideas can come from this type of thing.

If you’re up for something new, and are in the area, skip the mall and head here instead. You don’t have to wait to see when the next craft fair is coming up to get your hands on in person handmade goods, as this place is always there for you.


About Dang Amanda

I love books, and crafts, and books about crafts. They are usually well designed and inspirational. In addition to book talking here, I'll also be dropping blog lines occasionally about local craft fairs going on around town. When I'm not blogging about craft fairs and books, I'm often sewing for dang argyle, eating kale, drinking coffee, laughing, growing tomatoes, and taking photographs.
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8 Responses to A New Shopping Model

  1. Courtney says:

    Wow! What a great space and the displays look amazing! Can’t wait to go.

  2. Dang Amanda says:

    Court, you need to sell there. 😉

  3. tarun says:

    nicely written… it’s an amazing idea and i love how collaboration and innovation intertwine at the rust belt… we’re glad to be a part of it

  4. ralph parus says:

    I was one of the vendors there on opening weekend. A very exciting place! I will definitely try and get back there in the future!

  5. Dang Amanda says:

    Ralph, I was also a vendor last weekend. SUCH a good time!

  6. deets says:

    fantastic write up, and well deserved praise for the Rust Belt Market! As a vendor it was fabulous, and as a shopper it is inspiring, fun, and a little dangerous 🙂

    • Dang Amanda says:

      Yay deets! I’m so glad the shoppers AND the vendors were jazzed with their experiences. I am excited to go back again, this time as a shopper. 🙂

  7. monet says:

    oh, Amanda, this is exciting. I love knowing this is in a former Old Navy. I’ll be making the trip out to Ferndale soon.

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