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Couple opens new outdoor art market in Near Southside


Betty Dillard

bdillard@bizpress.net

 

Fort Worth will soon be home to a new outdoor shopping destination and venue for artists, crafters and collectors.

Pop-Up Market is slated to open with about 50 vendors on April 13 at Magnolia Green Park, a popular green space located at 1201 Lipscomb St. between Magnolia Avenue and Rosedale Street in Fort Worth’s booming Near Southside.

The market will be free to the public – parking is gratis, too, with a garage adjacent to Magnolia Green – and will be open once a month from April through October on the Saturday after the Music on the Green concerts at the same location.

The non-juried fair will feature items across various mediums including glass, metal, wood, ceramics, paintings and jewelry. The key stipulation is that all goods must be handmade.  Shoppers will also find vintage fashions and décor, and food truck vendors will be on hand.

Pop-Up Market – the first of its kind in North Texas – is the brainchild of Arlington husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Jason and Jamie Brown.

“There’s nothing like this locally that we know of,” Jamie said. “Instead of waiting for annual festivals, shoppers will find original artwork, one-of-a-kind handmade items and kitsch collectibles in the same location every month.”

Jamie Brown knows her way around marketing. A former on-air television reporter and public relations director at JPS Health Network, she’s grown her own PR firm the past four years. Jason is air quality operations manager at the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

 “We hope it’s a success for the artists and crafters and we hope Magnolia Green is a good, sustained place for them,” he said. “Retail space is expensive. Pop-Up Market will give artists a place to sell their goods to the public in an affordable way while bringing people into an urban area for something other than business or restaurants.”

The couple considered several business options before deciding on opening an outdoor art market. They got the idea from the Brooklyn Flea, a weekly outdoor market started in 2008 featuring hundreds of top vendors that’s become one of New York City’s top attractions, as well as other “pop-up” locations from Seattle to San Diego.

“They add a lot of value to the community,” Jamie said.

Bootstrapping the business with their own startup capital, the couple brought in a business coach because “for a husband and wife, you never know how you’re going to work together,” Jamie said.

The pair also parlayed their expertise and experience into their new venture.

“We wanted to develop something that complemented each of our own skill sets,” Jamie said. “We also wanted to do something we both enjoy. We looked at the flexibility of running a business while maintaining full-time jobs.”

After scouting numerous possible sites for their market, the Browns secured the Magnolia Green location. Vendors pay $45 for a 10x10-foot space at the one-day event.

“Location, obviously, is the key,” Jamie said. “The Near Southside is going through a transition. There’s a renaissance going on there. It’s pedestrian friendly. People live and work there; they ride their bikes there. We wanted a vibe that would complement our business.”

Support from Fort Worth South Inc., a nonprofit development company committed to revitalizing the Near Southside, proved instrumental, the couple said.

Paul Paine, president of Fort Worth South, said the organization “is excited to have the first Pop-Up Market location. We know that many successful urban areas have markets similar to this.”

Pop-Up Market also has partnered with Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth and will serve as a drop-off center for pantry items requested by the agency. A complete list of needed items can be found at www.rmhfw.org.

The Browns said the Fort Worth location will serve as a model for future Pop-Up Markets across North Texas. They’re working with Downtown Arlington Management Corp., which initiates and manages economic development in downtown Arlington and the university district, to open a market in Arlington possibly this summer.

The Fort Worth market will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on these Saturdays: April 13, May 11, June 15, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12.

Pop-Up Market is accepting vendor applications. For information on how to apply and other details, visit www.pop-upmarket.com.

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