In the wide world of fairs and ideal spots to cop cool crafts and vintage goods, New England Open Markets plays a major part in this region’s second hand economy. Their wide range of vendors, local artists, and vintage dealers brave the cold in Back Bay and elsewhere for your browsing convenience, making for a fun experience every outing.
We asked some of the open market favorites, most of whom you will see at fairs including those listed below, about everything from inspiration to sourcing …
Palig Mouradian of Armmad Herbal Remedies
Right now, the Armmad team is busy concocting a new salve for chapped lips and hands.
“A customer was planning to use my herbal lip balm on their hands, which gave me the idea for a specialty knuckle salve,” Mouradian says. All her remedies are from meticulously sourced herbs, often involving recipes from Armenia.
Courtney McCullough of Bitchy Vintage
“It all started with my fashion blog TOBYK, which stands for That One Bitch You Know,” McCullough tells the Dig. “When I started selling, I didn’t have a name for a long time, but then I decided to connect it to the blog and the rest is history.
“Being a bitch has always been a personal brand I guess. I like to keep it fun. I’d say my collection is really like statement-piece vintage—lots of really loud things, lots of really funky things and I feel like the name kinda reflects that.
“I do a little bit of everything—I like vintage that is approachable, but I like to have things that are higher end too. I do a little bit of online, I do a little bit of dead-people estate sales, I do a little bit of yard sales, and I obviously do thrift stores, that’s kind of your bread and butter, they’re always there.”
Lisa Cassidy of Kaden & Kai Bicycle Tube Collection
“The idea started from a store I had called Ecomagine where I sold 145 products overall—recycled, repurposed, and biodegradable. I knew that people loved the bicycle tube versus pouches and other products, and bracelets were a huge category,” Cassidy says.
“I’d been in the green sector most of my career, so when I started to buy things for myself or for the store, I thought I saw a bracelet that was made out of bike tubes, but it was actually silicone, so I said, Well, I’m gonna try and make my own.”
“This is a very mission-based business for me, I’m a marketing consultant during the week. Because I’ve been in the green sector and sustainability is key for me, I incorporate a lot of that, like having craftmade boxes. I use polyurethane bags for the wraps so that they can be recycled, I donate 1% to the planet.”
Joe Gakui of Tesodesign
Gakui brings his wares from his family business rooted in Kenya. His mother and brother carve and paint colorful animals, while he creates elaborate boxes made out of tiny beads strung in loops with wire.
“It would take me forever to count those tiny beads, but my guess is each box has almost 2,000 beads if you include the lid,” he says. “The beaded pots are my favorite to make.”
Able Thought of Lost Life on Wax
A creator of dazzling photographic images—black and white flashes of saxophone players, skeletons falling off chairs, skateboarders in snow storms—this very Able artist then transfers the pics onto old LPs, another genius way to upcycle junk records.