Discover something new from local vendors this season
(Somerville Wire) – The Holiday Market is back! Run by the Somerville Flea, there will be three markets at the Armory, with vintage and local businesses fulfilling all of your shopping needs. Having been on hiatus in 2020 because of the pandemic, the market is festively returning this year with a new jolt of inspiration. We got the scoop from Greg Ghazil, founder of the Flea, who shared what makes this holiday destination so special.
How long have you been running the Holiday Market, and what inspired it? What can people expect from the Market this year?
We’ve been producing a Holiday Market since 2012. The first one we had was held in a small warehouse space in Union Square. So many people came to it, it was a little too tight for comfort. In 2013, we moved to the bigger space at the Armory on Highland. We absolutely love the organization and that fantastic historic building. It’s been a great relationship!
The inspiration for the Holiday Market was borne of the necessity for the Somerville community to have a unique option for holiday gift shopping. Also, Somerville has open studios and ArtBeat but those events didn’t coincide with the holiday season. The Holiday Market gave these small businesses the opportunity to do business in what is normally a slow time of the year for them.
People can expect the unexpected. And that is what we love about it. This year, on top of fantastic vintage vendors selling all kinds of cool curated antique finds, we’ll also have a good number of artisans. They’ll be selling some really unique creations from woodworking, jewelry, pottery, and awesome art in general. We’ll have vendors that have been with us from the start, like Somerville’s own High Energy Vintage and Winter Hill Jewelry. We’ll also have some newcomers like Greylock Leather Accessories, The Science Boutique and Backyard Soap Company. These are some great small businesses and even better local folks. It’s a real opportunity to get that super unique gift that you never knew existed for that special someone, straight from the maker themself.
Are there any ways that the Market will be different from past years? How have you been impacted by the pandemic?
Yes, the Market will be adhering to the city mask mandate where all people in the building will be required to wear masks. All of our vendors will be wearing masks and showing proof of full vaccination status as well. On top of that, we shrank the vendor spaces a bit to offer more space for shoppers. We hope to offer a safe, fun environment for all. After cancelling, the whole year in 2020, we’ll do anything it takes to be safe and keep the markets going.
Do you believe that it is important to support local businesses, such as vintage and artisan vendors, through the Market?
A resounding yes to that!! I’ve seen studies that money spent locally with local businesses overwhelmingly stays in that community. Seems like a win-win situation. Plus, you won’t be dealing with delivery dates and supply chain issues if you shop online or in box stores and malls. Oh, and that’s wicked boring too. There’s something that is so right about buying straight from the maker. It literally makes you feel better.
The Market is an outgrowth of the Somerville Flea. What kind of a culture have you tried to create in Somerville, as its founder?
I’ve just tried to reflect what I think of Somerville’s vibe in general. One that’s laid back, cool and creative. The city has gone through a lot of changes since we started back in 2012. But the Flea remains the same, which is why it’s still successful. As a matter of fact, we just had our best year to date, supporting well over a hundred unique small businesses and thousands of shoppers.
Do you have any future plans for new markets or events in the new year?
We recently branched out to downtown Boston as the new operator of the Greenway Artisan Market. We did 27 straight Saturdays down on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. What a magical space, and we are honored that they chose us to run that market. We met a whole bunch of new artists and makers as a result. As for future plans in Somerville … after doing just one market in 2020, due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to getting our super fun night markets going again. Those were so much fun popping up around Somerville. Live music, food, beer gardens—those night markets were something special.
Holiday Market Dates
November 28th, 10am-5pm
December 5th, 10am-5pm
December 19th, 10am-5pm
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Shira Laucharoen is assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and assistant editor and staff reporter of the Somerville Wire.