Four years ago, Briana Kohlbrenner and Vanessa Rose held the 1st annual “Salt Market” here in Syracuse, NY. Having grown up in Brooklyn, Briana was well acquainted with underground, cutting-edge creativity. The driving force behind creating this event was her desire to bring the energy and creative atmosphere of larger cities to Syracuse. Several markets, like the Renegade Craft Fair held throughout the US and abroad, served as sources of inspiration for the Syracuse version. For more local inspiration, Briana and Vanessa toured like-minded markets in cities like Rochester and New York City. Having connected with artists and designers at markets in the region was helpful when figuring out how to start their own.
The first market was highly successful, and surpassed the organizers’ original goals in terms of both applicants and attendees. In order to allow the market to grow and offer the same level of quality, Briana and Vanessa asked Stasya Erickson and Courtney Rile to join them in their planning efforts. Briana thought both women had good ideas, energy, and experience.
All four organizers are now gearing up for the fourth annual market, which will be held on Saturday, October 20th from 10am-6pm. Each year, the market is meant to showcase local, independent, up-and-coming artists and designers. Their products must be as handmade and local as possible and designs must be original. Briana pointed out that vendors change naturally over the years, and that even returning vendors are encouraged to bring new, fresh creations each year.
Now in its fourth year, the majority of details simply fall into place. Stasya feels the organizers have really streamlined the process of creating the market. Therefore elements like music, food, and décor come together easily. Local venues—Recess Coffee, Roji Tea Lounge, and Strong Hearts Café—are providing refreshments.
One key change is a fresh location. This year, the Salt Market will be held on the Northside at 401 N. Salina St., in a slightly smaller, more intimate venue. Because this year’s market is in a smaller space, showcasing just 30 vendors, there will be a second market on Saturday, December 8. Market number 2 will also have 30 vendors, but this event’s catch will be that all handiwork will be available for under $30. Six vendors from the Salt Market will overlap with the “Pepper Market”, but most vendors will be new.
In addition to providing consumers with a fun environment to find creative items, vendors also benefit from participating in the market. Beyond gaining new customers, Stasya noticed that markets like this are a helpful way for artists and designers to build community with likeminded people.
This year, you have two opportunities to experience the vibrant atmosphere of an urban art and craft market. However, with different vendors at each, you will probably want to check out the imaginative wares at each! We, here at Northside UP, are extremely excited that this year’s market is taking place in our neighborhood. North Salina Street is historically one of Syracuse’s most unique shopping districts, so locating one of the city’s most celebrated shopping experiences here is ideal. “Salt Market” patrons need only take a short walk to dozens of other eclectic shops and restaurants.