One of a kind artwork, handcrafted jewelry and social justice awareness populated the brand new Fringe District pop up market. Visitors poured over each booth, which highlighted the passions of their owners.
Sunshine City Books, owned by Rose Robbins, encourages empathy, promotes diversity and tolerance, all while providing socially aware books to children. You may even see it traveling through town.
Robbins and her book bus contain a collection of books for all ages, ranging from birth to young adult. Stories like “Rad Women Worldwide,” “Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)” and “Be a Changemaker” are just a few that speak to children on the themes of social awareness.
“All of these books are positive messages,” she said. “The ultimate goal is to change the world through books.”
Feathers Fate & Steel, owned by Danielle Dawley, is indie right down to its core. This boutique, which sells one of a kind clothing, jewelry and accessories can be found near Patty & Friends Antiques in downtown St. Petersburg. Their products are housed in a Spartan travel trailer from 1946, which Dawley spent a year restoring.
“We spent a lot of time rebuilding this, and now we get to travel around in it,” Dawley said.
Dawley has already taken the trailer out on the road to visit the Sound on Sound festival in Texas. Her reason for owning this portable shop comes from her history of traveling.
“I’ve spent my whole life traveling the world, and I want to keep doing that,” she said.
Booths like Old Crow and Pergamo Paper Goods sold other handmade goods. Old Crow, owned by Bridget Ahearn, sells vintage clothes that are painted or embroidered by Ahearn and her coworkers. Ahearn was even sewing designs into a pair of shorts during her time at the market. Pergamo Paper Goods sells collage-paintings that feature animals dressed in fancy clothing.
Shop Destruya is a shop located in Fort Lauderdale that sells feminist and latina inspired shirts and accessories. Natalia Marrero, who owns this shop, says her South Florida roots inspire the latina flare in her products.
She sells everything from shirts to stickers. Marrero designs swatches of fabric with sayings like “no means no” and “not your sweetheart” herself. Her goal is to think outside the box when it comes to the designs of feminist apparel and to encourage intersectionality in all feminist clothing.
“You don’t have to have a vagina to be a feminist,” said Marrero.
The St. Pete Women’s Collective attended the Fringe District pop-up market as well. The group consists of six female artists — who call themselves activist artists — whose goal is to empower women, teach sex education and provide support and counseling for victims of sexual assault.
The collective hosts a class called “Adulting 101” that teaches millennials all the things they missed out due to poor sex education in school. Their work is a mix of art, with each woman contributing something different to the table.
In addition to classes, the collective sells art, books, jewelry, stickers, shirts and prints. The art is also available on an Etsy shop, where the group sells a “She Persisted” shirt. All the proceeds from that item go towards sponsoring counseling for sexual assault survivors.
“We have to work together and not compete with each other. We want to teach women to do that by doing it,” said Ashley Sweet, the co-owner of the St. Pete Women’s Collective.
The Indie Market is a once a month event located in downtown St. Petersburg. Check out the website http://www.stpeteindiemarket.com for information about upcoming events.