June 13, 2014
By Corrie Purvis and Rachel Abraham, ASI Interns
With over 500 vendors displaying all kinds of unique and interesting items, the Punk Rock Flea Market kicked off its annual event this past weekend in downtown Philadelphia. Everything from instruments, apparel and baked goods to jewelry and artwork were on display, which gave many artists and businesses a chance to get some serious exposure.
‘Adorned by Aisha’ owner and designer, Aisha Loeks, has been setting up shop at the flea market for two years. Her company sells vintage-inspired jewelry.
“My jewelry line is inspired by the vintage looks favored by my beloved, and stylish, grandmother. When she passed away I inherited all of her jewelry,” said Loeks. “I loved how beautiful and masterfully crafted each piece was. I felt like this kind of thoughtfulness and quality was lacking in today’s accessories. So many things are made fast and cheap now. So I took some of her pieces and cast them, making a mold from each and then poured resin into the mold to make a new piece that was cast from a vintage piece.”
The flea market gives Aisha a chance to talk to customers about her designs and answer any questions they may have. “They are really great about getting the word out there and they have been around for a while now so they have a great following,” says Loeks.
Loeks also uses a lot of social media to market her business, keep in touch with fans, post updates, and announce sales and special events, and she can be found on many social networks including Facebook.
Another artist, Dylan Tierney, was featured at the event. Her company Dylan Burns Wood Pyrography & Custom Wood Work has been in business since February. “I like wood-burning band logos, TV pop culture and cute kitschy stuff,” said Tierney. “I started to make some key hooks too, so it’s a functioning piece of art. All my pieces have hangers on the back ready to hang also. If you want anything custom let me know.”
She uses social media as well. Her Tumblr gets linked from Instagram and her products are sold on Etsy.
Dylan thinks showcasing her art at the flea market is a really great opportunity. “I have gotten such a good response. People ask for custom orders and say I should try this or that to get my name out there. At the flea markets people can see and feel the wood burning. I try to take angled pictures to post online but you really get to see the detail in person,” says Tierney.
Another artist, Ukiah Carbone-Gambon, relied solely on the Flea Market for exposure. “I’ve been having a bit of trouble tech-wise setting up my website,” he said, handing over a business card. His print work features funny quotes and sayings, and can be found on notepads, stationery and simple wall displays.
Overall, the Punk Rock Flea Market was a great chance to encounter artists in the local Philly art scene. It was an event that was great for all ages and brought a lot of people out. While there were some clearly professional artists, there were also many vendors simply selling their old “junk” – items that could easily feature a promotional logo or design.
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