Campus File Photo / Lucy Townend
Bundle recently hosted the Reloved and Maker’s Market on May 5 at its downtown location. The market featured items such as handmade jewelry, herbal medicine and secondhand clothes from artisans and businesses in the surrounding areas.
Bundle, an organization that hosts pop-up shops, workshops and galleries, opened at 60 Main St last month. Organized by the Better Middlebury Partnership, Bundle’s goal is to revitalize downtown Middlebury and combat decreased foot traffic and business following the start of the rail and bridge construction.
Their most recent events have included the “ReBag” workshop on April 24, in which participants made reusable bags to decrease the use of disposable ones, and a workshop hosted by Carrie Root of Root Studio on April 27, which gave participants the opportunity to make hanging felt mobiles. By showcasing crafts and other goods from businesses from a broader geographic region, the Reloved and Maker’s Market intended to spur economic growth in downtown Middlebury.
“The hope is to drive business into our town by inviting people from out of town, too,” said Kelly Hickey, the manager of Bundle and founder of Edie and Glo, a local business which specializes in handmade vintage clothing.
“Teaching the class was fantastic,” reflected Root on her April felt workshop. “We had them fill out a questionnaire, and one of the things that came up most when asked what they liked was meeting new friends.” Root attended the Reloved and Maker’s market this weekend, selling jewelry, suncatchers and other small pieces made of stained glass.
“It’s so nice to be collaborating with such amazing people with all of these cool, differ ent ideas,” said Hannah Hulbert of The Good Witch, a seller of vintage clothing and pieces made from recycled materials.
Rebecca Freedner of Beauty Medicine will be teaching a class on Alcohol Painting, a technique using ink made from alcohol, at Bundle on May 17 and was also present at the market on Sunday. She began making her pieces after retiring from henna artistry. “I love my work because it is the opposite of henna — it’s not as precise and it’s colorful!” Freedner said.
The market also aimed to promote sustainability in the shopping habits of its customers; it featured vendors selling secondhand clothes and those who make new items from recycled materials. “My whole idea is that we have everything here, and we need to use all of that up before we make new items,” said Hickey. She presented her items from Edie and Glo, all of which were made out of recycled fabric from the 1960s-70s. “I’m very inspired by the sixties prints because I was born in the sixties, and I remember my mom having them,” Hickey said.
Buy Again Alley, one of Middlebury’s local thrift stores, also sold secondhand clothes at the market. “Our mission statement is to make clothes like this affordable for anyone, but especially young adults,” said Evan Killion, an employee of Buy Again Alley.
Round Robin, located in MarbleWorks, was also present at the market selling vintage items for a greater purpose. “Everything in our store is donated, and we donate all proceeds to the [Porter] hospital,” said Robin Huestis, founder of Round Robin.
The market also hosted a number of wellness-oriented vendors that typically operate only out farmers markets and pop-up stores. Shelby Laframboise of Wild Forest Herbals and Medicinal Products finds a different purpose in her work. “[My products are] basically reconnecting people with nature and we’ve lost that,” she said. “We’ve lost our relationship with nature, and our role in the environment we’re in.” Wild Forest Herbals sells medicinal products made from herbs that Shelby grows or forages for in Vermont.
Reyna Morgan-Reiner, owner of Breathing in Wellness, found her passion for creating wellness products that were derived from plants after she was diagnosed with lymphoma in her eyes. “I was going through radiation … I wanted a natural way to treat my skin, and so I made my first healing oil to do that,” she explained.
“The creativity is so amazing because you can do anything,” said Ellen Joy, yet another participant in the market, who crafts handmade mixed metal jewelry for her business called Metal Nomad.