For Tracey Johnson, the Pop-Up Sunday outdoor market offered an opportunity to sell vintage and re-purposed items, which helps support her habit of buying and collecting more. For Jay Jones, who owns Jay’s Italian Ice, it was a gateway to launching a new business and creating a job he enjoys and an opportunity to employ local youth.
And for Caroline Degroodt, 10, it was an opportunity to test her concept of garden fairy houses and furniture made out of shells and rocks.
“It’s fun to try and sell, and if I don’t sell it, I will just keep it and try again,” said Caroline, who had a booth with her sister, Maddie, 13, who was selling pencil pouches.
Those are just a few of the experiences from the vendors selling at Ornamentea’s successful Pop-Up Sunday, located between the railroad tracks and North West Street, just down from the Southland Ballroom. While the craft supply shop sits a block from Glenwood Avenue, it’s not in an established shopping district.
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The event, one of Raleigh’s first pop-up Sunday scenes, is entering its third year of offering a space for crafters, collectors and others to set up and sell vintage and other goods on the fourth Sunday of months from April to November.
In the first year, there were five to 10 vendors, said Johnson, a Pop-Up Sunday organizer and purchase manager at Ornamentea. Now, the event consistently has from 20 to 25 vendors.
“This year, every month we run a waiting list,” of five to 10 deep, said Johnson, 40, of Raleigh.
While foot traffic was sparse in 2013, it was steady on Sunday. Drivers were angling and waiting for parking spaces in an adjacent lot with room for about 25 cars, while others circled the block looking for on-street parking.
The vendors sold goods that ranged from vintage and hand-made jewelry and re-purposed items, like a bird cage turned into a lamp, to clothing, pottery, and handmade dog treats.
Blair McKinney, co-owner of Good Grace’s, a home-based Cary business that makes dog treats, said Pop-Up Sunday serves as a regular pick-up spot for Raleigh customers. It’s also a place to connect with new ones as they offer samples to people who bring their four-legged friends.
For Ornamentea, the event is also the store’s busiest day of the month, Johnson said.
The Sunday scene also included people grabbing a cold craft beer in exchange for a donation to the charity of the month, listening to vintage records and buying ice cream, fried pimento cheese sliders and other items from area food trucks.
The event, Johnson said, it put together with a community effort that includes Studio 123 providing vintage furniture for people to sit on while eating, R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Co. donating craft beer from different breweries each month, and the Record Krate supplying a record clerk spinning and selling records.
Jones opened Jay’s Italian Ice three years ago after he became unhappy working in internet technology at Durham-based advertising agency McKinney. He started selling Italian Ice at the market when it opened. Over the years, his sales have gone from $80 to $400 a day.
“The hotter the better,” said Jones, 38, of Raleigh.
Shoppers said they enjoyed the opportunity to find local, unique items, as well as to connect with vendors who could provide them custom goods in the future.
Rock Kershaw of Raleigh comes almost every month to try out the food trucks and browse the wares offered by local vendors. He’s found treasures that range from Girl Scout cookies to red felt and paper poppies that he can wear on Memorial Day.
“It’s small. It’s intimate,” and offers quality crafts, he said.
Pop-Up Sunday is an open-air event in downtown Raleigh that has vintage items, art, food trucks, beer, kids crafts, vinyl records and more. It’s held from noon to 5 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month, April through November. It’s located in the parking lot at Ornamentea, 509 N. West St., Raleigh.