SILVER CITY – The Future Forge, in collaboration with Silver City MainStreet, held the first Makers Market over the weekend in the newly renovated Main Street Plaza in Silver City. The market will be held every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon until Oct. 31.
“The point for this is just to be a decentralized, local market for artists and makers during this time where they don’t have a gallery front anymore,” said Stephen Lindsey, co-founder and chair of the Future Forge board. “There is not a lot of accessibility anymore for them to produce and sell things for their livelihood.”
Since the Makers Market allows growers as well as other artists to sell their product, Lindsey said Future Forge is collaborating with the Farmers’ Market – which runs at the same time as the Makers Market – to share vendors while encouraging farmers themselves to continue to sell at the Farmers’ Market.
“We are trying to officially send all the farmers over there,” Lindsey said. “But we have a couple backyard growers who say, ‘I have enough produce to sell this one week. Can I come and bring it down?’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, of course, come on down.'”
The Farmers’ Market allows individuals who qualify to use EBT benefits provided by the state to purchase food. Lindsey said the Makers Market currently has no intention to allow customers to use EBT, SNAP or other state-sponsored food benefits for low-income individuals to purchase food products.
Lindsey said that the collaboration led to the two markets placing signs at the corner of Bullard Street and College Avenue with arrows pointing in the direction of each market.
“They’re sending us people. We’re sending them people,” Lindsey said. “We’re letting this cross-pollination happen, because abundance breeds more abundance, and that’s what we’re trying to go for.”
At Saturday’s Main Street Plaza event, 15 vendors, mainly artists, were scattered throughout the plaza while passersby wandered through. Two booths run by the Future Forge stood on both ends of the plaza to lightly regulate the number of people in the space, ensuring that all wore masks and observed social distancing. He added there are also plans to add hand-washing stations at each entrance to the plaza.
According to Lindsey, while the Fire Department said the market could have up to 100 people in the plaza, they were going to try to not exceed 40, with no more than 20 vendors until state regulations change.
“The turnout so far has been good,” Lindsey said. “I have been doing rounds and talking to the vendors, and they are selling things pretty well. I think the vendors are feeling pretty secure about this event here.”
Sam Ruiz of Las Cruces said that he heard about the Makers Market on Facebook and brought products to sell from his business, Movipup Engraving and Crafts. He said he had already made a few sales by midday Saturday.
“This is the first time, so I look forward to being busier as it goes on,” Ruiz said. “This is the friendliest bunch of people I’ve met in a while.”