Holiday spending makes up 19% of total annual retail sales according to the National Retail Federation, the largest retail trade association. This year, the National Retail Federation anticipates that consumers will spend a total of $942 billion in order to find the perfect gift.
Sure, you could shop at Amazon, but did you know that, according to Vice, the massive corporation actively fights union activity to suppress the wages of its workers?
What if I told you there was a convenient and fast way to support local business this holiday season? Instead of lining the pockets or billionaires, you can help local students pay their tuition. The New Paltz Market is the perfect place for all of your holiday shopping. It’s cheap, ethical, quick and easy. Let’s take a look at some of the vendors and their products — you might be able to find that gift without the questionable labor practices.
Venusian Vivids is a jewelry stand new to the market this semester. The owner, Juliette Kennedy, first started metal work as a hobby during lockdown. They started posting and selling through social media. A friend approached Kennedy and told them to sell with the market, and ever since then their business has been flourishing.
Goods Offered: Rings, necklaces, earrings, ear cuffs, boxes and keychains.
Price Range: Nothing in the shop is over $25.
Hours at the Market: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Need to Know: They offer custom orders. The time frame depends on what material they have in stock. Customs usually take two days but can take a few weeks if they need to order materials. If any of the jewelry breaks they offer repairs, which are either free or at most $6.
Social Media Handle: @venuisian.vivids
Target Audience: “Girls, gays, theys, your mom and your gay uncle.”
Fly Me To The Spoon
Fly Me To The Spoon is a metalworking jewelry business that’s also new to the market this semester. Anna Bruno started her company as a hobby in March of 2021. At the time she gave jewelry to friends and family who encouraged her to start selling. In May, she went shopping at a vintage store on Long Island. During a conversation with the owner, Bruno realized most of the store’s products were vintage. She decided to bring up her own work to the owner who loved the idea and insisted Bruno should sell in the store.
Goods Offered: Rings, necklaces, earrings, keychains and bookmarks.
Price Range: $12-$80
Hours at the Market: 9:30 a.m. to 3p.m.
Need to Know: There’s a difference between student pricing and her online pricing. Items offered by her at the market are discounted. Everything is one of a kind. If you’re looking for something a little nicer she sells custom sterling silver rings as well.
Social Media Handle: @flymetothespoon
Target Audience: “We’re big with the moms … if you’re not sure [what to get] for your mom or your aunts this is a good one for you. Also friends. Guys who wear rings or need a keychain.”
Greta Hahn studies drawing and painting at SUNY New Paltz. While taking basic printmaking her dad insisted on having one of her linoleum cut prints transferred onto a shirt. She then started making them for friends who wanted to support her artwork. Her friends recommended she join the market last semester, and ever since then her business has taken off.
Goods Offered: Pre-washed second-hand clothes that have linocut prints or screen prints on them.
Price Range: $5-$30. Prices depend on what clothing she prints on, how big the print is and how many prints there are.
Hours at the Market: This semester Hahn has classes all day on Thursdays, so she’s not always at the market. She always posts on Instagram where she’s going to be selling, both at the market and elsewhere. She also sells socks through Instagram posts so make sure to check that out!
Need to Know: If there is ever any problem with print due to washing, contact her and she will reprint it. She exchanges shirts for your old clothes that need to be repurposed. If you’re interested in this just reach out. “I don’t bite!”
Social Media Handle: @gerts.merch
Target Audience: “I feel like my merch reached a lot of people that just enjoy my comical and satirical imagery, but one specific audience I make sure I create for is plus-size bodies! As a plus-sized person myself, I understand the struggle of finding clothing that fits me on the rack. Gert’s Merch always has and always will be size and inclusive!”
Ioana Docu started making her jewelry in May of 2022 when she dropped out of SUNY New Paltz. She credits her mom for being the inspiration behind her start up. As a little kid she watched her mom, who was heavily into jewelry making.
Goods Offered: Handmade metalwork and beadwork.
Price Range: $5-$90
Hours at the Market: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Need to Know: She offers a variety of metal types depending on what people are looking for in quality. Some people only want brass or stainless steel pieces while others want sterling silver, so she tries her best to have all the options out there.
Social Media Handle: @taboodevil
Target Audience: “Anyone who’s looking for something different.”