This past week, one needed to look no further than Fellows Garden to shop for jewelry, bags, dishware, soaps and more. On Tuesday, April 27, and Thursday, April 29, Brandeis creators set up booths to sell their hand-crafted goods during the first annual Create@Brandeis Craft Market. The market was part of the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts, the annual week-long festival which consists of performances, exhibitions and other events that celebrate the arts and highlight the work of artists within the Brandeis community. The Craft Market, which was organized by Brandeis Arts Engagement, hosted more than a dozen student and staff vendors during the two-day event. 

On Tuesday, the sunny weather was perfect for the first day of the outdoor market. Vendors set up shop in the Brandeis Booths and at tables in the Fellows Garden. From stickers to soaps to scrunchies, every seller had something unique to offer. The market provided artists and creators with a space to showcase and sell their work while providing shoppers with a wide array of one-of-a-kind items to choose from. The event also served as an opportunity for those on campus to get to know creators within the Brandeis community and support their work. 

The Justice spoke to Sarah Lavin ‘21, one of the student vendors, during the Craft Market on Tuesday. Her booth featured a variety of vibrantly colored clay earrings and necklaces, all of which were created entirely by hand. Speaking to the Justice during the Craft Market, Lavin said that the event had been going very well for her so far: “I’ve definitely gotten a few purchases since I sat down, like, ten minutes ago.” 

Though you wouldn’t know it from her work, Lavin has been making jewelry for less than a year and started selling her clay designs this past October. Lavin described herself as “a pretty new creator” of jewelry and said that selling her work at the market helped boost her confidence in her products. Like many others who started small-businesses during the COVID pandemic, Lavin has exclusively sold her items online through the Instagram page she created for her shop, @sarahrenee.clay. She said that she appreciated the opportunity to sell her work in-person at the Craft Market and that the experience “definitely made me think about … looking into selling at more craft markets.”

The Craft Market was a unique in-person opportunity that allowed creators to bring their small-businesses to Brandeis. For Brandeis community members, the event was a chance to shop small, support fellow Brandeis students and staff and experience a local street market atmosphere, all without ever leaving campus.