Lively chatter filled the parking lot behind Topanga Canyon Vintage on Saturday, April 10. Basil, a large German shepherd, loped across the concrete clamoring for attention from vendors and their customers. It was the first day of Topanga Canyon Vintage and Groovy Thrifty’s first-ever maker’s market to promote young artists and designers. The event was held on April 10-11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

Sophomore psychology major Sarah Jenuario sat behind a table near the front of the entrance. A collection of homemade rings and earrings were displayed in front of her. A box of beads and silver wire were placed next to Jenuario as she produced more rings. Pliers twisting the wire almost effortlessly.  

“It’s a big turnout. It’s a lot busier than I expected it to be. The weather’s beautiful so it’s really nice to see people out and about, and supporting local artists. It’s great,” she said. 

 “I think it’s important to hold these events to support the artists who are usually just college students who are trying to make money. Everything’s expensive these days so it’s nice to have people around to support. It’s also good to cater to other college students who may not be able to afford smaller businesses because they do tend to be a little more expensive,” she said. “So, a lot of the product here is very affordable because it is a college town.” 

Em Irvine, a sophomore journalism and marine biology, also praised Topanga Canyon Vintage for giving exposure to her “little” earring-making business. She pointed to a pair of blue and pink rose earrings on the table. Irvine has been making them since she was 12 when her mom gifted her polymer clay, but this was the first time she sold them at a maker’s market. However, Irvine said she “absolutely” plans on coming to another.  

Meanwhile, some students, like senior occupational therapy major Charly Seyler, are veterans of the market experience. Seyler usually participates in the Memorial Union Building’s (MUB) annual winter Maker’s Expo and was saddened by its cancellation because of the COVID-19 pandemic last winter. The Topanga Canyon Vintage expo was the first time she had been in a maker’s event since then. She described it as a “great trial and error experience” to figure out what to sell from her crocheting business during spring and summer.  

Seyler also stressed the importance of “taking a step back from fast fashion” and promoting sustainability. “I think just preventing waste, and doing as much as we can to reduce, reuse and recycle is so important. We’ve only got one planet. You have to be nice to it.” she said.  

Topanga Canyon Vintage also identifies sustainability as one of its missions. Along with vintage and reworked clothing, the store also tries to use recycled art materials when upcycling clothes.  

In addition, the store also emphasized their goal “to create a safe space that is body and gender inclusive.” This is a mission that seems to have been achieved last weekend.  

“The market was incredible. It really feels as if we are building a community based on love, community and acceptance,” said Topanga Canyon Vintage in a statement.  

Topanga Canyon Vintage plans to hold another marker’s market next month on Friday, May 7 with a rain date of May 8.  Vendor’s applications will be available soon. Updates can be found on their Instagram. 

Photo courtesy of Topanga Canyon Vintage Instagram.