UPDATE: Good things can come out of a pandemic. Beechwold Makers Market is one such example. Founded by 18-year-old Lauren Alexander, Beechwold Makers Market will host its second event on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“During quarantine, it was a tough time for small businesses,” said Alexander. “It hit them hard. Everything was canceled or the numbers were way down, and makers couldn’t be at the markets.
“So, I thought it would be fun to have my own market I reached out to a lot of my small-business friends who were all super down for it. We wanted to see how successful the first one was.”
Beechwold Makers Market is held in the yard of Alexander’s home at 10. W. Beechwold Blvd. At her first event, Aug. 8, she had 13 artists participate offering baked goods, pottery, plants, candles, jewelry, home décor, art prints, cards, stationery and skincare.
“I had a Google application form for people to fill out to be at the market,” said Alexander.
“I was blown away with how many people filled out a form, even some people I didn’t know. I even had to deny a few people due to the size of my yard.”
She has been selling quality sewing pieces, art prints and custom commissioned artwork since 2019.
“I have always been an artist,” said Alexander, who graduated early from Dublin Scioto High School. “In high school I took a lot of AP art courses. I was really into fine art and hyperrealism. And I really wanted to sell art.
“I was working fulltime but when COVID hit, I needed something to keep me busy, so I decided to start my own business. I launched my Etsy store before COVID hit.”
Alexander soon branched out from online sales to having a booth at the Dublin Farmers Market. That is where she met most of the artists that participated in the Beechwold Makers Market.
“I started with Redbubble which is an online marketplace where you can have images printed on a variety of different items such as T-shirts, mugs, book bags, notebooks and phone cases. I ordered all my finished pieces from there. I got everything I needed for my booth at the Dublin Farmers Market.
“I found my passion through my participation in that event. So, I started my own makers market.”
When COVID-19 hit, Alexander decided to make facemasks.
“I felt like I was an assembly line just spending days cutting fabric,” she said. “I shared an office with my mom. It was great that we were able to spend time together and she helped me. Every few days we would go to the post office to send out orders.”
“My biggest sellers are face masks, scrunchies and head bands,” she said.
The October Beechwold Makers Market was the last one for the year. She considered one for Nov. 28 but new COVID-19 related restrictions made that impossible.
Alexander, who is going to Columbus State in the spring for a two-year business entrepreneurship studies program, said she hopes to continue the Beechwold Makers Market next year.
“I hope to continue it next spring, summer and fall,” she said. “It is a cool opportunity for local makers. I was blown away by the amount of people that came to our first one. It was aawesome and so fun to do.”
For more information, search for Beechwold Makers Market on Instagram.