More than a Market: Markets for Makers in Miami

Sofia Strohmeier, Copy Editor

Markets for Makers is an event dedicated to gathering unique small businesses and independent creators while providing opportunities for makers to share their distinctive products with potential customers.

Originally founded in 2015, Markets for Makers has expanded throughout the country with locations in Chicago, Jacksonville, Houston and Miami. The unique vendors sell one-of-a-kind items ranging from home decor, art, fashion, design, food and more. The main intention of the market is to spotlight makers, boutiques and items that one would not find in a typical store.

The markets first reached Miami in February and March of this year and returned to the Design District on Nov. 5-6. Jungle Plaza in the district encapsulates an open setting known to host events and pop-ups, attracting many of the city’s large crowds. Markets for Makers provides a convivial shopping experience, food and drink, DIY (do-it-yourself) stations and photo spots to keep guests engaged and entertained. Miami’s market generates hundreds of vendors and attracts record-breaking attendance numbers. 

The event in the Design District featured about 100 vendors from around the country. Renee Moizel, owner of Beach Haus (@shopbeachhaus), a local business in Miami, has designed textiles for the past 23 years and has been in business for the past two-and-a-half years selling clothing, home decor, jewelry and more, all inspired by her travels around the world. Moizel attended the event this year for the second time and had the opportunity to meet other vendors and communicate with customers. 

“What is great about this event is that it is a collaboration of small businesses around the U.S., plus, people who make beautiful things; it is all in one place,” Moizel said. “You get unique items, you get things that you cannot buy anywhere else, and it brings together thousands of people to really be able to showcase the collection that I put together and curate it. So it is a lot for me as a small business because I’m able to show my stuff to a big number of people all weekend, and I get to sell [directly] to my customers. So it is a really good time.”

Additionally, participating in Markets for Makers has provided opportunities for Moizel and many other small business owners to spotlight their products and grow as creators.

“[Markets for Makers] has impacted my business tremendously. Markets for Makers was my first market that I have ever done. It showed me that my idea of curating a collection of my resort apparel and my handicrafts from around the world had a vision people actually resonated with, so they gave me the opportunity to see that I had an opportunity like this business was a viable business for me,” Moizel said. “People actually did like what I was bringing to the table, and it was really encouraging.”

Two types of tickets were available for customers to purchase: General Admission ($8), which included a complimentary tote bag, and VIP ($15), which included weekend-long access and an exclusive preview hour on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Guests either reserved their tickets and time slots online or had the option to buy tickets at the door for $15. The event offered candle shops, artisan handbags, a keychain-making station and food trucks. 

“It was super cool to see how all the vendors were able to come together in one place because there’s so much creativity. Especially, I think it is awesome that the vendors have products they hand-make. So for example the rings and the candles that they make and things like that. I think it is super creative and it is cool to see them come together, and for Miami to have a place for them to showcase their talent,” customer Andrea Garrido said.

In such a large artistic and fashion-oriented city like Miami, offering a place for small businesses to share their items gives them an opportunity to expand as well as provides customers the chance to generate a sense of curiosity for what small businesses around the world have to offer.

“I think that every successful business has to start from somewhere. I feel that small businesses genuinely create a product that connects with their audience and that connects with whoever’s buying them,” Garrido said. “I think it is gratifying when you buy from a small business and they give you their card [and] you can really tell how much effort they put into building their brand.”