Biz Beat

Beyond flea market finds, new Modesto pop-up market showcases Latinx makers

The first-ever Mercado Vida, a pop-up makers market for Latinx creators, will feature clothing, homegoods, food and more. T-shirts by Femchic Apparel are pictured.
The first-ever Mercado Vida, a pop-up makers market for Latinx creators, will feature clothing, homegoods, food and more. T-shirts by Femchic Apparel are pictured.

Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach others about the things those who can do are doing.

So while I am hopeless at crafts, I am very good at telling you where to find them. And the latest makers market to hit Modesto is the new Mercado Vida. Described as “the Central Valley’s first pop-up Latinx market,” the event debuts Sunday, Sept. 16, at Urbano California Bistro in downtown Modesto.

Organized by Waterford native Judy Martinez, the market will feature the work of local and regional Latinx creators. (And, for those wondering exactly what “Latinx” means, it’s the gender-neutral terms for people of Latin origin or descent that eschews having to use the gendered “Latino” or “Latina.”) The Mercado Vida grew out of Martinez’s love for similar pop-up events in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

“I would often travel to go to these pop ups,” she said. “But then my sister and I were talking about it and said, ‘You know what, I’m tired of always having to travel for this.’ It came from not wanting to leave, to bring it to our community instead.”

About three years ago, Martinez and her sister started the online T-shirt line Femchic Apparel, which features styles and sayings inspired by feminism and the Latinx community. The sisters, who both work in education locally, run the business together as a side project. But they’re serious about helping other crafters and artists get exposure and attention in the Valley.

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The first-ever Mercado Vida, a pop-up makers market for Latinx creators, will feature clothing, homegoods, food and more. Planters by Seelene Succulent Orbs are pictured. Seelene Succulent Orbs



They plan to turn the Mercado Vida into a monthly pop-up event, eventually rotating between cities in the area. For now, they have a dedicated monthly space at Urbano California Bistro through the end of the year.

The first market will have about a dozen crafters and businesses, ranging from the Martinez sisters’ T-shirts to Frida Kahlo-inspired ceramic planters from Seelene Succulent Orbs out of Modesto and colorful Concha cookies from Postrique bakery from the Bay Area. Martinez said the merchandise, which ranges from handmade bags to greeting cards to jewelery other accessories, has a modern, contemporary twist. So expect more than just your average flea market finds.

The do-it-yourself, homecrafting business is indeed a big one. The popularity of Etsy and Pinterest have helped turn it into a $43.9 billion annual industry, according to the Association For Creative Industries. Locally, markets like Mod Shop and the DoMo Night Market have brought out thousands who enjoy a more artisan aesthetic.

So check out the Mercado Vida from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Urbano California Bistro,1016 H St. Admission is free. For more, visit www.facebook.com/shopmercadovida.

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The first-ever Mercado Vida, a pop-up makers market for Latinx creators, will feature clothing, homegoods, food and more. Baked good from Postrique are pictured. Postrique





Elsewhere on the Business Beat:

While it took its sweet time, the USA Curry in a Hurry food truck is finally open.

After a longer-than-expected wait for its county permit to be finalized, the Indian and Fijian food truck is now open in its permanent location at the corner of I and Sixth street in the Revival Center Pentecostal Church parking lot in downtown Modesto.

I swung by on the truck’s opening day Tuesday and am happy to report that the samosas are as good as I remembered. The owners said they sold out of their signature curry for both lunch and dinner.

The truck is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 4 to 7 p.m. for dinner at 825 Seventh St. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/USA-Curry-in-a-Hurry-18503587852674166.

Marijke Rowland: 209-578-2284, @marijkerowland

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