If you’ve noticed the uptick in vendors on the west end of Duling Avenue at recent Fondren After 5 events, thank The Beacon.

Their Beacon Makers’ Market, a consciously curated outdoor market featuring small batch artisan makers, farmers and artists of all kinds, hosts 15-20 booths during the monthly event.

Founder Nicole Jenkins, who, along with husband Jason owns The Beacon at the corner of Duling Avenue and State Street, said the market began last November before their brick-and-mortar even opened its doors.

“Our aim is to connect makers directly to the community and shine a light on local artists, small businesses and anyone who makes anything by hand, especially those who are just getting started and/or don’t have a presence in Fondren,” Nicole said.

Giving an avenue to independent makers, The Beacon Makers’ Market is creating an alternative experience during Fondren After 5 for people to get up close with the artists, pick up unique handmade and vintage goods as well as enjoy fresh fruit smoothies, juices and veggies.

Ally Kinard, a thrifter an upcycler who owns popup 89 Desert Co., participates regularly in the market and says the event has been beneficial to her business.

“As a full-time hair stylist, I mainly do pop-ups and sell on Etsy,” she said. “(Fondren) is a cool area that’s close to me. This is my crowd and it’s fun. I’ve got an awesome response from being here.”

Just down the row, Gabe Porter and Greg Davis’s A Little Time to Grow sets up just as much to be educational as they do to sell their product.

Offering micro greens and edible flowers, Porter explained, “(Microgreens) have about 10-40 times the vitamin and nutrient level of the adult form, similar to sprouts. This is about health and wellness (for us).” Davis added, “We love connecting with the community. Any and all avenues (like Beacon Makers’ Market) we can use to get to that, the better.”

An artful October market is on tap with mostly artists, including Laurie Alan Browne, Mucha Art, Sabrina Hagerman and Sadara Evans, to name a few.

“It’s been wonderful to see the growth over the past few months and get so much positive feedback from both the makers and the community,” Nicole added.

Are you an artist looking for exposure? The Beacon Makers’ Market is seeking future participants.

Requirements call for handmade goods. All items for sale must be handcrafted by the maker or vintage (meaning 20+ years old). The market does not allow imports or resale items that are not vintage. Mississippi made, locally grown, sustainable, eco-friendly, organic, natural, exhibiting unique and original ideas/artwork, etc. is preferred All food vendors must comply with all relevant local, state & federal health regulations. Sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.

The application process is a revolving one, open online at thebeaconsupply.com/makers-market. The deadline for each month is one week prior to the market date.

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