In the Spotlight: The (Fashionable) Farmers’ Market
We all know the Dane County Farmers’ Market is a great place to snag fresh veggies, stock up on delicious kettle corn, binge on spicy cheese bread, and spend time with friends on our Capitol Square. But for the trendy shopper in you, the Farmers’ Market has plenty of other locally grown (think: handmade fashions) to brighten up your Saturday morning.
In between the little mountains of produce that fill the stands, mini clothing and jewelry boutiques are dotted around the Square (though they’re generally found near the corner of State Street and the Square), making it easy to browse cute clothes as you munch on fresh treats from the market (Mmmm…two great activities that belong together). To find out more about these local vendors adding a trendy touch to the market, we stopped by a few and got a closer look.
Bare Tree Apparel
Saul Mandel, owner of Bare Tree Apparel, claims, “The Bare Tree is my more than full time job; I spend pretty much every moment working on it or thinking about it, and I love it.” His passion shows in the amazing U.S.-made, eco-friendly, and socially responsible clothing and accessories he offers. Mandel began making his own T-shirts three years ago after being frustrated with the lack of unique wears produced in the U.S. Bare Tree Apparel was born soon after. Especially known for his super soft T-shirts and hoodies, Saul hand draws and individually screen prints every article of clothing he sells. His “Moosestache” T-shirt (pictured left) is his top selling item, but business could soon get a boost thanks to an upcoming Hollywood sighting: some of his clothing is slated to make an appearance in an Steve Carell movie that should be released soon.
Bare Tree Apparel products dress up your average T-shirt for an instantly cool look. If you’re feeling lazy and just want to throw on a hoodie and jeans, Bare Tree shirts add a touch of local hipness to your lazy-day ensembles. If you have a pair of nice pants or a fancy skirt that you want to dress down, tuck in a Bare Tree T-shirt for effortlessly chic style.
After her nine-year career in advertising unexpectedly ended, Natalie Bass fell back on her out-of-this-world creativity and interest in fashion to get her through. She started by screen printing T-shirts, but the passion for DIY fashion quickly evolved once her husband taught her to sew. Pretty soon, Natalie has crafted her signature A-line skirt…and the rest was history. She developed her clothing line, Orangyporangy, six years ago, and just one year ago opened her store front on Monroe Street, Zip-Dang.
Today, you can find Natalie’s popular Orangyporangy skirts on some weekends at the market. Brightly hued and perfectly flowy for summer, her A-line skirts are flattering on every body type and machine washable. Some skirts are made out of vintage fabrics and others are sewn from draperies, tablecloths, and feed sacks that have been cut up and sewn together in interesting ways. They are known for being bright and for containing big, graphic prints. These skirts would look great dressed up with a white button-up and a fancy pair of heels, or dressed down with an old T-shirt and a cute pair of sandals. Natalie also makes tops and just recently developed adorable dresses (with pockets!).
Rosy Hawbaker started her crafty business by creating designs she then embroidered on clothing. Although these pieces were beautiful, Rosy could not offer them to her customers at a price that was fair because of the immense amount of work and time that went into each one. As a result, Rosy taught herself how to silkscreen and now prints her designs on vintage T-shirts and cute skirts. Now she is able to offer her wears to customers at a stylish price through her 4-year-old business, Recreative Crafts.
Rosy’s skirts (made from T-shirts) are the perfect piece for casual activities—from running errands to taking your kids to the park and going shopping—times when you want to be comfortable but cute. Pair them with a plain T-shirt or tank top and your favorite pair of embellished sandals or wedges.
Meanwhile, her tops pair perfectly with jeans and ballet flats for lazy days, but would be equally as fabulous for a run, trip to the gym or yoga class. Who says you can’t stay fashionable when working up a sweat?
Maureen O’Grady has been a craft business owner since 1993. She started out making and selling jewelry, but when a friend suggested she make a switch over to creating T-shirts, Maureen says it “…seemed like a good fit for a gal who has an affinity for words and an even bigger affinity for creating and selling.” She started making her ever-popular hand-dyed and hand-stamped T-shirts and onesies that contain little quips portraying her personality and sense of humor. Her most popular picks boldly declare “radical militant librarian” and “dude. seriously” and onesies that sarcastically say “baby gaga” and “union thug.”
Through the process of producing T-shirts, a few inevitably turned out to be duds. But ever the innovator, Maureen came up with the idea of creating reconstructed skirts from the scraps. She regularly sells these one of a kind skirts now, and they just so happen to be Maureen’s favorite product.
Mojowear T-shirts would look best with a fierce attitude and a cute pair of jeans or yoga pants.