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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Sunday Artisan Market Going Strong After 31 Years

The Sunday Artisan Market has been operating in Ann Arbor for 31 years, where local artists and crafters sell their creations at the weekly outdoor venue, open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., from April until Christmas. Originally, the city managed the market, but the vendors wanted to have more of a say in how things were run. Over the years, they found people willing to assume leadership roles and key positions, and the vendors have been running the market themselves for almost three decades.

      Applicants are screened by an experienced group of jurors for quality and creativity. Most vendors offer affordable and practical creations such as pottery, glass, wood bowls, furniture, birdhouses, clothing, tote bags, purses, jewelry, paintings and drawings, note cards and boxes, candles and more. They attend when their schedules allow, so the list of vendors changes every week.

      At the beginning of the pandemic, the market was shut down by the city. When they had the option of starting back up, most of the board believed it was too soon, because many vendors would not want to participate under the circumstances,  while expenses such as rent, insurance and salaries would not decrease.

            But vendor Jeb Booge, owner of VogueBooge, pressed them to take the chance and open in spite of the odds. Daren Otis says, “After much hand-wringing, we agreed to open and offer our vendors a partial year. As it turned out, we did lose half of our vendors, but we also received many new applications because most craft shows and art fairs had closed and vendors were desperately looking for a place to sell!”

      She shares, “We have kept our venue open with a lot of work by our market Manager Deb Dursi and our committed vendors, many of whom volunteer to do dozens of things. We operate like a co-op in that sense. Some vendors serve on the board of directors. Some help the manager set up tables and signs in the morning. Everyone hands out postcards. If the market is dirty, we sweep. And everyone helps their neighbor when needed. We are gratified to hear frequent comments from vendors that they find the market to be organized, friendly and supportive.”

The Farmers Market Pavilion is located at 315 Detroit St., in Ann Arbor, next to the Kerrytown Shops. For more information, visit