AP NEWS

Gypsy Soul market offers good, positive vibes in vendor items

April 7, 2019

If you wanted to represent Gypsy Soul Vintage Market with just one item, you might choose a yellow T-shirt with the words: “Pick flowers not fights.”

If that’s not your style, you could choose a macrame plant hanger, wind chimes or a metal rooster. So. Many. Metal. Roosters.

The third annual market, organized by Sara Belcher, includes more than 130 vendors selling those items and many, many more. The two-day event continues today at The Plex off California Road, near Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Gypsy Soul Boutique is the name of Belcher’s jewelry business, which is found on Facebook and in a storefront in Columbia City, where she shares space with her husband’s cellphone and computer repair business.

The annual event averages 4,000 to 5,000 visitors, and Saturday’s attendance was on pace to match that number, she said.

“We’re all about that Gypsy Soul state of mind : good, positive vibes,” Belcher said. “That’s what you feel when you walk into these markets.”

Belcher organizes four or five markets each year at venues in northeast Indiana and southeast Michigan. She matches the vendor mix to each area’s interests. Local shoppers are less interested in antiques than consumers in some other locations, she said. Instead, furniture and fashion are in high demand.

Each vendor application is reviewed and must include photos of the merchandise to ensure only quality items are offered. This isn’t the place to dump the leftovers from your Marie Kondo phase.

Marty Kermeen said customer traffic was steady at the Rustic Love booth on Saturday. He and his wife, Sharon Kermeen, sell rustic farmhouse decor, including candlesticks, lanterns and wine bottle racks.

This is the Michigan couple’s first year participating in the event, which he described as offering a good mix of items.

Christi Roach was a satisfied customer. The back of her SUV was packed with purchases as she prepared to leave.

“We got lots of cool, homemade signs and vintage stuff,” the Fort Wayne woman said. “I bought a lot of clothes, too.”

Ella, her 13-year-old daughter, scored a plant, a pink sweatshirt and some candles, including one strawberry-and-champagne scented.

“It’s really soft,” Ella said of the sweatshirt, which bore the Gypsy Soul logo.

Roach, who sells repurposed furniture, said this was the first year she came to the market strictly to shop rather than participating as a vendor.

Angie Buchs, Roach’s sister, added her loot : including plant stands and pillows : to the SUV.

“I’m a sucker for wall signs,” she admitted.

Becky Schmidt was toting a small shopping bag as she left the marketplace, which included about a dozen outdoor vendors.

“It was a nice mix of things,” the Fort Wayne woman said. “It was our first time here, so we didn’t know what to expect.” 

Schmidt found a Mother’s Day gift inside.

“It’s nice,” she said, “to support local things.”

sslater@jg.net