Fourth Friday Art Market
We love craft markets. They offer the chance to find unique items, support local small business and enjoy the outdoors all at the same time. The Leland area is fortunate to have monthly market, now running all year long, that adds supporting charities and enjoying some entertainment to that mix. We spoke to Lauren Singerline, manager of the 4th Friday Act Market, about what sets he market apart and how she manages to create the experience each month.
Can you tell us little about the market, what it is, how it’s different?
The 4th Friday Art Market Leland is an open air market held each 4th Friday of the month from 4 to 8 pm in the parking lot next to Shuckin’ Shack. Thirty local artisans and vendors join to raise funds for local nonprofits, and it’s hosted by Shuckin’ Shack Leland. Each market will highlight a different local charity in need of awareness and exposure. Part of each vendor’s booth fee will be donated to that market’s chosen charity, in addition to taking donations at the event. Customers will enjoy live music (many bring their own chairs), dancing, playing cornhole and other outdoor games on the front lawn. They can eat delicious local seafood at Shuckin’ Shack. And of course they can visit all our different vendors and maybe even meet the folks from the featured charity. The market is continually evolving — for the October 27 market, we had Wilmington Circus perform. Wilmington Circus features partner acrobats, a contortionist, fire eater and juggler, They’re truly Wilmington’s Cirque De Solei!
There are no MLM (multi-level marketing), livestock, or resale vendors at 4th Friday Art Market Leland, or 4FAM as we affectionately call it, which separates this market from some other local farmers markets, flea markets, festivals and craft shows. The market is 30 vendors maximum so this is an intimate open-air market while offering our customers a unique variety of vendors while having the same variety of vendors at larger markets/festivals.
You took over the market from its creator, right? How has jumping in the driver seat been? What you expected, or has it been different from what you thought it would be as a vendor? Did you have experience running markets previously?
Correct. I took over from the previous market manager beginning with July’s market. Before the July market, vendors and customers were already asking what happens after September as there were only three remaining markets scheduled. After speaking with Sarah Lookingbill, owner of Shuckin’ Shack Leland, we decided to continue the 4th Friday Art Markets into the fall with a holiday market on December 8 (weather permitting) for 2023.
This has been a unbelievable whirlwind experience. I most definitely am stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m shy, but this market means more to me than you can dream, and is worth it. It continues to be an incredible experience. It’s absolutely a team effort and I appreciate all of the support of not only Shuckin’ Shack, vendors, other market managers, but also the local community and especially small businesses that allow flyers at their stores.
While I have not had any experience in running markets before this, I have been a vendor for the past five years helping my Mom (Sue’s Jewels, fine and sterling silver jewelry small business, which now includes baby and houseware items) at markets, festivals and stores. So besides being a “pro” vendor-wise, I understood the social media aspect and advertising and promoting of events. I value and appreciate feedback, ideas, advice and help from my vendors as well as the local community to help each market be a success. This learning process has been priceless and I’m looking forward to continuing this as I learn something new every day.
How do you select vendors?
All the vendors are from the greater Wilmington area, with each creating handmade, handcrafted items. There are no MLM, no livestock, no resale or commercial vendors at these events. Vendors are asked to complete an application. While going through them, I’m looking for established vendors who are practiced in doing markets and have an online presence. Vendors that offer unique work while being able to support not only their dreams but their livelihood instead of buying something similar that is mass produced is a key component in selection. While the greater ILM vendor community is quite large, having worked with 4FAM vendors at other markets and them recommending a potential vendor to me is a bonus.
What is the most fun part of working a market? As the organizer and as a vendor?
Without a doubt the vendors, customers, live music and food. Many of us know of/know each other and work as vendors together at other markets/festivals throughout the year. There’s not always time to catch up, so knowing a vendor will be at a market is exciting. Getting the opportunity to say hi and hug before an event begins is always the most magical feeling. We’re all so happy to see one another. Especially when you’ve purchased something from them, it’s been a game changer but you haven’t had the chance to let them know, and need another product. We always tell our customers where we’ll be, and more often than not, your regular customers will stop by not only to see you but to check out the vendors and market as this is their scene.
What has been the biggest challenge?
I’ll take “social media” for $500 Mr. Trebek. Each Facebook group is different, some have event days, others don’t allow events to be shared at all, plus, if you share or like posts too quickly your account will be restricted and then you’ll be finding yourself in Facebook “jail.” I find Instagram to be easier to navigate, although I find myself in Instagram jail too often for my liking. If people are on social media, they tend to be on either Facebook or Instagram while most vendors have accounts on both platforms as well, some have websites, are on Etsy, TikTok and YouTube. Social media is all about likes, clicks, followers; 4th Friday vendors have a wide variety from a few hundred to thousands and tens of thousands of followers. I sincerely appreciate each vendor and them spreading the word about upcoming events whether on social media or at events when talking to not only customers but potential vendors. Leland/Wilmington is a large artistic community with many markets occurring daily/weekly.
There is a market everyday Sunday through Thursday in the greater ILM area with the exception of Friday, and if you’re a vendor looking to add a Friday evening market to your schedule, 4th Friday Art Market Leland (15 minutes away from Wilmington) may be the market for you. Supporting us is free. Every like, interested, share is most appreciated by all and we, as small business owners, are grateful to our community for supporting us.
Quick sidebar Jeff — My Amazon shopping cart of organizational resources for my new Passion Planner is ever growing and my orders (plural) will be a tremendous help for the new year, organizing 4FAM, markets & life. A girl can never have too many stickers, washi tape or colorful highlighters to go with her planner.
Can you tell us about November’s market and the ones coming up next?
First and foremost, supporting us (our dreams/livelihood) is free, please like and follow the FB/IG pages, share the events especially for breaking news about the markets as there is always something new occurring, such as the 4th Friday Art Markets continuing into the fall then a month later becoming a year round market.
Black Friday, November 24, 4pm-8pm, will feature a book signing by Natalie Banks, a local Wilmington best-selling author. I can confirm she will have copies of “The Water is Wide,” which will be my first signed Natalie Banks thriller novel and my new market book. If you’re unable to make Natalie Banks book signing in November, no worries as she’ll be back for 4FAM’s holiday market Friday, December 8, 4pm-8pm. November patrons will also enjoy tarot readings, hand blended tea, jewelry, photography, body products, candles, CBD, clothing, pottery, wreaths, paintings, home decor, plants, wood, resin and glass art, health and wellness vendors, live music by Miles Atlas Band (they’re a spectacular live band, if you can’t make it out to Friday, November 24, 6pm-9pm, follow them on social media) yummy local seafood *cold crab dip*, dancing in this beautiful fall weather and so much more. Paws Place Dog Rescue is Novembers chosen charity.
The vendors change each market so there’s no guarantee that the item a customer fell in love with or that vendor will be at the next market, so they may want to snag it right then and there, in addition to getting all of your Christmas shopping done by supporting local artisans.
The last 4th Friday Art Market Leland of 2023 will be held on Friday, December 8, 4pm-8pm, and it’s a holiday market (weather permitting). December’s chosen charity is A Shelter Friend.
I’m happy to officially announce that the 4th Friday Art Markets will be continuing in 2024 with a slight change for January and February markets. The 4th Friday Art Market Leland will be on the 4th Saturday of the month on January 27 and February 24 1pm-5pm. The 4th Friday Art Market Leland/4FAM will begin at our usual date of the 4th Friday of each month for March to November with a Holiday market in December, all from 4pm-8pm at 1175 Turlington Ave, Leland.
Potential vendors can reach out to me via Facebook Sue’s Jewels our business page, 4th Friday Art Market Leland FB/IG pages or email firstname.lastname@example.org Lauren Singerline is the only contact for this event. Don’t get scammed. Contact me directly.
Please feel free to add anything you’d like to share!
I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Sarah and Mike Lookingbill of Shuckin’ Shack Leland on this most excellent journey, especially with 2023 being my debut as market manager. They have a fantastic restaurant, with local seafood and musical talent, and they employ many locals and support local art. Couldn’t ask for more. Dacia Zimmer with Things To Do In Wilmington has been instrumental with these markets and has been with me since the beginning. Her knowledge, especially concerning social media, has been helpful beyond measure. I appreciate her kindness, advice, patience, support and help more than words can express and she is one the loviest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Arts Council of Wilmington has been another giant supporter of 4th Friday Art Market Leland and I will forever be grateful to them, definitely a page to follow. The Villages at Brunswick Forest, The Leland Cultural Arts Center, local businesses, Miles Atlas Band, Port City Rockers, the local arts community, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and Leland Fire Department (4FAM August 2023), local market managers of Janet of One Love Market and Chris of Pure Markets, Wilmington Circus, all of our charities (Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary, Saving Dogs 4 Betty’s Sake, Bolduc’s Wildlife Rescue), everyone sharing the events, have all been unbelievably helpful and supportive, each proving their hearts overflow with such kindness this world is not worthy of.
If you are interested in having Wilmington Circus perform please contact Emilee at email@example.com