Pop-up Marketplace Taking On Amazon

By Tatiana Belanich

As online retailers, led by Amazon, continue to snare a larger share of the market, a group of local artisans is fighting back.

The Pagio Marketplace, started by Cold Spring Harbor-based jewelry designer Paola Giordano, is a twice-monthly pop-up that gives local artisans a place to sell their goods, while giving buyers an opportunity to buy unique items and meet the artisans that made them.

“Everything here is one-of-a-kind, unique and it’s all made with love,” Giordano, the artist and designer behind Pagio Jewelry Designs, said. “Everything is handmade by the artist that’s exhibiting.”

Giordano staged the sixth installment of the pop-up marketplace on July 26 at the Conklin Barn in Huntington Village. The market features Long Island-based fine craft artisans.
“We are trying to get back to one-hundred percent handmade, quality craftsmanship,” she said.

The market is complete with art, food and live music. At its busiest, it has reached around 100 people, Giordano said. She has seen repeat customers and the feedback has been positive. “People want to see something like this in the community because there really isn’t anything that’s offering this kind of market,” she said.

Giordano hopes to challenge the current online-shopping culture which prevents genuine interaction and relationship. “This forces people to come out, be social, to engage with the artist who’s making it and there’s pride behind it,” Giordano said. “We are hoping to engage people and share with them what our passion is because everyone here is a professional artist.”

The market offers a variety of high-quality vendors that take great pride in their craft. Participating vendors are usually constant, but occasionally rotate. Among the Long Island-based vendors were several from the Town of Huntington.

Dix Hills potter Beth Steinzor said she has enjoyed getting her art out and meeting people from the community. All of her pieces are functional and oven-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

Jeanne Purpura, the owner of the Sugar Rush Bake Shop in Centerport, noted that people buying her baked goods were supporting local farmers as well. She supports the local growers by buying what’s in season for her sweet treats.

“This is a unique market,” she said. “I think it’s very special.”

Tiana Le from Commack is the owner of Le Fusion which sells handmade, all-natural, artisanal spring rolls. “I signed up because I think this is a great neighborhood,” she said. “I think the more that we are here, especially around the holidays, it will definitely pick up.”

The market also featured vendors selling organic soap, custom woodwork designs, handmade vintage-looking dolls, and handmade handbags.

Giordano wants the market to thrive. “This country is based on small businesses and people taking the leaps of faith and the chances in themselves and investing and trying to make things grow,” she said. “It’s about supporting the community and supporting small businesses instead of everything being run and taken over by Amazon.”

The Pagio Marketplace plans six more dates this year: August 9 and 23; September 6 and 20; and October 11 and 25. It takes place 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Conklin Barn, New York Ave. and High St., Huntington village. For more information visit Pagio.biz/pagio marketplace.