Meet the British expat evolving our local land of secondhand.
July 19, 2022
6:12 AM
Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Vintage Market
Born and raised in London, with its legendary street and flea markets, Hayley Matthews-Jones views shopping secondhand as a way of life. After landing in Minneapolis in 2008, Matthews-Jones sought out local craft fairs, events, and farmers’ markets, “but there wasn’t a regular market that gave artists and makers an outlet on a more frequent, low-cost basis,” she says. That realization sparked Minneapolis Craft Market, a pop-up-style marketplace Matthews-Jones established in 2015, designed to connect the public with local talent. Launched around the same time the hopping brewery scene was gaining traction, her craft market popped up at local breweries. The taprooms had big spaces but needed people, and she had the shoppers but needed the spaces—it was the perfect pairing.
Our cities have a long history of makers and consumers who have supported local, but a new generation was growing more conscious about who made their products and how it was done, which inspired the organization’s tagline, “Meet Your Maker.” Matthews-Jones adds, “The storytelling piece was always at the root of the mission.”
Under the craft market moniker, Matthews-Jones tested a handful of vintage-centric events. Each month, she drew bigger crowds, and eventually, a spin-off, Minneapolis Vintage Market, was born. Jump to 2022, and she’s outgrown some of the original venues and now brings together more than 50 vendors in places like the Machine Shop in the St. Anthony neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis.
The market is low cost and low risk—all local purveyors need to do is pay a booth fee. And in terms of building an audience, figuring out what sells, or simply testing  out the retail waters, these opportunities seem like a no-brainer. “For some, I consider it a bridge step between hosting an Instagram story sale and committing to a brick and mortar,” says Matthews-Jones.
Shopping secondhand and shifting away from fast fashion are certainly trends we’re seeing explode on a macro scale, but Matthews-Jones can attest to the booming local scene. “We’re a ‘big small city’ with a community feel, and that’s what’s helped this grow at the rate it has. Twin Citians seem a lot more conscious of the impact our purchasing power has compared to others.”
She attributes much of the success to the collectors, like market regulars Molli Slade (Glam Diggers Vintage), Brittany Best (Wanderer Traveling Boutique), and Kenny Washington (Black Nvni). “It’s more than just the amazing pieces they sell—many of them act as stewards of history and do a really great job of telling stories of where and who the pieces actually come from.”
Take Jessie Witte of AudreyRose Vintage, another market OG who, despite operating a standalone shop in Powderhorn, leans on the market to connect with prospective brand fans. “Hayley is planning so many cool event-style vintage markets. I think we’re going to see people come in from out of state,” says Witte.
When scouring estate sales for treasure, Witte prioritizes researching the lives of those she’s buying from. Sometimes, she’ll even create tags with previous owners’ photos. “It gives a piece more purpose and meaning—it feels like more than just retail.”
Dip your toes into the local vintage pool with the impressive summer lineup on deck, including a Vintage and Vinyl Market at the annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival, a two-day Vintage at the Ballpark event at CHS field, and monthly markets at Sociable Cider Werks and Utepils Brewing., @mpls vintagemkt 
As Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Trend & Style editor, Madeline Nachbar draws on her passion for travel, fashion and the arts to keep a close pulse on what the next big trends are, and excels at creating visually-compelling content that inspires.
July 19, 2022
6:12 AM
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