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HomeBusinessBrimson Market: 29(ish) Years of Fare, Fun, and Friends

Brimson Market: 29(ish) Years of Fare, Fun, and Friends

The drizzle and the bugs may have kept some Brimson Market shoppers home on Sat­urday, but all the vendors were still in a good mood. They are a bit of a family, using some of the slow time to connect with each oth­er and exchange goods. There is some gen­tle teasing as the organizer of the event, Jan Ringer, goes around collecting the $10 fee from each stand. “Here to collect the bill!”

That’s all it takes to set up a spot in Hugo’s Bar parking lot every Saturday this summer from now up to Labor Day from 9 AM-12 PM. This is a change from previous years when the market was only open from the first Saturday in July to the first Saturday in September. It is a welcome updated schedule for those who sell produce and will allow for more seasonal goods to be available on top of all the other array of treasures anyone can swoop up.

The lower turn out does not worry Jan and her friend who told me that a lot of patrons are from out of town and visit their local cab­ins at various points in the summer. The place will be filling up with more stands and mu­sic. This weekend, the Two Harbors Ukelele Group, aka THUG, will be performing from 10 AM-12 PM. I am told they are a lot of fun and they sure sound like it!

The Brimson Market has been around for quite a while, so long that the organizer and one of the longtime vendors cannot remem­ber if it has been fifteen or twenty years. (Jan later emailed me after reaching out to one of the original organizers. It began as early as 1994!) It used to be held at the Brimson Firehall. Moving to Hugo’s Bar was a smart move, according to Jan. “There is more space, and our customers are their customers, and their customers are our customers.

I mentioned earlier that there is a wide range of treasures one can find at the market. It has a broader myriad of goods than what I would consider a standard farmer’s market. You can find food of all kinds, cards, wooden art, soaps, natural products, and good deals on all sorts of items. Everyone is welcome to sell their wares.

At one of the best smelling stands I have ever been at in my life, Jolene Eller, sells natural products and fresh bakery items (her grandmother’s recipes and made with eggs from her own chickens.) Jolene is a school­teacher in Hibbing and, with summers off, she has been able to set up at the Brimson Market for the last five years. “Everyone is friendly and kind,” she says of the atmosphere. I can tell you, this includes Jolene.

She began making natural soaps for her family members who were suffering from psoriasis. It worked so well, they began giv­ing it away to others with the same skin con­dition. Prompted by the desire to help, she expanded her products and she began to sell locally, as well as on her website, www.es­sentiallyjo.com.

Another vendor, Tom Thompson, has been selling his photography at the market since it was held at the firehall. Most of his stun­ning photographs are of local flora and fau­na, and come in prints, cards, and canvas. He calls himself an ‘Opportunist Photogra­pher’ and always keeps his camera close by. “How many times do you hear someone say they wish they would’ve had a camera?” he laughs. Looking at his pictures, I am blown away by his talent and also what he has been able to magically capture around the area. He urges everyone to “come and check us out.” I urge you to spend some time at his booth, it is a great reminder to keep your eyes open and appreciate all the beauty around us.

Howard Zimmer, of Pierced Wood, was happy to explain to me how he makes his scroll sawed artwork. He showed me a pat­tern and explained how a scroll saw works, in a way, like a sewing machine. I mention it must take a lot of patience. He agrees but laughs “some might say I don’t have much of that.” It is his third time selling his art at the market. His 43 years of woodworking experi­ence is demonstrated in a wide range of intri­cate and beautiful items. It would be easy to pick out the perfect gift for a special person in your life. There are pieces especially for teachers, some with happy anniversary wish­es, and various scrolled crosses, amongst many more designs to take home.

One of the most interesting booths at the event was manned by two young gentlemen selling, what I quickly told them was, a ge­nius product. They are new to the market, but they have also only been in business for about a month. The product they are peddling can be gleaned from the name of their bud­ding company: Stitched Apparel and Graph­ics. They began making shirts in high school out of a garage and found that “people need stuff made.”

The embroidered sweatshirts the young entrepreneurs had on display were not some­thing you would find just anywhere. They are tailored to lake lovers.

Each shirt had threaded outlines of local (I mean VERY local) lakes, within which there is an image of a cabin on the lake with a sun shining above it. Imagine showing off a sweatshirt naming the lake you grew up on, or went fishing a million times, or you visited on vacation, or you still swim in today. Isaac Swanson and Ryder McMillen use Google Maps to make their custom designs and they are getting the word out, so far, going door to door.

They have been enjoying their new career so far. Aside from making products people love, part of what they appreciate is the so­cial aspect. “Just talking to people, it’s fun.” These Silver Bay natives will be back next weekend and look forward to hearing about your favorite lakes. “Where’s Pequaywan?” I heard a potential customer ask as I got out of the way of them conducting business.

I echo what Jolene said about the vendors and the people I talked to when I wandered around the market. Everyone is friendly and kind. Just by stopping at a booth and saying hi will earn you a free smile. When I intro­duced myself, my interviewees turned into interviewers. They were interested in me, as much as I was them, which speaks volumes to the welcoming nature of this community.

I had a blast at the Brimson Market and plan to visit as much as I am able throughout the summer. If you are interested in being a vendor, or have questions, please contact Jan Ringer at jringer@frontiernet.net.

Feel free to reach out to sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com  with any news we should news about!

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