Mark your calendars! On October 13th & 27th, a girl-powered market is taking Gowanus. Around 30 independent designers and food makers, mostly local, will be selling their goods rain or shine at the Gowanus Girls pop-up market. This is like my Disneyland.
During both market days, funds will be raised to support the revitalization of the Gowanus Canal. Another perk? There will be kids activities to keep the little ones busy.
The market is organized by Melissa Coburn & Samantha Razook Murphy, the women behind Gowanus-based Curious Jane, a summer camp and after-school program for girls focused on design and creativity.
We chatted with them about how their market integrates their work with Curious Jane with their love for their creative, steadily changing neighborhood.
How long has Curious Jane been around?
We just finished our fourth summer of camp, and we run after-school programs, too. Samantha, our founder, has two daughters and is trained in industrial designer herself; she felt there was a need for programs focused on design and creativity in an all-girls setting so she created one – and it’s been a great success. Amazing! Families really love what we’re doing, and the programs attract super-talented instructors, too.
How did you guys come up with the idea for the market?
Two things – our all-girls focus and our love of the neighborhood where our business offices are. We run our camps out of schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan and other cities, but our business office is in Gowanus – and we’ve been enjoying the mix of creative types and other new businesses to the ‘hood. There’s a great energy here! And we thought the place, ideally located between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, could use a market of its own. So we had the market idea first and then thought, how can we make it right for Curious Jane? (We’re always looking for fun ways to extend the brand and create new offerings for our families.)
That’s where the all-girls / all-lady designers bent came from. Plus, of course, the focus on design and creativity – so all-new creations (food and goods) in a special setting.
You will be raising funds to support the revitalization of the Gowanus canal. What is being done right now? Have you seen any progress recently?
The Gowanus Canal Conservancy, for which we will be raising funds, is doing great environmental work to clean up the area – they compost, plant gardens, give away trees and work to educate people about how to ease pollution. The Gowanus Alliance is a new organization focused on bringing new businesses and responsible development to the neighborhood. We’re just learning about things now ourselves! But again, the possibility for change and growth – that’s part of what you can feel here.
What are some of your favorite spots in the neighborhood?
The Gowanus Girls design & food market will be open 12pm to sunset on October 13th & 27th, rain or shine, at Gowanus Grove (400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins).