Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Hein. She and her team share their story with us below:
Feminist Magic Market has been a collaborative effort between 3 women-owned small businesses over the past 4 years. In 2018 the women of Itinerant Literate Books in Park Circle (Julia + Christen), reached out to Gabryel of Just a Phase Boutique with an idea for a backyard makers market. Gabryel brought Danielle from Earth Goddess Botanicals onboard, and together they began organizing a small night market in the backyard of the bookstore.
In the beginning, the market hosted 12-15 vendors at a monthly night market, falling during the full moon each month, and was called Books and Brouhaha. It was always a fun and magical experience, but we didn’t completely feel like we were reaching our full potential or encapsulating the vision we were going for.
In May of 2019, we rebranded ourselves as Feminist Magic Market and focused on three simple principles: Shop Small. Support Local. Give Back. Since our rebrand, the market has expanded exponentially and we have raised money and/or physical donations for 13 non-profits including Lowcountry Period Project, We Are Family Charleston, AFFA, My Sister’s House, Eunoia Rescue, Black Lives Matter, and ACLU SC.
What started as 12 makers in the backyard, has turned into a street market on Chateau Ave. Featuring over 80 local vendors, food trucks, donation-based pre-market yoga, interactive art installations, watercolor workshops, and so much more! We aim to provide a safe and inclusive space for all to come and spread a little magic!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Nothing great ever comes easy, and there have definitely been some hiccups along the way, but they also helped us become a much stronger community of makers and local supporters, alike. When COVID hit we had to cancel markets and postpone in-person Feminist Magic indefinitely.
As a small business owner myself, I knew this would take a huge toll on so many of us, and so I decided to make Feminist Magic a virtual market. All makers were welcome to join, and share their goods. I created a one-stop FMM shop through our market website. When quarantine ended, and we were officially able to go back to in-person events, a fire was lit in all of us.
We had missed being able to share our goods with the community and celebrate the magic of local artisans. We started including more vendors and making more space to do bigger and better things. In December of 2021, we officially expanded our market to include a block of Chateau Avenue in Park Circle, right outside of the bookstore.
The market was such a huge success, that I knew I wanted to be able to do more. So, I reached out to the city and got approval to expand it to yet another block- which is how we are now able to feature 90 local vendors, including multiple food + beverage trucks, mobile vendors, and all the other fun surprises we throw into every market.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
There are so many incredible markets in the Charleston area, and Feminist Magic was inspired by the wonderful community of local makers and small business owners. I think what sets Feminist Magic apart from others is our inclusion of a Give Back mission in every market- it gets people excited to be involved in something bigger than themselves, and it always feels good to do something good for others.
And, honestly, the vibe. I don’t know what it is, but the energy at a Feminist Magic Market is truly unmatched. I think it comes from a combination of curation of amazing local talent, the people of Park Circle, and a killer playlist (usually provided by Kyle Whitcroft- DJ Hey DJ of Orangebox Events, when he’s available).
We also have interactive experiences at nearly every market. For our Galentine’s Market, we had two giant whiteboards propped up, with two simple words painted at the top: I AM. We put a bucket of paint markers next to them, and by the end of the day, they were full of empowering and inspiring words people used to describe themselves. It was a beautiful thing to witness.
During International Women’s Month, we had people send us photos and little blurbs about inspiring women in their life (whether they knew them or not). I received so many submissions about mothers, grandmas, sisters, aunts, celebrities, historical figures, etc. I took those photos and created a collage of these incredible women.
In the middle was a board full of letters about each of these women, and the opportunity for people to write their own letters to the women in their life. To say I didn’t tear up while putting that together would be a lie. Just pure magic.
Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
This community: the artists, makers, self-starters, the locals, the support, the camaraderie. All of it is just MAGIC.
PLUS the fact that we get to keep on bringing the magic! Our last two markets of 2022 are on Saturday, September 24th + Small Business Saturday. November 26th from 11-3 pm.
- Website: feministmagicmarket.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/feministmagicmarket
- Facebook: Facebook.com/feministmagicmarket
Rebekah Boss (rbossmedia)