Vendors, collectors, makers and artists came together on March 25 at the Hippodrome Theater in Jackson Ward to sell products and network with the ultimate goal of raising money for the VCU Massey Cancer Center.
The Vintage for Lovers Market attracted those looking to shop, sell products, establish an in-person presence and make connections.
Inspired by a similar event held in the same place several years ago, Nicole Kappatos — owner of Blue House RVA, an online clothing boutique — coordinated the event with the help of her husband, family and friends.
“It is bringing people together in a historic place that’s important to Richmond’s history to sell their goods and support their small businesses and for a good cause,” Kappatos said. “You walk through the door and you’ve done something good, even if you don’t buy anything and it’s exposure for anyone who makes, sells and curates these amazing things.”
The event was promoted through Facebook and Instagram but grew a substantial and unexpected crowd, according to many vendors involved.
“This blew up on its own,” Kappatos said. “I made a Facebook group and it just grew exponentially.”
Kappatos reached out to some of the participating vendors and others reached out to her. Many of the vendors only have an online presence, so the event was an opportunity for their products to be seen in person and for the businesses to gain exposure.
“I’m finding homes for these treasures,” said Kerensa Davenport, owner of Witch School Vintage. “I’m a treasure hunter. That’s my passion.”
The Hippodrome Theater’s history makes it the perfect venue to sell vintage products. The owner of the theater, Ronald Stallings, has a daughter who participated in the event as a vendor of Floral and Funk Vintage.
“It’s a big part of Richmond’s African-American history,” Kappatos said. “This is where jazz happened. Billie Holiday performed on this stage.”
The venue was filled with décor, accessories, vintage clothing, embroidery, trinkets and other goods. A photo booth and bar were also available to visitors.
“I think it’s a collaboration of different talents, different creativities, different times in our world. I love to see what others are bringing to the table,” said Nicki Metcalf, an artist and vendor at the event. “Richmond needs more of this.”
Kappatos said she will host a similar event in the late summer or early fall with more people involved and another cause to donate to.
Alexandra Zernik Contributing Writer