There’s a new pop-up market in town—or rather, an existing market with a new name and refreshed identity. Made By Us is a food-heavy, roaming outdoor market created as a pandemic-friendly way for small businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their wares. It was founded in September 2020 as Night Market Denver by KREAM Kimchi maker Virgil Dickerson, but he recently left the venture after facing assault allegations. The makers, however, are continuing the flourishing pop-up market, rebranding as Made By Us, and bringing their baked goods, sauces, flowers, apparel, gifts, and a slew of other products to hot spots along the Front Range each week.
“We want to leave that stuff in the past and move forward,” says Teagan Glass, owner of streetwear brand Efta and one of the organizers of Made By Us. “The whole idea of Made By Us is in the name—it’s a group of all local, small, independent businesses. We’ve come together and collaborated to really make a market that gives cool, potentially undiscovered vendors a space where they can bring their passions to the people and show the city what they’ve got to offer.”
Made By Us is a win-win-win: Vendors have a safe way to sell their goods, market-goers discover great products, and the market hosts, like Fort Greene, Tessa Delicatessen, and Acreage by Stem Ciders, get more customers during a tough time. At a recent brunch market at Tessa Delicatessen, a selection of 30 vendors set up shop, but Glass says that Made By Us has more than 100 makers on its roster, with 100 more looking to get involved.
Many of the market’s vendors started their brands after being laid off from their regular jobs last year. The market helped get their products in front of hungry Coloradans, introducing the business owners to a new audience and providing much-needed income. “I would say 99 percent of the business I’ve done this year has been through the pop-up markets. It really gives small businesses like myself a valuable and unique platform—to be able to connect with customers in-person in the age of COVID, it’s a very valuable commodity,” Glass says.
Because of Night Market Denver, side hustles like Efta Gram have thrived. So the vendors banded together after Dickerson’s exit to create an even better environment for sellers and shoppers. They will hold two or three markets each weekend, from Fort Collins to the heart of Denver. The next market takes place April 9, 4–9 p.m., at Acreage by Stem Ciders in Lafayette, and April 10, 6–9 p.m., at Fort Greene.
“Our main goal is to assemble a really tight-knit community of local businesses, as well as with our customers. We want to grow into one of the things to come see and do in Denver. To provide a space where people can come and find their new favorite products, whether it’s food, clothing, candles, incense, or bath bombs. We just want to bring everyone’s passion projects to the people,” Glass says.
Who is Made By Us? Here’s a sampling of the pop-up market’s vendors:
AmaDa Artesania handmade accessories from Mexico
Black + Blossomed flowers
The Boozy Botanist bitters and potions
Dead Veggies Kimchi
The Easy Vegan
Kids Table vegan macs
Loverboy Fine Chocolate
Matchasanya hand-whisked matcha concentrates
Moon Raccoon Baking Co.
Not Yo Mama’s Cupcakes
Terra Apothecary all-natural products
Velvet Roots Apothecary wild botanical and CBD products
Yummy Lotus gourmet pepper jams