Savvy shoppers know the Riverside Arts Market is a great place to buy fresh local fruits and vegetables. They also know the weekly Saturday market held under the Fuller Warren Bridge is a fun place to shop for locally made beauty and fashion products.
These four creative regular RAM vendors specialize in unique handcrafted goods that they make themselves at home.
BELLA LINA BATH
Ewing specializes in bath and beauty products for sensitive skin, and makes everything herself in her home with all natural ingredients. She believes in using unusual and funky substances in her wide range of soaps, with the motto “just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it has to be boring.” That includes oatmeal, milk, honey, raspberries and lavender, as well as charcoal and beer.
“Charcoal is good for acne,” she told a customer recently. “It pulls everything out. It’s also like an eraser that keeps you from getting blemishes.”
As for beer, she likes to use Intuition, Guinness and Sweetwater.
She packages her bars of soap in recyclable paper and coffee filters. The bars of soap sell for $6 each, or four for $20. She also sells bath bombs, lotions, body butter and scrubs.
Dickens makes beaded jewelry and accessories using beaded crochet methods popular in the 1920s and 30s. She also incorporates vintage buttons and charms in her creations. “It’s a lot of mixing old with new,” said Dickens, who learned sewing from her grandmother.
A beaded necklace with buttons: $35; earrings range from $6 to $12.
Sally Ann Keiser
It’s hard to miss Keiser at RAM – she sells a wide variety of eclectic handmade clothing and accessories out of her “mobile boutique” – a renovated 1973 Shasta Compact 10-foot travel trailer named “Shelby.”
Everything is handmade from recycled materials, and she makes everything herself.
“I have four sewing machines, and if I’m not at a market selling I’m usually at home sewing,” Keiser said.
Her products include handbags, scarves, hand-silkscreened T-shirts, headbands, skirts and blouses. All her fabrics are recycled from vintage clothing, and so are the zippers and clasps. Nothing is new, and nothing is wasted – she makes bows with excess fabric.
“Everything has a story behind it from its previous use,” she said. Purses range in price from $45 to $75; scarves are $19 to $24; and headbands are $4 each, or three for $10.
Kneale specializes in hand embroidered creations “to wear, use and love.” Products include pendant necklaces, wool felt wallets, dolls and handbags. Necklaces are $20; flower-shape earrings made from resin are $4 to $6; and resin rings are $5.