Brentwood’s Premier Makers Market
When Katie Rogina’s parents launched their small business at the end of 2019...
she watched them struggle to break into the market and get their products into the hands of the public. Then when the pandemic hit, it became even more difficult to bring their homegrown dream to fruition. So, Katie began brainstorming ways that she could help her parents, and in that process, a lightbulb went off. “I had an epiphany one day that I should create my own market for small businesses,” said Katie. She started researching different ways that small businesses could gain exposure and she stumbled upon the idea of a makers market. “I learned that makers markets are all over the world, pretty much in every major city you can think of. I thought it would be so cool to bring that artisan component downtown as an amazing addition to the farmer’s market while simultaneously supporting all of the small businesses downtown.” Since foot traffic had drastically decreased during the shutdown, Katie figured that bringing such a platform to Brentwood would be a win for everybody.
Running such a large-scale event was not a new role for Katie. “I’ve hosted a lot of events in my lifetime,” said Katie. “I currently host a nonprofit golf tournament every year for the company I work for. I also used to work for the World Poker Tour, so I traveled all over the world planning events for them. I feel like events are just in my DNA.”
After doing her research and talking with friends in the same line of work, Katie officially launched The Makers Boulevard in May 2021. The Makers Boulevard is hosted the third Saturday of every month, from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., on Oak Street in front of City Park. Vendors range anywhere from home décor to soap makers to jewelry makers to resin artists to macrame to wood workers and everything in between. “As long as they fit the standard of The Makers Boulevard, we will give them a chance,” said Katie. Businesses who are interested can visit their website to fill out an application with information about the business, social media pages, and photos. “Based on how many vendor applications we receive, we narrow it down and try to give each category one or two vendors so that no one area overwhelms the market.” Katie tries to rotate vendors within the same category so that everyone has a chance, and repeat vendors are encouraged to switch out their products to provide shoppers with fresh inventory to choose from.
In addition to the small business vendors, The Makers Boulevard also provides entertainment for the whole family with live music by local artists and live characters for the little ones to visit and take photos with. “What parent doesn’t love to see their child smile?” Depending on the month’s theme, Katie will select a character to match. Previous markets have included a mermaid, Elsa, and August’s western theme included Woody and Jessie from the Toy Story movies.
September’s market has an exciting special surprise character who will be making her debut. “I have lived here for a few years now and I felt that since Brentwood is such a kid and family friendly community, I wanted to give families an outlet to go and support their local businesses while also having fun with each other and with friends in a safe environment.”
Katie’s hope is that families will start to gravitate toward The Makers Boulevard and look forward to it month after month. “Having The Makers Boulevard become a downtown staple is my ultimate goal.” Don’t miss out on the next event on September 18!
Business: The Makers Boulevard
Address: Brentwood, CA 94513
Photos by: Ron Essex Photography & Sara Jean Photograpy