by Paula M. Riley
Clover Market, an outdoor vendor marketplace, comes to Chestnut Hill on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. on West Highland Avenue. With more than 100 independent artists and dealers exhibiting, the market features a huge variety of antique, handmade and vintage crafts, furniture, fabrics, jewelry and designs.
This is Clover Market’s inaugural showcase in Chestnut Hill, though it is very popular in Ardmore, growing from 30 to more than 100 vendors, in just four years.
“Clover Market has been incredibly successful in Ardmore and now there is a huge following of shoppers who will come to Chestnut Hill just for the market,” said Chestnut Hill Retail Recruiter Laurie Wightman. “As they do in Ardmore, the majority of these shoppers will stay in the area for a meal or to shop at other stores.”
When Clover Market owner Janet Long approached Wightman initially, Long explained that a busy and thriving business district is an important element of the market’s success.
“Our clients love the experience of being exposed to new artists and businesses,” she said. “This is why they come to Clover Market. I am sure they will appreciate the shops along the Avenue as much as they enjoy the collections of artisans at Clover.”
Having so many vendors in one location is a key element of Clover Market’s roots. When Janet Long was an interior designer she spent many days hunting. Running from shop to shop, trying to find unique and interesting accessories, artwork, and vintage products for her clients was time consuming and exhausting. She started Clover Market so that interior designers, homeowners and any shopper could enjoy a variety of price points, styles, and merchandise in one location.
Long stresses that hers is not a flea market but a collection of quality merchandise from established and reputable vendors. Exhibiting at Clover Market requires much more than renting a booth. Vendors must apply every season to participate in the market. Long evaluates their products, considers styles and trends and puts great emphasis on presentation.
“I want quality vendors who put exceptional care into putting together their displays from price tags to tablecloths,” Long said. “This is not about scattered merchandise on a table. We want to create a meaningful customer experience at every single booth.”
She equates the market to a tightly juried craft show but is careful not to give out any awards. Long declines the invitation to pick a favorite vendor or even to select one or two to highlight in this story. Rather, she invites attendees to her website or Facebook for a complete listing. There, guests will find many pictures of the merchandise, including images of picture frames from Olde Good Things, metal bracelets by Gypsy Fish and cute colorful dolls by Tadpole Creations.
In addition to the merchandise at the market, there will be free kids’ crafts activities provided by Sweet Mabel Folk Art & Fine Craft, as well as another pumpkin craft.
Children are encouraged to come to Chestnut Hill in costume and participate in the Halloween Parade, which begins at 1 p.m. at o’doodles toy store and passes through the Clover Market. The parade returns to o’doodles, and children are invited to trick-or-treat at shops on the Avenue.
Wightman hopes that this Sunday is a busy day on the Avenue with shoppers, families and activity. She sees this as another important event for the business corridor.
“This marketplace is one of the many steps the Chestnut Hill Business Improvement District (CHBID) and the Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation take to heighten the awareness of Chestnut Hill and to bring people into our community,” Wightman said.
The market is held rain or shine, 10-5 p.m.