Husband and wife duo David and Beth Millis have both worked in retail for years, but the opening of The Maker’s Market this month marks the start of owning their own store.
After selling quilts in a store similar to The Maker’s Market, Beth Millis was inspired to open the store in Tuscaloosa with her husband, noting the absence of a retailer for handmade items.
“With the art community in Tuscaloosa, this is something that we need here,” Beth Millis said. “There are a lot of people who do this stuff that don’t have an outlet, or they have to wait until around the holidays. With this, they can do it year round.”
The Maker’s Market will host a variety of different sellers, from quilt makers to artists to duck call crafters.
“We have lots of quilts and quilted items, people that make things with fabric. We have a soap seller, and we have a lady who is a weaver and makes beautiful weaved art. We have a gentleman who makes hand turned wooden duck calls and deer grunt call type things,” Beth Millis said.
Beth and David Millis will host anywhere from 75 to 100 sellers at a time and have already rented out a third of those spaces for the first The Maker’s Market. The only requirement for leasing a six-month space in The Maker’s Market is that all items must be handmade.
“The products must be handmade by the person selling the booth, and we encourage people to make it like their own business,” Beth Millis said.
After renting out a space, sellers can come and design their area however they wish. Beth Millis said she wants them to be able to create their own atmosphere in their mini-shop so their store can represent them as a seller.
“They make it their own. It’s their space. We want it to look like them,” she said. “We don’t want it to all look the same.”
Amy Grimes, artist and owner of AG Designs, said she is excited to participate as a seller in the first round of The Maker’s Market. Grimes is a multimedia artist, and her works include anything from painting with wax to creating dolls. She has hosted her shop in similar venues before but said The Maker’s Market stands out from the rest in how they take care of the sellers.
“To me, this is absolutely marvelous,” Grimes said.
Beth and David Millis said customers can expect a Monday through Saturday type of schedule, with hours around 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They will be adjusting their business schedule as needed to coordinate with Tuscaloosa events, such as gamedays.
“On gamedays, we will probably close earlier,” David said.
With sellers still moving in, Beth said she is pleased by the variety of items up for sale.
“I would like to be known to be a place where people can find something unique that they can’t find anywhere else,” Beth said.
The Maker’s Market is located at 401 22nd Avenue in Tuscaloosa. They will have their grand opening Friday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. For more information, follow The Maker’s Market on Facebook, find them on Twitter at @MMinTuscaloosa, or contact the store at 205-561-6666.