New flea market for artists in Chelsea

Independent artists and designers have a new place to showcase and sell their work.

Independent artists and designers have a new place to showcase and sell their work in Manhattan.

Artists & Fleas, a marketplace for art and design products, signed a five-year lease in Chelsea Market and opened there April 1. The business has had a space in Williamsburg for 10 years, and wanted to expand its services, co-founder Amy Abrams said.

The idea is to provide a space to sell products for designers who cannot afford their own store or aren’t keen on handling the responsibility. Instead, they can pay rent on a spot in Artists & Fleas and work together with the other designers in the store to market their products. There are currently 30 vendors in the nearly 5,000 square-foot Chelsea Market location at 75 Ninth Ave., and 50 in Williamsburg.

“We’re a marketplace for all these artists and designers to come and showcase their work and come together in one space,” she said.

And it benefits shoppers too.

“It’s very enticing to go to a shopping environment that has many different vendors, many different products and the fact that they’re handmade or designed by the people who are there is very exciting,” she said.

Rebecca Stern of Stern Design Works, a jewelry company she founded seven years ago that is based out of a studio in Red Hook, rents space in both the Williamsburg and Chelsea locations. She said she chose to expand to Chelsea because unlike the Williamsburg location, which is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, the space in Manhattan is open seven days a week.

“It was the first place that we could put our work out there and have a really good reception from the public and get feedback,” said Stern, who lives in Washington Heights.

Artists & Fleas helped grow her business, including hiring two new employees for the Chelsea location.

Stern said she also benefits from working with so many other vendors.

“It’s a great community,” Stern said. “I’m friends with all the vendors that are there.”

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Heather Senison