Pop-Up Market Popularity

Jamie and Jason Brown are full-time working parents. When suddenly confronted with the possibility of transitioning to a one-income household, the couple began evaluating new business ventures that fit within their lifestyle. They needed something that didn’t require a lot of capital outlay and time. The success of the Brooklyn Flea in New York provided inspiration, and from that, the Pop-Up Market was born. 

Using her public relations expertise, Jamie sought to market the market, while Jason focused on logistics. Neither have a background in art. “Thankfully, we have the same taste,” said Jamie. They agreed that all items sold at the market must be handmade or vintage.

In the early morning hours on Aug. 10, some 35 vendors will set up carefully curated booths on Magnolia Green in the Near Southside. Jamie is especially enthusiastic about showcasing diverse artwork that is often hard to find. Margo Stamp is one such artist. We caught up with the Arlington native who will paint the smile right off your face.

When did you consider a career as a professional artist?  I’ve always been into art, but I thought I should go to college and become a secretary. I met my husband at 21. I struggled with college and jobs. At 27, my husband bought me my first set of oils and canvas. He told me to work it out. I did and thought, ‘This is awesome!’ It’s easy. I love it. It was just like doors flew open and birds were singing. It was a great moment. This might be me. I began painting for myself.

Tell me why you don’t paint smiles in your portraits.  I really don’t like smiles. Smiles hide the truth to me. The smirk or a flat face tells a lot, like something’s going on in there. You can’t trust a smile.

Where do you find inspiration?  I lived in Seattle for five years and used to go dumpster diving. I would take morning walks down the alleys and find the best stuff. Here, I tend to go to vintage shops for inspiration because of the colors and shapes. They just don’t make things like they used to. Vintage has nice edges. Nice color.

What do you think of the pop-up market concept?  I didn’t realize until my first full-blown weekend show how much blood, sweat and tears go into setting up a booth. I really like the market. Fine art shows are very restricting. The market is what you make it. It’s your own little world. It’s fun. I get to be creative again. Fine art and craft are two different worlds. I don’t like those categories. The market allows everybody to be who they are.