Looking Back on Ten Years of Rust Belt Market Memories
(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 28, 2021)
Ferndale, MI – When Tiffany and Chris Best opened the Rust Belt Market on May 7, 2011 they had nothing but optimism for the future and love for their local artist and maker friends who would be part of their grand experiment to turn a long-shuttered Gap/Old Navy outlet store on the corner of 9 Mile and Woodward into one of the most creative hot spots in Oakland County. As they celebrate their ten year anniversary in the middle of a pandemic, there is a bit more challenge and stress, but the good #FerndaleNormal vibes continue with a weekend celebration May 8 and 9.
Owners Chris and Tiffany Best came up with the idea after visiting Artists and Fleas in New York. “It’s like a flea market, except when you think of a flea market you think of a bunch of old stuff,” said Chris Best back in 2011. “This will be more fun, like an art festival but inside.”
There are dozens of vendors with posters, paintings, stickers, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, vintage items, gifts, and more!
Rust Belt is known for having been the starting point for several successful small businesses that have grown beyond their booths in the market. Hudson Industrial Furnishings, Detroit Surf Company, Rock City Eatery, and The Great Lakes State/Ink Detroit all were part of the Rust Belt family before their expansions.
This reclaimed big box retail space has also been a community hub, hosting events from the annual State of the City Address, to informational community meetings, to fun fundraisers.
“It’s been 10 years of building community, 10 years of helping creative entrepreneurs get a start, 10 years of being a shopping destination unlike any other in Michigan,” Chris said.
“We have decided to have a small celebration in our back yard to mark a decade of “the roller coaster of love” that is small business ownership,” Best said. “Magic was in the air May 7, 2011, as The Rust Belt Market opened its doors with a unique retail vision in an uncertain time. Through the years we’ve evolved and grown together. As with so many, this past year has tested our resolve. It’s been the loyalty and support of you, our fans, customers, and community members, voting with your dollars and supporting micro retailers, that has reaffirmed to each of us just how special The Rust Belt is.
“Join us May 8th and 9th 2021, as we celebrate you, our loyal patrons. We celebrate us, a group of hard working entrepreneurs hanging out at the intersection of business and creativity. We celebrate all of us humans together as a community making something very unique and special these last 10 years.”
Learn more about the Rust Belt Market at http://www.rustbeltmarket.com.