Fetching Market returns to Ford Hangar

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By Carrie Steinweg
fetching market
Shoppers peruse handmade pillows at the Made Sew Happy booth at Fetching Market on Friday night. (Photo: Carrie Steinweg)

LANSING, Ill. (September 12, 2021) – It’s been a long time since the historic Ford Hangar was filled with people. The pandemic put a halt to large gatherings in Illinois, and Fetching Market’s Signature Market at the Hangar had to be canceled in 2020. Friday and Saturday it returned for two days of shopping, entertainment, creative workshops, and gourmet food and beverages.

Last year’s shutdowns were particularly hard on those who work in managing and coordinating events as well as artisans who depend on such events as an outlet to sell their work.

“The pandemic has wreaked havoc for me as a market promoter and on the vendors,” said Pam Dennis, founder of Fetching Market. “It’s been really hard on the vendors. It forced them to create online stores and re-invent themselves, which isn’t a bad thing, except not everyone was ready for that. They’re glad to be out here again.”

Vendors were happy to return and see customers in person. Booths lined the perimeter of the building, and several rows of tables filled the interior space with artisans selling everything from seasonal decorations to jewelry to clothing to gourmet food items.

Friends Carol Fryza, Sue Engelbrecht, Debbie McKinley, and Suzie Matalin take a shopping break at the Friday night market. (Photo: Carrie Steinweg)

“I’ve been juggling vendors, locations, and ticket sales for the past year. We’ve had to shuffle, move things around, transfer vendors to other events, and get creative with supporting small business and put up over 100 artisans on our website with links to sell,” Dennis said.

Earthy Budda at Fetching Market

Brittany James of Crown Point, IN, spent the weekend as a vendor for her third Fetching Market event, her first at the Lansing Municipal Airport’s historic hangar. She started her business, Earthy Budda, in 2018 after serving in the military. It was last summer — not long into the pandemic — that she got involved in selling at local markets. Prior to that she sold her handcrafted jewelry online.

“The markets have been really good,” said James. “Since COVID, a lot of people want to buy local and handmade products. Ever since our world kind of shifted, people have been drawn to smaller businesses to support, which has been exciting and inspiring as an artist.”

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Brittany James is shown at her Earthy Buddha booth where she sold handmade natural stone jewelry. (Photo: Carrie Steinweg)

James said she has received a lot of positive feedback on her work creating natural stone jewelry: “That sparks creativity and makes you want to participate in even more events.” She also markets her products on social media and Instagram and her website, earthybuddha.com.

A believer in shopping small and local herself, James buys her stones from local sellers. “I have friends I’ve met through the markets that I buy my stones from,” she said. “I’m honored to be part of this market and happy to be associated with Fetching Market. I hope everyone does well. We’re like a family here, and we all just want to promote and support each other.”

Tinker Town offers recycled robots

Returning for her eighth Fetching Market and fifth market at the Ford Hangar, Pam Biesen proudly displayed her handmade items that are made from recycled materials, mostly robot figures.

“I love this market. This is my style,” she said. “My theme comes from teaching children to make art out of discarded items. I stumbled upon making robots, and they’re trendy. About 50% of what I make is from found objects.”

Biesen finds pleasure in the reactions of kids when they complete their own creations. She has taught park district classes, worked with special needs children, and done workshops for scouting groups.

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A display of little robots sat on a table at Pamela Biesen’s Tinker Town USA booth at Fetching Market this year. Biesen teaches classes to children on making creative pieces out of recycled items. After making so many, she decided to start selling them at local markets. (Photo: Carrie Steinweg)

“I teach children if you find something on the ground, you can probably make something cool out of it,” she explained. “I did this to show kids what they can make.” Biesen’s business, Tinker Town USA, is on Facebook.

Elite Sweets

Patti Foster mans her Elite Sweets booth at Fetching Market where her gourmet caramel apples were a popular fall item. (Photo: Carrie Steinwed)

Patti Foster was in her element and at the Ford Hangar as a returning vendor with Elite Sweets. Her table was full of sweet treats, including a seasonal favorite — gourmet caramel apples.

“I’m still doing really well at the markets,” she said. “If you engage people, you can sell.” See Elite Sweets on Facebook to view Foster’s products.

Customers were also excited for the chance to shop in person again among the wide array of creators. “There’s nothing else like Fetching Market,” said Dennis. “We draw upscale artisans from across the country and showcase their wares in this unique venue. It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to do so in this incredible location.”

Gourmet goddess Katie Sannito

Serving food at the event was Katie Sannito, also known as the Gourmet Goddess. Sannito offers upscale catering and leads gourmet workshops. She and Dennis have been friends for years, and the Gourmet Goddess has been a food vendor at past markets and produced hands-on demonstrations at Dennis’ markets. She has also catered the Found and Shared workshops for women that Dennis has been hosting since 2015. In recent months, as the event and market landscape was still in limbo, the duo decided to jump in and collaborate on a project they’ve been discussing for a long time.

“She knows I like to curate events, and we had talked about doing a special dinner, so we just decided to go for it. I am the gatherer and she is the goddess,” said Dennis. They launched ticket sales for the three dinner dates on a Tuesday; by Wednesday night all three dates were sold out. Two have taken place already, with the final dinner for this year to be held later this month. They already have plans in the works for next year.

“We’re having a great time working together,” said Dennis. “I do the all the tablescapes and settings, create atmosphere, and she creates all the delish food. It’s a five-course meal with wine pairings.” Information on the pop-up dinner series can be found at fetchingmarket.com.

The historic Ford Hangar is located at 19507-19539 Burnham Avenue in Lansing.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I said that I would stop commenting on Journal articles because what I say is disregarded, but this is too much. Ford is turning over in his grave. His vision for the use and application of aviation has been, lets say altered, to garage sales.
    I have written volumes about the real significance on the Ford Hangar and how it has served as a symbol of community pride since it was named a National Historical Place in 1986.
    When my book about the airport is released get a copy and read Chapter 3. It tells the hidden history of the FH and it will make you shudder.
    We are now told that plans are underway for future development. This is the same story we were to 13-year ago when a Ford Hangar Foundation was created. Why don’t you ask what happened to that?
    In support of my comments reread the two related articles in this posting and the comments I posted to them.

    • Bob, you might consider that someone as creative and business-minded as Henry Ford might be delighted to see his hangar occupied by other entrepreneurs. This is the man who said, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” 🙂

  2. I have personal family photos from opening day at the Historic Ford Hangar where Mr. Ford hosted a big celebration inside his Hangar. Kinda like Fetching Market.
    I actually think he would be proud to have this structure full of top notch entrepreneurs, like himself from a cross the country, occupied once a year to share their business.
    We are proud to bring life to this incredible building. And we’re honored to be able to share it with folks who have wondered their whole life what it’s like inside.
    We are far from a garage sale. 😉 We are an top notch experience and we’re proud to showcase these outstanding businesses and share the history with the world.
    We respect the building and it’s history – always.

  3. Pamela-If you send me an address I’ll send you an advance copy of Chapter 3 of my book which deals with the Village’s history with the Ford Hangar.

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