CHAMPAIGN — Move over, Market at the Square.
Champaign’s Market Place Mall is also now home to a weekly outdoor market featuring the works of local artisans and crafters, some of whom also sell their products at Urbana’s weekly event at Lincoln Square.
The outdoor market at Market Place Mall is held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each Sunday in the parking lot along North Neil street, between Macy’s and Red Robin.
Austin Johnson, a local woodworker and designer who operates Austin Johnson Design in Urbana, started this market, leasing the parking-lot space for local vendors.
Johnson said there are about 15 vendors — including himself — involved in the outdoor venture so far, with generally about 10 of them selling their handmade items each Sunday.
“It’s not large yet, but it’s growing,” he said.
Vicki Brown, who operates Simply Vicki, is among the outdoor vendors, selling her handmade jewelry and tree-of-life symbol items.
Several of the outdoor vendors sold their merchandise indoors in the food-court area when it wasn’t open for seating during fall and winter, and they moved outdoors in May, she said.
Among others are Pura Vida Pets, which offers pet treats and supplies; The Little Soap Stop, offering soaps, bath bombs, nail polish and other items; and The Button Man, Johnson said. A flower vendor will be joining them later in the summer, she said.
Johnson said shoppers will also find holistic healing products, rocks and crystals, and some small businesses, such as a Mary Kay cosmetics dealer.
“We’re just trying to create a resource for local small businesses and really create opportunities for families to look forward to on Sundays after church as well,” he said.
The Market Place outdoor market is set to run each Sunday through Oct. 31.