Get (Red) Hooked on This Holiday Market

Justin Joseph |

For the third straight year, the Red Hook Business Alliance (RHBA) has set up the Holiday Market for art vendors from all over, to come to the Brooklyn Working Artists Coalition (BWAC) and display their work.

Located on Van Brunt Street in Brooklyn, residents of the neighborhood as well as the surrounding areas, line up to speak to a number of vendors about their artwork which ranges from paintings, to beard creams, to even stylized Christmas ornaments and decorations for the holiday season.

A sign entering the Red Hook market. Photo credit: Justin Joseph

The event began Saturday afternoon and will be going on every weekend until December 17th, so people have many opportunities to enjoy some of the best Artwork that vendors have to offer.

“We wanted to support businesses,” Victoria Alexander, one of the founders of RHBA, said in regards to starting the annual Holiday Market.

Alexander says after Covid, it was a hard time for businesses to recover what they had lost, so it really drove the RHBA to want to help the residents of the neighborhood.

That is what drove the RHBA to formally take over organizing the Holiday Market in 2021 after the community residents and businesses started the initiative to help the community recover from the after effects of Hurricane Sandy back in 2013.

The past few years the location of the event changed from having it outside select businesses in Red Hook, to inside the businesses  due to the cold weather. The RHBA felt like many of the vendors were too spread out among different stores so this year, they decided to take it to a central location in the BWAC center.

“Our purpose is to help the community, so we have this amazing space that we like to share,” said Alicia Degener, the President of BWAC. “Our vision is to give artists a place to exhibit their artwork and also makers to have a place to be able to sell and share their work with the community.”

BWAC felt like it was the prime opportunity to host such an event because they were coming off their 45th anniversary as an organization and this was a good way to end off the year. BWAC is an all-volunteer group of over 150 members working to support local artists and get their work displayed to the public.

The Brooklyn Working Artists Coalition booth. Photo credit: Justin Joseph

One returning vendor from last year named Ross Brown started a product under the name of Annie Witherspoon where they make homemade beard balms from beeswax as well as simple syrups that have a range of flavors and can be used in cocktails or other drinks.

Kira Smith is another vendor under the artist name Eanna, who has simple artwork paintings from popular shows in pop culture and anime. Smith is also showcasing her new jewelry collection made from stones she collects and uses them for her collection.

A first-time customer by the name of Andrew Shelton who visited the event found out about the event through friends seeing posts about it on social media. When he found out about the location he wanted to come see the artwork for himself. “I always like to support small businesses and local stuff… and it’s seems to be a great place to find gifts.”

With the first week of the event already off to a great start, residents have an additional two weeks to attend this years Holiday Market.

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