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All Youth Vendors Market in Bushwick Lets Teens Sell Wares for Free

By Gwynne Hogan | February 5, 2016 2:07pm | Updated on February 8, 2016 8:48am
 Esteban Estevez, 16, will be selling the T-shirts he designed at the Bushwick Vendors Market this weekend.
Esteban Estevez, 16, will be selling the T-shirts he designed at the Bushwick Vendors Market this weekend.
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Courtesy of the Bushwick Vendors Market

BUSHWICK — A neighborhood market is highlighting the creativity and entrepreneurial skills of teens in the area with an all-youth vendor market featuring their jewelry, art, photography, fashion, music and other works. 

The Bushwick Vendors Market — which has a regular bi-weekly bazaar — will host an All Youth Vendor Market on Sunday, Feb. 28 at Bushwick Street Art Gallery.

Yazmin Colon, 35, started up the Bushwick Vendors Market in 2013 as a way to raise money for Educated Little Monsters, a youth group she runs.

Since she started she's let any teenager who wanted a stall at the market, have one for free, waiving the $55 it costs for adults to register.

"We're at a point where I think entrepreneurship needs to be the end goal," Colon said. "The cost of living is crazy...the market is really just trying to give people a chance to stay afloat in a creative way."

The Bushwick Vendors Market, which is held every other week in the Silent Barn, already features a handful of teen vendors, who say they've learned a broad range of skills from brand promotion to money management skills.

"Markets are a good way to figure out what I want to sell in the future," said Melanie Wong, 18, who commutes all the way from Bayside, Queens, to sell her vintage wares and now handmade clothes and toys at the vendors market.

"I've learned it's really dependent on the audience," Wong said, who found that selling vintage items in Bushwick didn't work as well as it had at the Fashion Institute of Technology's flea market, where she is a freshman.

At Bushwick Vendors Market people are more interested in hand-made items, Wong said. She'll be starting to sell tiny stuffed animals she made this weekend, she said.

Esteban Estevez, 16, a junior at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services in the East Village and a Bushwick resident, will start selling a T-shirt line he's been working on for the first time at this weekend's vendors market.

Estevez has been pinching  pennies in order to turn his drawing, a pair of lungs emblazoned with the words "Keep Breathing," into a T-shirt, he said. 

"You got to spend money to make money," he said. "[It's] my money, it's not my parents money, it's nobody else's.

"To be honest, it's actually helping me...become more independent, that's why I wanted to do it," Estevez said. "You're the boss."

The Bushwick Vendors Market is this Sunday, Feb. 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Silent Barn at 603 Bushwick Ave. The All Youth Market will be held on Feb. 28 at Bushwick Street Art Gallery at 1009 Broadway also from 2 to 6 p.m.