ASTORIA — A group of local artisans dubbed the "Queens Craft Brigade" will be selling their wares at a market launching this week that aims to spotlight the borough's creators.
The first Queens Craft Brigade market will take place Sunday, July 9, at the VFW Hall at 31-35 41 St. in Astoria, featuring 18 vendors selling clothes, art, jewelry and other locally made goods, according to organizers.
The event — which will feature tunes by vinyl shop Hi-Fi Records and grub from The Queens Kickshaw — was created to give small, neighborhood vendors another outlet to sell their goods, founder Robert Duffy said.
Help us welcome @hooksandluxe to the Queens Craft Brigade!! This beautiful jewelry is all made by hand by Ryoko Kitazawa, the designer and owner of the brand. She moved to New York from Japan in 2009. After graduating from Parsons the New School For Design, she has worked as a graphic designer in fashion and jewelry industries. We're so excited to have @hooksandluxe!! 💎 ❤️ #queenscraft
"There's not a lot of places for makers to sell their stuff inside Queens," said Duffy, who runs Unified Queens, a T-shirt and apparel company he started last year that incorporates local landmarks into its designs.
"We love meeting people face-to-face. We love meeting other makers," he said. "So instead of waiting for someone else to create a market in Astoria, I just decided to put it together myself."
His goal is to host the market each month through at least December, bringing it different venues around Queens.
The first one on Sunday will take place at the VFW Hall, both inside and on the back patio, where staff from Queens Kickshaw will be grilling up food.
Items on sale will include knitted scarves, hats and drink koozies from Queens Knits; leather journals, bags and other goods from Key and Arrow Leather in East Elmhurst; and handmade jewelry from the Jackson Heights-based Hooks and Luxe.
Duffy said the group was curated from a "really great community" of fellow Queens vendors he's met since starting his company last year.
"I'm really excited about and proud to be a part of [it]," he said.
Queens Craft Brigade's first market will take place from 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 9 at 31-35 41 St. in Astoria.