Indie-pendent Craftepreneurs of the Bahamas Straw Market

by Lorina of The Original Beadscarf

Who doesn’t love to visit local markets while traveling? Sure you have your usual souvenir suspects: shot glasses, t-shirts, caps, the list goes on. But my favorite is always the local craft, especially when the person who created the item is also the person selling it. The item just seems to have more meaning.

On a recent trip to the Bahamas, I visited the Straw Market. The largest of its kind in the world, the Straw Market houses some 200 vendors selling everything from those ubiquitous tourist t-shirts and counterfeit handbags to figurines and toys.

But just past that knockoff “status” bag, you will find the most prominent of all the items. They are the bags, hats, fans and baskets all made from colorful straw, and their purveyors working tirelessly on these items.

These are the indie-pendent craftepreneurs of the Straw Market. Tourism is the most viable industry of the Bahamas and these craftepreneurs are ready (and eager!) to provide a personalized straw item on-the-spot! For many of the vendors at the Straw Market, this is their primary means of income. You can find them stitching dried palm and sisal plants, which are sometimes dyed, to create beautiful and useful souvenirs every day of the week.

At this market, I also found someone who created toys from recycled soda cans.

A fun day out, the Straw Market in Nassau, The Bahamas is definitely worth the trip!

All text and images
©Lorina Pellach Ladrillono 2008

*New* Brooklyn Flea!

"With the April 6 launch date of the Brooklyn Flea just over two months away, we've decided to launch a blog that will serve both as a way for you to stay up on news about the Flea and as a way for us to solicit feedback about the many decisions we still have to make. In case you're just tuning in, for the past several months we've been planning to launch what we're hoping will be the biggest and most interesting flea market in the city on the Bishop Loughlin schoolyard on Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene (map). It's a 40,000-square-foot space, so we've got a lot of room to work with.

We use the term "flea market" with both affection and a wink and a nod because, as you'll see from perusing the preliminary vendor list to the right, while the Brooklyn Flea will offer plenty of flea market meat-and-potatoes (vintage clothing, music and furniture), it will also have an exciting mix of local designers, artists and crafties. Eric Demby, Marty Markowitz's former speechwriter and general man-about-Brooklyn, has been working full time since December pulling all the details together (he'll also be writing the lion's share of posts on this blog going forward). If you have questions, suggestions or gripes, you can reach him at Or feel free to leave a comment below. If you're a vendor that wants to sign up or get more information, please do so here.

Happy Hunting!

Mr. B"