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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Harvard Open Market stuns crowd one last time this season

Julia Capraro
Harvard Open Market opens at the beginning of summering closes at the end of October each year giving visitors a large window to shop and support businesses.

Despite a rainy weekend, the Harvard Open Market was able to shine a spotlight on local companies and artists.

The Harvard Open Market first opened in early June and closed out its season the last weekend of October. The market, which was held in the heart of Cambridge, showcased unique artists and wares ranging from antiques to plants and pottery. No matter the wares, all the New England vendors were passionate about bringing their work to Boston. 

The timeless assortment of items at the market was captivating and had something for everyone. Vintage collectors would have been astonished by the assortment of clothes and items that were kept in pristine condition or mended and refurbished for consumers. Antique tents showed off collectibles like small tea spoons as well as household wares that were still good to use.

The clothing scene featured a local company, Existential Thread Co, based out of Providence, Rhode Island.  The company was originally founded in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Bridget Duggan shared her passion for vintage fashion in her company’s website description, where she cited the company coming to fruition as an anchor for her during the pandemic.

The local company curates unique vintage pieces to give them a second chance at life with fashion fanatics. Their tent had racks of their stock for shoppers to look at and admire the hand-selected pieces, many of which were from before the 90s.

Jewelry vendors made up many of the businesses featured at this week’s open market. No two vendors’ styles were alike, with the selection spanning traditional pieces to more unique and trend-forward items. 

Standout vendor Lakuna Links was offering permanent jewelry on the premises. The concept of permanent jewelry has gained popularity in recent years, which Lakuna Links is taking advantage of by being a service that can come to events and perform the jewelry on-site. 

Despite being a larger company, Lakuna Links was able to set down roots in over ten states by training “linkers,” according to its website, to attend events and bring the unique bonding experience across the United States.

Danielle Robichaud also brought her jewelry company to the streets of Boston this weekend. Robichaud is no stranger to the streets of Boston, having received her BFA in sculpture at MassArt and a certificate in jewelry making and repair at North Bennet Street School.

Robichaud started creating her own jewelry as a way to get back into her creative mindset when her children began school in 2018.

“I dusted off my own tools and created a few simple pieces that caught the interest of friends and then vended at a local farmers’ market. It only made sense for me to keep moving forward,” said Robichaud.

Robichaud’s style of jewelry features patterns and delicate and detailed metalwork.

“I fell in love with working with metals on a smaller scale because it felt like making sculpture, just tinier,” said Robichaud.

Her jewelry is featured on her Instagram and her Etsy store, where she sells her one-of-a-kind pieces.

Local plant store Prana Plants also brought their passion for plant life out to the open market. 

The journey into Chelsea Ritcey’s love of plants stems from receiving a houseplant for her birthday in 2020, according to her website. She opened up a physical store in Newton in March 2023 and has been using that location as well as attending local markets to bring her plants to more people.

Her passion translates to the market, where her knowledge of plants assists in matching customers with their perfect plant and making connections with other small businesses.

“I especially like to introduce plants to people who have never thought of owning a plant before. I also love being able to connect with other local makers. The support of other small businesses this season was unmatched. I’m excited for next season,” said Ritcey.

Her company has also allowed her to explore more avenues of her creativity.

“I have recently started making handmade cement planters and decor as well and have enjoyed the creative process,” said Ritcey.

The rainy summer didn’t stop vendors from going strong through the season of outdoor markets. No matter the weather, Robichaud has participated in plenty of events, including the Boylston Street and Copley Square markets.

“This season has been tricky because of the horrible rainy weekends we have had . . .we closed early. I had an enjoyable day and met some really lovely people,” said Robichaud about the past weekend’s market.

The summer of storms didn’t take away from the unique experience open markets provide for both shoppers and vendors.

“This season was a rough one when it came to the weather. That had a major effect on the flow of business. On the good days though, markets are one of my favorite ways to engage with the community and share the love of plants,” said Ritcey.

These events don’t just bring artists together during the warmer months. New England Open Markets has its sights set on several winter markets, including the indoor Hollygay market, which will feature vendors who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Vendors and shoppers alike won’t want to miss this diverse opportunity to support local businesses. Next season’s open market at Harvard Square will start up again in early June next year.

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About the Contributor
Julia Capraro, Editor-at-Large | she/her
Julia is a sophomore broadcast journalism and psychology major from Canton, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the journal, she is President of Suffolk Visual Arts Club. She loves cooking, crochet and reading in her free time.

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