On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, I made my way out to Assembly Row, Somerville’s big push toward urban renewal on its eastern edge of the Mystic River. I realize not many of us make it out that way often, but times are changing – Assembly Row is set to open its first wave of new businesses and retail options in 2014, and will include a brand new stop on the Orange Line. So why was I there this past Saturday? Assembled, of course.
Assembled is a new weekly marketplace set up by Assembly Row. Every Saturday, from 11-4, they’ll feature local vendors and artists, and this last weekend the event was exclusively Etsy vendors. Janet Prensky, a spokesperson for Assembly Row, says that forty vendors were on hand to kick off Assembled, in addition to five food trucks and a live jazz band. She also said, “This is a hand made arts festival. It’s their craft, that’s what so important that people know – it’s sets us apart and makes us special.”
I spoke with one of the vendors, Tess, who runs Gilded Days, an Etsy shop where she recycles old sheet music and crafts it into gorgeous jewelry. She’s been doing this for about two years now, and had originally started with collage and decoupage three years ago. SInce that time, she’s quit her full time job and focuses exclusively on her Etsy shop, as well as her booth every Sunday at SoWa Market.
Assembled plans to run every Saturday through the end of September, with the exception of the Saturday before and after Fourth of July. There will always be music in some form (either live or DJ) as well as food trucks, and (hopefully!) an increasing number of vendors. Take a few minutes on a Saturday to swing by Assembly Row and support your local artists, it’s worth the short trip out.