Among the stalls of The Foundry’s vendor fair: Satchel Shure’s intricate but low-cost vintage (corrected)
On a mid-February Saturday, the buzz of indistinct chatter and hints of Afro-jazz spilled into an otherwise quiet East Cambridge. The source of the sounds was The Foundry, a nonprofit creativity and collaboration” space that was co-hosting a vendor fair called Found – and will do so again March 25.
The warehouse space was bedecked with some 36 stalls for the occasion, all selling locally produced items and most focusing on upcycled and secondhand clothing.
“There’s a ton of cool things to browse for,” said Azeem Bashir, a senior from Boston University who was exploring the aisles.
Word must have gotten around. Over the course of that afternoon, more than 1,000 people stopped by the event, which was co-produced by Original Markets, a flea market organizer in the Boston area.
“This was a really great turnout,’’ said Megan Fehling, Original Markets’ co-founder. “We had a lot of people coming to interact with our vendors, and we couldn’t be happier.”
The Foundry took stop-motion video of the event that it posted on Instagram:
One of those vendors was Satchel Shure, 20, who attends Berklee College of Music in Boston and lives in Mission Hill.
Tall, slender and with a tousle of orange curls, Shure greeted customers and answered questions, appearing to relish the opportunity to interact with patrons. His stall is called First Kiss, after an arts collective he started a year ago in New York with his friend Elena Gonzales, who studies at Clark University in Worcester.
“We had a pop-up shop … [Elena] was doing tattoos. I was selling my vintage clothing and clothing that I made,’’ he said. “And then we got a bunch of other local artists to give us prints and other stuff like that. It was way more successful than we ever thought.”
Among the many grassroots businesses that were present, Shure’s booth stood out for its collection of intricate clothing and its popularity.
“All my favorite artists were always super well-dressed, so as long as I can remember I’ve been pretty into fashion,” Shure said.
Shure became serious about environmental activism while in high school, which led him to further develop his interest in fashion and vintage. “It’s cheap and fun to repurpose old clothes,’’ he said. “I got really into sewing and all that goes into making clothes as a product of that.”
As vintage clothing has become increasingly popular, some businesses have seen it as an opportunity to resell items at higher prices and cash in. But besides curating compelling selections of secondhand clothing, Shure tries to undercut the high resale prices, making thrifting a more affordable and pleasurable activity.
“I find a lot of people going to Goodwill buying items for $1 or $2 and then reselling it for $50 or $70, but I’m not really with that. I’ll price it at $10 to $25 because there’s just so much out there, and buying secondhand is one of the easiest things you can do that’s good for the environment,” Shure said.
Shure and more local sellers will return to The Foundry for the Found @Original Markets vendor fair from noon to 5 p.m. March 25.
This story was published in collaboration with Boston University’s Department of Journalism in the College of Communication. The student journalist is a member of a Reporting in Depth class taught by former Boston Globe reporter Meghan Irons.
This post was updated March 17, 2023, to correct the spelling of Satchel Shure.