BRADENTON BEACH -- The 2011 edition of The Bridge Street Market debuted Sunday and the personal stamp of new market manager Melissa Enders was all over it.
Enders, herself an artist specializing in photography and sewing, said she wants the market to have the feeling of a community of artists getting together each week, which naturally produces lots of good vibes.
To that end, she invited 38 talented local vendors whose products seemed to burst with creativity and whose efforts were helped along with live music by the Ted Stevens Band from Sarasota.
The three-year-old market, which feature vendors selling their fruit and vegetables, tea and honey, olive oil, seafood, local artwork, candles, unique handmade jewelry and more out of canvas-covered stalls, will run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday now through April 29 at 107 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach.
“Keeping it local and keeping it hand-made are my goals,” said Enders as hundreds of market-goers browsed and traded under warm sunshine.
“I thought it would be a lot smaller,” said artist Lorraine Gabrielle Jordan of Bradenton Beach, who attended her first Bridge Street market as a customer but is hopeful of being a future vendor. “I’m amazed at how many vendors Melissa recruited. You can get all your produce here. I bought myself some red bell peppers and zucchini this morning and I’m going to pick up some honey.”
Jordan, who just moved to Bradenton Beach from Kansas City, said she would be thrilled to sell her in-progress oil seascapes and mermaids at the market this winter and join a lineup of talented artists including Kelley Burdette, Rhonda K, Yvonne Marrone, Kelley Love and a score of others.
Rhonda K is a native Florida folk artist known for her colorful signs hand-painted with one-line screenplays from her life.
She started painting and selling in the parking lot of the Cortez Star Fish Company. Some of her works include, “Walk a Mile in My Flip Flops ... And Bring Me Back a Beer” and “Live with Egrets ... Not Regrets.”
On Sunday, Ray Loudner, from Washington Court House, Ohio, bought a Rhonda K sign that said “Nude Beach” for a good friend from home named Wes Cox.
“It will go in his fly-tying room,” Loudner said.
Marrone, who works for the guardian ad litem program in Hillsborough County, crochets necklaces from trellis yarn and can do glass art. For her first Bridge Street Market, she made wine goblets using Ball Jars, called them “Cajun Crystal” and promptly sold eight of them by 1 p.m.
“They are so unique,” said Holmes Beach resident Susan Anderson, who brought one from her brother, Matthew. “I also bought myself one.”
Marrone started her business just last summer and found out she was a natural working with people in a market. They loved her “red neck” wine glasses.
“I love it,” Marrone said. “You meet amazing people here.”
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.