Along New Orleans’ Magazine Street, Amy Radle walked into a new business venture, bringing various artists and vendors under one roof, many of them artistic refugees affected by the great 2016 Baton Rouge flood seeking expanded markets.
The Market Magazine & Sixth is a mixed-merchant store, offering everything from clothing to home decor to jewelry with Baton Rouge-influenced styles. Each vendor designs a section of the store with different artwork and knick-knacks.
While shopping on Magazine Street, Radle said she wandered into the space, which was previously a vintage furniture store. The owner said he was closing and putting all his items into a close-out sale.
Radle snatched up the lease. To hear the vendors and artists tell it, it has been a new ball game, especially having access to tourists.
The concept for The Market came after Radle, a University alumna, said she saw it as a way to bring Baton Rouge vendors experiencing sales decreases because of the flood to New Orleans for a new start.
She noticed on Facebook how some of her small business acquaintances were asking customers if they would still be shopping this fall or if they should cut back on merchandise. Many times the answer was the latter. So she decided to bring them to where customers were spending.
The Market opened on Oct. 1 — perfect timing as it turned out because it was the same day as the Magazine Street Merchants Association’s Art for Art’s Sake event.
Radle said she’s always liked stores like The Foyer and The Royal Standard in Baton Rouge. She generally used them as models, but not quite.
“We really liked that concept, but we did not want the booth approach where, ‘Here’s your space, here’s your wall,’” Radle said. “We wanted everybody to walk [around] and not even realize they’re in another store. You’ve got so many different styles.”
While each vendor designs his or her own space, The Market loses the booth-like approach when Radle places artists’ artwork in different sections of the store. This process works similarly with clothing displayed in different areas, jewelry on tables and Jay Ducote’s food products on shelves.
Radle doesn’t own any of the merchandise in The Market — she just pays the rent. The vendors and artists provide the merchandise, with the larger vendors paying a rental fee and a small commission. The artists and designers work on commission only, she said.
There’s still room in the store to add vendors, but currently The Market has approximately 20 merchants with wares including furniture, artwork, clothing, jewelry and sculptures, she said. While the Baton Rouge merchants take up most of the store, Radle has other Louisiana vendors.
Mixed media artist Kristen Binning said she was contacted by Radle about being involved in The Market.
Binning creates canvas artwork of various shades of teals and blues. She adds gold and silver leaves along with broken glass she breaks up herself. Her inspiration comes from the blue and gold hues of the beach. The light that catches on the glass reminds her of crashing waves.
Primarily based in Baton Rouge at the Foyer, Binning said once she started selling at The Market, the response in New Orleans was almost immediate, noting a difference in the customer base with Magazine Street shoppers open to any kind of art piece instead of something specific.
She said she knows the pattern through which Baton Rouge locals purchase her work, but now in New Orleans, she’s learning a whole new client base, including tourist traffic.
Artist Nicholas Klung agrees that displaying one’s artwork in New Orleans provides more exposure, especially to tourists.
Klung is a Baton Rouge-based artist who also shows his artwork in The Foyer. He found his way to the The Market through another vendor who is also friends with Radle.
Klung describes his work as modern waterscapes painted onto canvas or wood. He has also painted palm leaf designs.
Allyson Hicks is an interior designer who started Allyson Hicks Design Consulting LLC about 10 years ago. She joined The Market after seeing Radle posting about the concept on Facebook.
She said the idea wasn’t anything she was searching for, but the concept gives her the opportunity to jump back into the retail world without the constraints of being in the store daily, especially since she has a 9-year-old child at home.
“It’s a better concept for me at this point in my career,” she explained.
As an interior designer, Hicks works with various manufacturers and pulls from their inventories to create the overall design. While she likes to design homes and furniture around her clients’ needs, she calls her style traditional with modern, clean lines.
For The Market, Hicks designs a space that allows her to show customers some of the items she sells aside from special orders. The space is geared toward tourist shopping, she said, prompting sales of individual items instead of an entire room project.
Moving forward, Radle wants The Market to include more merchants, noting that more fashion could be useful to the merchandise mix.
Radle sees The Market as something new on Magazine Street with its Baton Rouge-influenced styles.
The Market at Magazine & 6th located at 2855 Magazine Street, is a mixed merchant southern collective store offering retailers a unique market setting in a premier shopping district. We are in "the market" for artists and merchants specializing in boutique apparel, furnishings, home décor, art and fine gifts looking to expand their customer base in New Orleans.