You may have recently noticed the surge of awesome new vendors in downtown Belleville at the pop-up known as the Side Hustle Market. A side hustle is a business in which you sell your products or services on the side while simultaneously being employed, which is precisely what three of the BoQ’s trendsetters set out to do.
The Side Hustle Market’s founding members Kylie Aucoin, Heather Case and Laura Voskamp have already been running their own individual side hustles for well over a year now, and with great success too. Laura started Laundry Club, a trendy thrift and consignment store. Heather began Heather Case
Handmade, which includes slow fashion and sustainable women’s wear. Kylie runs Magpie Thrift Shop, selling handpicked vintage clothing and accessories.
All three women run their side hustles via Instagram but have come together to create a new world for other locals with side hustles to be seen.
This pop-up market that began with three entrepreneurs has now turned into a full market with 10+ other businesses. They sell anything from art, music busking, handmade crafts, clothing and pre-made food products every Saturday!
We had the pleasure of meeting up and chatting with two out of the three women who created the market. They set up every Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm in front of Century Place, at the corner of Bridge and Front St. in downtown Belleville.
What prompted this project?
Heather: “Well, at first we wanted to experiment with the idea to see if it had legs, but then it became much more than that.”
What has been the most difficult process in terms of setting up the market?
Kylie: “Probably making sure we were doing everything right and by the book. We wanted to make sure we weren’t going into it blindly by not looking into the bylaws and zoning protocols. It would have really sucked if we hadn’t had organizations like the BDIA giving us guidance and support, or the property management group who believe in what we’re doing and has allowed us to use their space.”
What are your long-term goals for Side Hustle Market?
Heather: “Well it depends on how much we grow over time. We are currently looking at possible indoor options in the colder months. Also, food is something that we are hoping to explore, pre-made or otherwise. It’s something we are doing our homework on to make sure we are following the city’s bylaws.”
We had the chance to see the market in full swing over the weekend with many of Belleville’s residents making their way down.
The vibe was upbeat, and the products were abundant. The lines were blurred for us where a privately-owned market like Side Hustle and a municipal market begin, which in our opinion, is a great thing!
We really want to encourage you all to check out the market for yourselves. Be sure to follow Side Hustle Market on Facebook and Instagram to keep updated about new vendors coming to the market, locations, promotions or events that they are involved in.