A Gift Sale Keeps Growing

Susan Nieland’s show will be held in two locations
For the fourth year, Susan Nieland’s house in East Hampton will be the setting for a holiday market featuring her own jewelry and works by friends who are artists and craftspeople. Susan Nieland

Susan Nieland used to sell her handmade stone and metal jewelry at trunk shows, but they were lonely. She would lay out her work in a shop or other location, send out some email notices, and wait to make sales. Business was okay, she recalled this week. People would come, maybe buy something, perhaps just have a look around. 

“It was fine. I just thought it would be more fun if there were more people there,” she said.

And so Ms. Nieland’s annual holiday time market came to be. She invited a few other craftspeople and artists (“makers,” she called them), and they, in turn, let their networks of friends and past customers know. The first such show, in about 2007, was a success, she said. 

Other responsibilities intervened, and it was a few years before the event resumed. Promotion was largely through word of mouth, but the sales grew, helped in no small measure by the feeling of a gathering of friends as opposed to the usual Christmas crafts bazaars.

Now, in a first, Ms. Nieland’s show will be held in two locations, the first on Sunday at the Spur entrepreneurs’ workspace on Elm Street in Southampton. That sale, from noon to 5 p.m., will feature about 16 makers, most, if not all, lined up by Ms. Nieland and informally vetted by Judy D’Mello, a fabric artist and contributing writer for The Star. 

“She’s my sounding board,” Ms. Nieland said. The second will be on Dec. 15 from 1 to 8 p.m. at her house at 21 Gould Street in East Hampton.

Now in its fourth year in that location, the sale is increasingly popular. “People call to find out if I am having it again this year,” she said, noting that she might have to find a bigger place to have it next year.

The day is a group effort. Vendors supply wine and small somethings for shoppers to nosh on. “It’s fun. It’s a party,” Ms. Nieland said.

She still seeks out vendors herself, for the most part, and social media is a big part of that. She found Anne Nelson Sanford of Shelter Island, the creator of Lurk Perfume, on Instagram. “It turned out she follows me, too,” Ms. Nieland said.

Another creative type she found was Shane Herrick, whose Pine Baron items include leather passport and notebook sleeves, wallets, handmade metal jewelry, and even skateboard decks.

Roisin Bateman, Alice Hope, Jill Musnicki, and Rosario Varela are among the visual artists taking part. Stanley and Sons of the S&S Corner Shop in Springs will show a selection of housewares and accessories.

Taylor Barton, a folk singer who lives in Amagansett, will sell her CDs and have her guitar at hand to sing a few songs from her new album.

“Last year I had one guy who got Christmas gifts for his mother, wife, and two daughters,” she said. “I loved to hear that.”

Ms. Nieland’s jewelry will also be for sale at a holiday market at the Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack on Saturday, along with a select group of vendors. Ten percent of the sales at the Spur on Sunday will go to the East Hampton Food Pantry.