WATERTOWN — Rustic decor, hand-crocheted hats, necklaces, fudge and other goods line the walls of a former office on Public Square that has been transformed into a new marketplace.
Julie and Matthew Lichtenauer have recruited 24 vendors to set up stands in their Downtown Julie Brown Marketplace, which they opened Apr. 6. Retailers and craftsmen Mike and Mike’s Rustic Carpentry, Rebel Rose Boutique, Soldier Boy Fudge and Adirondack Way maple syrup lease portions of the store, 40 Public Square, from the couple, who manage it and deliver the earnings to their tenants.
The store also features a cooler filled with baked goods from Sweet Confections by LaTasha, paintings of boutique shops on the walls and a spot for vendors to operate for one day. Its name derives from Mrs. Lichtenauer’s first name, the market’s downtown location and her love for puns and rhymes, she said.
“We’re totally full and have six more vendors coming in,” Mrs. Lichtenauer said. “We filled up in five days and have a waiting list.”
The couple had a stand for their other business, Fancy Fox, which sells goods for dogs and clothes for their owners, in the State St. Market for three months.
Mr. Lichtenauer said Washington Street Properties offered them an opportunity to lease a storefront for their own market. They signed a lease March 8 and opened after painting and removing shelves and electrical wires.
“Everything that went from idea to open was one month,” he said.
Despite being located less than half a mile from the State St. Market, which opened in December, Mrs. Lichtenauer said they offer more fashion, local foods, health and beauty and men’s products from vendors to serve their clientele. They hope to capitalize on the “hustle and bustle” foot traffic of working class consumers on Public Square.
“There’s something for everyone here,” she said.