Mary McCadden of Waterboro sells her hats at the Kennebunk Artisans Marketplace. Eloise Goldsmith photo

KENNEBUNK — When Mary McCadden first picked up knitting, it was as casual pastime. Her children were little and she wanted to learn how to make them sweaters, so she took a knitting class for adults. Over time, her hobby became a little business — Hats By Mary — and now she’s one of nearly 30 craft vendors who sell their wares at the Kennebunk Artisans Marketplace, which is open every Saturday between late May and early October at the Waterhouse Center on Main Street.

Lucky Whims, another market vendor that was founded by two best friends, has a similar origin story. Founders Michelle Kolreg and Helen Bouyea both have day-jobs in childcare, but they make and sell pebble art, soap, magnets and jewelry in their free time.  On Saturday, Sept. 23, Kolreg and Bouyea were at the market with an impressive, three-table spread of wares. The friends say their pebble art, pictures made of sea glass and pebbles that Kolreg and Bouyea collect along the coast, is the biggest hit with customers.

Jewelry and pebble art made by friends Michelle Kolreg and Helen Bouyea, the founders of the craft business Lucky Whims. Eloise Goldsmith photo

Since it first opened in 2010, the market has become a cultural institution that adds vibrancy to downtown Kennebunk, said Linda Johnson, the town’s community events coordinator and the organizer of the market. Spots in the market were in high demand this year. The market’s board reviewed over 60 applications for the 28 spots vendor spots available.

Some vendors are there for the entire season, while others only sign up for certain weeks, according to Johnson. Vendors who purchase a single day slot can fill in for those who are not there for the full season, which means the market is always evolving, said Johnson. “It’s never the same market twice.”

Lillian Quatrano, the artist behind Maine Coastal Designs, LLC, has sold her 3D resin art at the market for five years. She is also a member of the five-person board that reviews new vendor applications, ensuring that vendors align with the “crafty” spirit of the market. We want “something that someone makes from their imagination, not a manufactured product,” she added.

The market is located at the Waterhouse Center in downtown Kennebunk and runs through Saturday, Oct. 7. It is open between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: