Traders Market helps fill supply-chain gap

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If you’re worried about supply-chain disruptions, shipping delays and gift shortages this Christmas, Glynda Smith has a holiday shopping suggestion for you: Traders Market.

While you may not find the most in-demand holiday gifts at the weekend vendor market located inside the Rushmore Mall, you will see an eclectic assortment of one-of-a-kind gift items that no online retailer can put under your tree.

Got a car enthusiast on your list? Check out Linc Ainsworth’s classic car booth and the 1948 Lincoln 2-door. Ainsworth calls it a “dead ringer” for the car that Sonny Corleone drove to his death in the bullet-riddled gangland slaying scene in “The Godfather”.

Looking for an off-the-beaten-path furniture piece? How about one of the handcrafted acrylic resin coffee tables made by Doug and Allyson Daane at their Design60 booth.

For the art lover in your life, you can pick up an original piece of landscape or wildlife art for $40 in the TA Schick Original Art booth. His widow, Peg, is selling off most of the 225 pieces of artwork left behind when he died in 2017. Most of them feature outdoor scenes from many national parks and wilderness areas that he loved.

“I’ve been surprised by how many young people in their 20s and 30s want to buy his art,” said Peg Schick. “They seem to love the idea of owning an original piece of art for such a reasonable price.” That would make the late self-taught artist happy, since he believed that people of all means should be able to afford original art, she said.

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Traders Market opened in 2019 in the 124,000-square-feet former Sears store. Smith and her late husband, Al, were among the initial vendors, eventually purchasing the market in early 2020. The concept proved popular with shoppers and vendors alike.

“For the first time, we’re full and I have a waiting list,” said Smith of booth rentals. Booth costs vary by location and size. The biggest belongs to Ainsworth, who has 40 rare or specialty cars on display in about 10,000 square feet of space, including a 1963 Avanti Studebaker and a 1967 Camaro convertible.

“People love looking at old cars,” Ainsworth said. “One day we had over 1,000 people walk through here. We’re having a ball, people enjoy the cars and, every once in a while we sell one and make enough to pay for the rent and the candy we give out.”

Smith also rents non-retail space to the Stevens High School softball team, which practices in the former warehouse location. The automotive service space is rented as boat and RV camper storage for winter months.

Smith continues to sell Depression-era glass, hand-tooled leather products, antiques and “a little bit of everything” from her booth. She is proud to call Traders Market an “upscale indoor flea market” that specializes in new, gently used and antique items.

There’s also chainsaw art, a man who sells fossils, handcrafted wood products, antique furniture and collectibles galore, new clothing and housewares items – and just enough second-hand booths to justify the flea market name.

Other vendors prefer to think of Traders Market as an artisan weekend market, but no matter how you choose to describe it, Traders Market lives up to its motto: “If you haven’t found it, you haven’t been to Traders Market.”

The market is open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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