Holiday Shopping at Sarasota's Craft and Vintage Markets

Looking for something unique to stuff those stockings? Check out Sarasota’s one-of-a-kind markets for vintage clothing, jewelry and home décor.

No sooner has the table been cleared of Thanksgiving dinner and the leftovers shuffled into tupperware containers when Black Friday deals beckon and the holiday shopping season goes full throttle.

For those whose goal is to find that truly one-of-a-kind gift, the month of December holds a treasure trove in Sarasota County, one just needs to know where to look.

From original artwork and cool vintage knick-knacks to handcrafted household items and artisan baked goods, Sarasota's craft and vintage 'indie markets' open up a world of unique gift options for everyone on your list, from That Very Special Someone to your distant Aunt So-and-So.

Shop these markets and you'll be supporting small and local Sarasota businesses, artists, and causes while you're browsing for gifts and stocking-stuffers this holiday season.

Atomic Holiday Bazaar

A true explosion of art, clothing, craft concoctions, and quirky vintage treasures is the only way to describe Sarasota's annual bazaar of the funky, fashionable, and bizarre: lovingly known to locals as the Atomic Holiday Bazaar. Launched in December, 2006, the Atomic Holiday Bazaar is a weekend-long art, craft and vintage festival that occurs annually— just in time for the season of giving.

The eleventh annual Atomic Holiday Bazaar will take place at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The first 'adult-ish' guests to arrive will receive Atomic tote bags screen printed by Sarasota's own Clothesline Creative and filled with coupons, samples, and other 'Atomic swag.'  

Atomic Holiday Bazaar founder and producer, Adrien Lucas, says that this year's festival will feature 220 vendors, as well as food trucks and two DJs. Although some vendors travel from out of state, Lucas says the vast majority of artists, crafters and independent businesses participating in this year's Atomic Holiday Bazaar are Floridians. In recent years, the show has drawn upwards of 2,500 guests over two days.

Lucas says that this year, Atomic and its participating vendors plan to give back to the Sarasota Animal Advocates through a raffle at the Bazaar.

"It's a win for everyone," Lucas says. "One lucky person could literally be set for the holiday season, as far as gift-giving, if they win this raffle."

The Municipal Auditorium still serves as Atomic's main room, but has grown to include an overflow street fair. An array of artists and vendors may also be found in the Auditorium's adjacent Bayfront Room, as well as in the open-air stretch between the Auditorium and the Sarasota Art Center, which holds its winter art sale concurrently with the Atomic Bazaar. Also participating in its first art fair this year, adjacent to Atomic and the Art Center, is the Friends of the Sarasota County History Center (Saturday only).

Visit the Atomic website to learn more about vendors participating in this year's Holiday Bazaar, or read on to learn more about the indie market scene in Sarasota this holiday season.  

Southgate Village Sip & Stroll

The first annual Southgate Village Sip & Stroll puts a spotlight on the burgeoning independent retail culture in the Southgate Village on Dec. 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Village shops and restaurants will keep their doors open for extended hours, giving guests a chance to browse while sipping on complimentary drinks and enjoying light bites.

The oft-overlooked Southgate Village is located directly across the street from the Westfield Southgate Mall on Siesta Drive. Participating Southgate retailers include Spider Lily Finery, Tropical Shores Gourmet Popcorn Co., Goodbye's Consignment, Cupcakes a Go-Go, and Pop Craft Pops.

The Rosemary District Indie Market

Sarasota's freshest new indie market is the Rosemary District Indie Market, which launched its inaugural monthly event in November. The next Rosemary District Indie Market will take place on Dec. 17, and will continue on the third Saturday of each month year-round.

The Rosemary District Indie Market was established by Ashley Rogers, whose Canned Ham Vintage storefront in the historic downtown Rosemary District sells vintage clothing, furniture and other assorted knick-knacks.

The Rosemary District Indie Market intends to continue bringing in fresh vendors with unique goods into the up-and-coming downtown arts district throughout the year. Some of the first Rosemary Market participants included Sunshine Canning, Orange Grove Vintage, Fresh Farmer fashion, and Kari Bee Designs, featuring unique, handcrafted jewelry memorializing preserved bees.

Venice Mercato

In Venice, 'X' marks the spot at the Venice Mercato, where from salvage to shabby-chic, vintage and antique goods fill a treasure trove. This European-style market is only open one weekend a month, giving its vendors the chance to scour the region for the best finds.

In the Sarasota indie market tradition, Venice Mercato also takes place on the third Saturday of every month—so if you're planning on sticking to a Sarasota-local or vintage theme for your Christmas and Hanukkah gifting this year, prepare for a busy weekend on Dec. 17 and 18!

Shop Local, Shop Small: Do Good in the Holiday Season

Supporting independent artists and small businesses doesn't just spread holiday cheer—it supports local sustainability, and it's a cool way to ensure your gift is one-of-a-kind. As a town that thrives on its arts, Sarasota happens to be home to some of the highest-quality indie markets on the Gulf coast.

Whether you're a resident who wants to support your neighbors during the giving season, or here for a winter vacation and hoping to bring home an original piece to remember Sarasota—our vibrant indie markets may just hold the treasure you seek.