A TOUR OF THE WALNUT CREEK, CA STORE
It is no secret that we love San Fransisco based Makers Market. On our recent trip to the bay area we stopped into the newest Makers Market location in Walnut Creek, CA. While we were taking pictures of the wonderful space we chatted with owner Suzy Ekman about her latest brick and mortar venture.
Give us a bit of insight about Walnut Creek. It’s a small community with a fantastic view of Mt. Diablo, and a tree-lined downtown packed with hundred year old buildings, high end retail, and great restaurants. Many residents of Walnut Creek commute into San Francisco to work in Investment Banking, Venture Capital, and High Tech. Many beautiful quaint towns nearby – Moraga, Orinda, Danville, Alamo – all of which have a rich Native American history.
Why did you pick this community to open a store? Walnut Creek is the shopping mecca for the East Bay (San Francisco Bay). Shoppers who are serious about buying – come here. We are fortunate to be sandwiched in between Nordstrom’s and Neiman Marcus, so the shoppers who walk in our store are looking for quality, beautiful styling, and uniqueness – which is what we offer…. The Best in American Made! And as you noticed during your visit, it is an aesthetically beautiful downtown. And we are all about the aesthetics!
How has an American Made store been received in a mall that is otherwise focused on designer fashions? The shoppers have been over-the-top ecstatic about our store. Years ago, there were many independent retailers in Walnut Creek, and little by little they were replaced with global retailers. Residents have been starving for an independently owned retail store, and on top of that, one that carries local makers. They are surprised and excited to learn that the owner of the store is actually in the store on certain days. They view us as a breath of fresh air in their community, and can’t stop smiling and oooo-ing and aaaa-ing as they walk around!
How long have you had the Walnut Creek store? We just opened July 2017!
What does this store specialize in? We have about 120 makers in the store – and I’d say most shoppers love our jewelry and handbags. We also carry men’s accessories, apothecary, and home goods such as ceramics, glassware, textiles, woodwork, and wall hangings.
Does it differ from your other store in any way? Not really, they are pretty similar in their offerings.
What are your favorite items you carry in the store? I’ve always been a ceramics-connaisseur, so am constantly bringing in new ceramics makers… but like most ladies, I must say that I partake in the jewelry, handbags and body products quite a bit.
What are the most popular items in the store? The most popular item right now is a magnetic leather bracelet made by a lady in San Jose and leather bags, mostly by Go Forth Goods. (attached)
What has been the biggest lesson this location has taught you? To locate in a serious shopping district where most people are walking around with bags from high end retailers!