Having lived in Harlem for three years, it’s taken a little longer than I’d like to admit to learn about Sugar Hill Market but one of the perks of this city is that there is always something to discover, usually right around the corner from where you’ve been having your daily coffee or commute home. Thanks to a tip from a friend and her excitement over her new No125NYC work bag (pictured above), Sugar Hill Market was now on the radar and proper research ensued. An Instagram account (@sugarhillmarket) filled with pictures and posts of handmade clothing, accessories, jewelry, teas, jams, and loads of other goodies immediately inspired a shopping list ten pages long.
The super stylish bag that specifically sparked my interest was a collaboration between Harlem based companies No125Nyc and Sidney and Sons. Durable, simple, and chic it immediately earned top spot on my Sugar Hill Market wish list. Other featured brands that regularly participate at the market include Harlem Candle Company, created by Travelista Teri whose Instagram of the same name is enough to cause non stop daydreams of tropical adventures in exotic locales, and Boy Beads (Insta @boybeads) whose profile showcases endless combinations of made to order beaded bracelets for men. Pictured below is the varied selection of 100% soy candles offered by Harlem Candle Company and, to the right, my purchases, travel size Jet Setter and Bali.
I was able to check out the most recently run Sugar Hill Market which took place Sunday September 27th at La Maison D’Art, a unique, beautifully decorated brownstone located at 259 West 132nd Street. Open from noon until 6 pm, it was a great post brunch activity on a sunny fall day. When entering the brownstone, the first items to catch the eye were the flowy, luxe designs of Carlton Jones, who was there himself, ready smiling with a warm greeting. Essential wardrobe pieces, including unisex yoga pants and wool ponchos, were well placed before colorful paintings by Harlem based artist Gregory Saint Amand. More uptown based companies including Harlem Chocolate Factory, Chez Diarra, Fashionista Tea, and Crosstown Sweets along with Brooklyn based knit designers InLieu were present to tempt all the senses with inviting colors, textures, and scents. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a relaxed session of online shopping but with the added bonus of being able to sample and touch.
Soon gift ideas for everyone were coming to mind. A chef friend was thought of with a taste of spicy African sauce by Chez Diarra, the aroma of Earl Grey tea by Fashionista Tea would be the next topic of conversation with a fellow tea-loving girlfriend, questions of how well bacon milk chocolate would ship to a high school friend in Boston arose when a sample from Harlem Chocolate Factory was nibbled, and ideas of which jam by Crosstown Sweets would be best for hosting a brunch popped up. With so much to see, the trip to West Harlem is well worth it for those who want a unique shopping experience or for activity seeking locals who didn’t realize just how close this indoor fair was to their own backyard.
The next Sugar Hill Market will be this Sunday, October 11 from noon to 6pm. Other wares such as soap from Harlem Soap, coffee from Centropics, and ceramics by Tina Chiu (Insta @tinachiudesigns) will be at this one, along with even more vendors that weren’t listed above.
Fun fact: Timeout Magazine gave this event a shout out in October 2014.