Skeleton Key hosts Rock Island Artists’ Market

Skeleton Key is looking to expand the event in 2022 beyond their parking lot
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 12:28 AM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - With the extra time on her hands in quarantine of Spring 2020, Concepcion Medina decided to put additional effort into one of her passions.

“We were super bored as everyone else was and so we decided to go to estate sales and I’ve always kind of liked doing it so we found a lot of unique stuff and we’re like ‘let’s start doing it’ nothing was open so we decided in the garage to start making a bunch of stuff,” Medina said.

Medina ended up creating Just Beachy Home+ which upcycles materials to make things like earings, tables, necklaces, and more.

Now she plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in September, after finding financial success at local markets like the Rock Island Artists’ Market.

“If we didn’t have the vendor fairs we honestly probably wouldn’t have even thought of opening a store,” Medina said.

Skeleton Key Art and Antiques Owner Brandy Vandewalle said he created the monthly summer event seven years ago as a way for artisans and businesses to engage with customers.

“We really like to find a way to get local artists connected with customers from here in the area and sometimes that can be cost-prohibitive or time-prohibitive just depending on, a lot of these are newer artists, younger artists, up-and-coming artists who may have a day job or who may work several days a week and often time these events are Friday, Saturday, Sunday so it doesn’t really work in their schedule,” Vandewalle said.

This year’s Market was limited to two dates this year in June and August, the event normally runs each month from June through October.

Vandewalle sees the event getting better and better heading into next year.

“What we’re hoping we’re able to do is maybe some small road closures out here and be able to have more room to expand because we really are pretty full as far as what we can handle on our lot,” Vandewalle said, “Next year with being able to expand a little bit we’ll probably be able to double the size of the market I imagine.”

The August edition also provides some sentimental value, as Skeleton Key turned eight years old on August 29.

“I think every new business owner thinks their business is going to last forever but the reality is that so many don’t so to have been supported by the community to make it to eight years is just fantastic and amazing and we’re so grateful,” Vandewalle said.

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