By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Aug 17, 2021 at 11:01 AM

After over a year’s hiatus, The Night Market will return on Wednesday, Aug. 18 from 5 to 10 p.m. on West Wisconsin Avenue between 2nd Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue.

And that means an evening of community, connecting and getting inspired by the awesomeness that is Milwaukee Downtown in the summertime.

While you’re there, you can participate in any number of fun activities. Eat great food. Dance in the streets to great live music. You can also support any number of local businesses, including some new-to-the-market vendors.

The lively open-air market, held by the Westown Association in partnership with NEWaukee and presented by Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C., will include an impressive slate of over 100 vendors plus performances from TRUE Skool Band and DJs and a pop up performance by the Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team at 7 p.m.

That includes a slate of 20 new diverse new vendors who will be showcasing their products thanks to sponsorship by American Family Insurance. It’s a group that includes a combination of food and craft businesses of many stripes, with representation from BIPOC- and woman-owned businesses and a combination of both new entrepreneurs and long-standing community staples.

Here are 10 great new vendors (with amazing wares) that you can patronize while you’re there!

1. DUSBLU 

DUSBLU crayons
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If you’ve got kids (or know some) who love to draw, don’t miss a stop at DUSBLU, the maker of cute, non-toxic crayons molded into creative shapes like popsicles and doughnuts. They are adorable and fun and guaranteed to inspire creativity!

2. Dynamo 

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For one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories, head to Dynamo, where you’ll find unique, affordable pieces “made for the modern maverick” by two best friends who launched a business based on their love for crafting jewelry.

3. HoneyBee Sage Wellness & Apothecary 

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HoneyBee Sage is a collective of makers specializing in health and wellness products (from herbs, teas and tinctures to natural body care) which got its start at the Sherman Phoenix and now has its own brick and mortar shop on Lisbon Avenue. 

4. Ina Maka

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Named for Ina Maka (Mother Earth), this local business specializes in crystal jewelry that’s smudged and made with positive intent. Good vibes only.

5. Queens Crown Essentials 

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Hair care is at the heart of Queens Crown Essentials, a business launched by a natural hair stylist who began making holistic hair care products inspired by her own healthy hair journey. 

 6. Raising Good

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Whether you’re a “Beer Chaser,” a “Midwest Mama” or a “Cream City Cutie,” you’ll find something that fits at this family friendly apparel shop that even caters to your pup.

7. Soap Fixx Co.

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Staying clean is way more fun when your soap is as clean as you aspire to be. That’s the case with Soap Fixx Co., which makes soaps crafted with all natural ingredients like coconut and olive oils, plus paraben-free, phthalate-free fragrance oils. Looking for a boost? Pick up a jar of their luxurious orange peel and orange essential oil salt scrub.

8. Style Pop Cafe 

Coffee from Style Pop Cafe
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Designed to cater to the diversity found in local coffee shops, Style Pop Cafe is a coffee brand that aims to “summon people's courage to be true to themselves.”  Bet that tastes amazing.

9. T for Textile 

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Macrame is back. And T for Textile is delivering on the trend with handmade textile goods to decorate your home and express your unique sense of style.

10. Fit4YouMKE 

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Health and wellness takes many forms. Fit4YouMKE began by offering traveling trainer services that served clients where they lived and worked. Today, the business has expanded to offer healthful products including lavender lemonade and whipped lavender shea butter products through outlets like Rise & Grind Cafe at the Sherman Phoenix

More to love

You can also stop and check out the offerings from Be Heard, MKE Black (nonprofit that promotes Black businesses); Red Tipi Inc.; WoLF Studios MKE (dance, photography studio) or enjoy some delicious treats from Tres Flores Funnel Cakes (funnel cakes, lemonade); Jakarta Cafe (Indonesian food truck); El Poblanito Gourmet Tacos (taco truck); BeBe's Bistro (sandwiches and fries, food truck); Mr. Greens (soul food, food truck) and The Corn Man (roasted corn stand). 

And that’s not even the half of it. For the full list of vendors at the market, visit mkenightmarket.com/vendors.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.