The Maker City monthly blog takes a look at locations where makers are found in The Maker City and features some of Knoxville area’s outstanding makers – artists, crafters and so much more.  This month’s blog features the Old City Market and Dogwood Arts’ Emerging Makers program.

Amy Roskop 1Amy Roskop of the Old City Market

When and how did the Old City Market start?

The Old City Market started back in 2018, when the only other market in town was the Market Square Farmers’ Market. With limited availability, several artists were having trouble getting into that. Members of the Old City Association decided they needed to create a new avenue for fine artists to showcase their work, and so they created the OCM! 

Why should visitors to Knoxville seek out the Old City Market? 

We have extremely talented makers here, and the Old City Market is thoughtfully curated to showcase our city’s greatest artisans. Whether you’re in town for a week or just a few days, stopping at our market in the historic part of downtown Knoxville gives you a peek inside what makes Knoxville the Maker City. Anyone who appreciates locally-made goods should not miss this market! 

What are some of your favorite wares at the OCM?

Too many to tell! What I love about our market is the variety, the creativity, and the passion that our vendors bring. I will say, the smells of all the wonderful soaps/candles and even the baked goods will keep you coming back for more!

Brief bio:

Originally from Dearborn, Michigan, Amy Roskop played volleyball at Oakland University and graduated with a degree in general studies. She moved to Knoxville for a job in 2014. “I had visited and loved everything about Knoxville - it was a no-brainer.” In addition to running the Old City Market, she is assistant manager at Madewell and with her husband Zack runs Knox Brew Hub and Knox Brew Tours. 

“When I moved here, I decided to stay long term only because of the community. The camaraderie and support that everyone has for each other is inspiring. What The Maker City has is probably one of the strongest communities I’ve ever seen.” The Roskops and their two dogs and one cat live in Parkridge.

Jalynn Bakery 1

Jalynn Baker, Inclusion & Community Outreach Coordinator of Dogwood Arts

The Old City Market features two Emerging Makers every month in a shared space. This is a fairly new idea, right?

The Dogwood Arts Emerging Makers program was born in 2022 out of a desire to support local, up-and-coming makers. It’s the perfect on-ramp for beginners to gain market experience and receive financial and moral support; some feel intimidated by markets but really want to give them a try, so I personally work with each maker to achieve a successful booth setup. Since starting the program, we have featured a total of six emerging makers.

Additionally, we held an Emerging Makers Tent in the World's Fair Park Amphitheater at the 2023 Dogwood Arts Festival, giving a platform to 27 local and regional emerging makers. It's such a proud moment to see artists gain the confidence and experience needed to meet their goals and go after even bigger dreams! 

Why should Knoxville visitors make a point to stop by the Emerging Makers tent when they visit the Old City Market?

By shopping at the Emerging Makers tent, you are supporting and investing in the future of The Maker City! The Emerging Makers who participate in our program have spoken of the impact that this platform has given them, saying that the encouragement and feedback they received were pivotal in their growth as an artist and business owner. It takes all of us to cultivate an environment in which makers can thrive, and shopping at the Emerging Makers tent is one way to do so. 

Brief bio:

Knoxville photographer Jalynn Baker uses art and storytelling as a tool for advocacy. She earned a B.A. in Art at the University of Tennessee in 2015 and since then has been actively involved in the Maker City community. Baker is passionate about centering the voices of the unheard and promoting equity in the community. Her goal is to collaboratively release appreciation for life, and empathy for people, into the world.