Ames hosts market of small business vendors


Madi Bierl

Jody Bergan Bennett and Andrew Kingsbury, Beautiful Land Market founders, at the event Sunday.

Shoppers and over 40 vendors alike came together over a shared love of handmade art pieces, vintage and antique collectables, preloved clothing, homemade food and many more products at the Beautiful Land Market Sunday.

Jody Bergan Bennett and Andrew Kingsbury founded Beautiful Land Market in 2018. Since then, they have had countless vendors come together to put on various holiday and summer pop-up events. Bennett said their main goal in these markets is to bring communities together and help small businesses and creative entrepreneurs.

Red Door Press, owned by Adam and Tammy Winn, was one of the many businesses that came out to sell their products on Sunday. They have been married for 12 years and started their business 10 years ago out of their garage, with a single antique printing press from 1926.

Their first market was with Bennett, back when Beautiful Land Market was named Lucky Star Market.

“I like to come back to Ames,” Tammy Winn said. “She was our first market, so it’s more nostalgic.”

The Winns live in Des Moines, Iowa, and have a shop located in Mainframe Studios. They were featured in the 2017 documentary “Pressing On: The Letterpress Film.”

Linda Tong, 23, was another returning vendor to Beautiful Land Market. She has sold her Linda Tong Planners at many markets, including Good Makers Market, Corridor Market and Made Market Quad Cities.

Tong started making bullet journals for her friends a couple of years ago and saw a business opportunity to bridge the gap between planning and bullet journaling. They are a mix of a planner, sketchbook, and personalized diary. Various drawings are included, such as heart balloons, fruit and records. Bullet journals are normally blank, but Tong created a design for people to enjoy without putting in the time to draw it themselves.

“During Covid, I launched the first illustrative planner and went viral online,” Tong said. “Now I’m able to do it full time, and I wanted to just branch out to something else; Beautiful Land Market was actually the first pop-up market I ever did.”

Beautiful Land Market has a goal of highlighting a nonprofit at every pop-up event. Friendship Ark Inc. is a nonprofit organization that specializes in providing community services and homes to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

At Beautiful Land Market, Friendship Ark had their Bootique Fundraiser, where they accepted donations and sold various Halloween costumes. This is run by Community Relations Specialist Natalie Seibold.

“This is a fundraiser, so the funds go back into our mission and serving the individuals that we have at Friendship Ark,” Seibold said. “It’s very much a community integrated fundraiser as well, so they help unpack donations, hang them up and help us sort them out by size. Halloween costumes are just so fun.”

Friendship Ark had their Bootique fundraiser last year as well, as well as a May Day Sale with Beautiful Land Market. They will be at their next pop-up event from 11 a.m to 4 p.m Sunday, Oct. 2 in the Downtown Ames Fareway parking lot.