Visit these 2 San Diego spots to shop several local, indie business & creators at once!
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Simply Local and Liberty Public Market bring several independent businesses and creators together in one space, making it as easy as possible for residents to Shop Local.
Often, in order to physically have access to the work of several local and independent creators/business owners at once, you have to be attending a fair or market. And if you're lucky, that market happens once a week. But places like Simply Local and Liberty Public Market in San Diego make it easy for you to discover and shop several indie business at one time, several days a week.
I was so excited to discover both of these places in San Diego, as I've only been to one other place like them in Chicago, the Andersonville Galleria. While I'm sure there are little spots like these all around the country, all of them are completely unique and tailored to the local community. This is not a case of "Once you've seen one, you've seen them all." Every place is going to have products that are truly unique to that state, city, or even neighborhood.
Liberty Public Market in Liberty Station reminds me of attending the One of a Kind Show in Chicago, but on a smaller scale. At One of a Kind, there's a mix of food vendors, products, and art, and Liberty Station covers the same ground with its array of vendors. What makes it even better is that this spot is open seven days a week! I didn't know it was possible to get such a range of local sellers at something that is open daily.
This is a place you could go back to again and again and try or buy something different every time. The food options feature several different cuisines and include both sweet and savory. There's art work, jewelry, and trinkets of all kinds.
The wall of digital screens helps mix both the analog and digital in a fun way, and gives additional promotion to the sellers. The screens showcase social posts from Liberty Public Market, featuring the businesses and vendors, and also posts that mention the market. It encourages you to stay connected with them once you leave the space (I certainly took my phone out and clicked "follow."). It also encourages customers to post about their experiences, and further promote the space and its sellers.
While a physically smaller space that Liberty Public Market, Simply Local makes the most of their space. The walls are covered with shelves full of items from local creators, and a center aisle showcases even more. Each indie creator has a section of space, and many times their business card or other information is included nearby, to ensure you are able to keep up with any you feel particularly inspired by.
You would think so many in one space would make it feel cluttered, but instead it is cozy and well-curated. That's a difficult task with so many different sellers under one roof, selling many different products, but they all work well together. I enjoyed taking my time and carefully looking through each section. Being on a budget, it was hard to control myself, but in the end I managed to walk out with only two items: A glass gemstone water bottle from Elephant Trunk Up and cute beach-y hair ties from Set Sail by Kristin.
These spots are great for anyone wanting to break away from the big brands and shop or eat local--and they're also great spots for holiday shopping, in case anyone is thinking that far ahead!
I've experienced places like these in both Chicago and San Diego, but not yet in any other cities. I'd love to know if you've ever visited a place like this in your city (or know of ones in Chicago or San Diego that I don't yet know about). It would be great to not only visit them someday, but get a list going that I can share with everyone here on indieland. Wouldn't it be fun to find places like these whenever you're traveling? Leave a comment or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions!