Sep 29, 2006: Guests & Gifts at Eastern Market

September 29, 2006—Eurasian guests get an education at Eastern Market and lets you give the gift of the Flea Market.


International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce Special American Business Internship (SABIT) program brought a group of small crafts business owners from Eurasian countries (Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) to the Flea Market in August to learn about the Arts and Crafts Industry in the United States.

SABIT is a four-week long program designed to provide targeted industry training to professionals from Eurasian countries and spur exchanges between participants and U.S. host companies. The SABIT Program is based on connecting host companies with the industry-related interests of the group.

While arranging the visit Trade Specialist Rimma Karlin, a Capitol Hill resident and frequent market shopper, wrote, “I believe that the group will benefit from visiting the Flea Market at Eastern Market and learning about this unique (for most areas of the US) aspect of the industry.“

Artist-Exhibitor Michael Berman, Communications Director for the Flea Market at Eastern Market, led the group of 20 on a tour of the market and explained the benefits of showcasing wares in a public market and how the many types of crafts and countries represented contribute to generating a sophisticated clientele.

Berman introduced the group to many exhibitors of particular interest to them, including Russian artists and Turkish and other Eurasian crafts importers, who are found throughout the market.

"Importers from five continents and dozens of countries are among the 175 to 200 exhibitors who display at the Flea Market every week," he told the group. "And The Flea Market is a great incubator for businesses."

Berman said many exhibitors have expanded into storefronts, kiosks, even chains of stores. Artists have gotten gallery representation. Potters have opened shops. Clothing sellers have opened boutiques and designers have been recruited to supply department stores.

"Many importers from Peruvian crafts to Afghan rugs now have thriving businesses in the metropolitan area after test-marketing their products here,” Berman claimed. "Hopefully, many new relationships were forged between the tour group and exhibitors and between the Market and the Department of Commerce, where we hope to build on this wonderful exchange of international business contacts.

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE MARKET is launching a new opportunity for gift giving, just in time for the holidays. Gift Certificates are now available for purchase either in $25, $50, or $100 denominations or in an amount of your choice. The gift card, issued to the recipient of your choosing, can be redeemed at any of the 175 exhibitors that display their wares every Sunday at the Flea Market at Eastern Market and are good for one year.

You can now purchase the certificates at Flea Market Manager and Owner Tom Rall's stand, located under the Farmers Shed along 7th Street at the end nearest to North Carolina Avenue or through email to: You may also click on the contact located at the bottom of the newsletter or just reply to this email.

Rall said the handsome cards, designed by Berman, will eventually be available for purchase both through the newsletter and web site.


In last month’s newsletter we incorrectly named "Covenant House Washington" and identified Matt Barinholtz, who is a Program Director, as a volunteer there. We regret these errors.