The Ladies and Artisans of River City Marketplace

Ana Manzano Portrait
Ana Manzano

By Ana Manzano (Guest Blogger)

Founded in 2015 with inspiration from the unique, bustling markets in New Orleans, Washington, DC and New York, River City Marketplace has the vision of giving Sacramento artists a platform to share their work with the community while contributing to the evolving character of our city. The seasonal event has grown to feature over 120 of the Sacramento region’s most talented makers, fine artists and small businesses.

The next market comes to Midtown on Saturday, October 8th, providing an event experience that truly showcases Sacramento’s creative community of emerging and established brands alike.

This free event will feature handmade products including jewelry and apparel for all personal styles, enriching bath and body products, incredible photography and original art, rare antique finds and repurposed vintage goods, and whimsical children’s gifts.

Along with the vast marketplace, Fremont Park will be bustling with live music, food trucks and lawn games, all coming together for a family-friendly afternoon.

To give you a taste of what you’ll see at River City Marketplace, four participating makers shared what inspires them to build their brands and what makes our city’s artistic pulse so great.

Lindsay Bladquez, The Pastel Lady Art


A Little About Me: If you can make a living doing something that you love – you should. My art is inspired by my passion for magic, mermaids, ghosts, comic books, things that are both creepy and cute, getting lost in the woods, and the vast expanse of interstellar space. These interests inspire me daily!

Creating has been the most constant thing in my life. My mother and brother are both artists and I have grown up always drawing, painting, sewing, sculpting or making something. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design in 2015 and I started showing and selling my art in January of this year.

Favorite Thing About Sacramento: The Sacramento art community has been stepping up its game lately and I am loving it. There is so much growing support of local art and makers happening right now and every time I participate in a new event or art show I meet more new and amazing people.

Reason for Participating in River City Marketplace: The best part about events like River City Marketplace is that it gets a bunch of makers and artist and the people who enjoy supporting them all together in one place. Meeting the creative people in the booths around you and talking with people who love what you make is a phenomenal experience.

Dania Lukey, Dania Lukey Handmade


A Little About Me: I took a ceramics class while I was completing my Master’s of Education (Art in Education) and fell in love with the process of creating: the feel of the clay, finding just the right glaze. The idea that I could create objects that people could use and enjoy and share was invigorating. It took me a couple of years of study and practice before I was confident enough to start selling my pieces. That was almost five years ago and I’m still just as enthused when I sit down at my wheel today.  

Favorite Thing About Sacramento: Since I was six making mudpies with my Grandmother, through an undergraduate degree in architecture, into the classroom as a teacher, and now as a potter I’ve found a way to create and sell my wares right here in Sacramento. It’s been fun to watch the region grow and to become part of the craftsperson community.

Reason for Participating in River City Marketplace: I think the most rewarding part of the events I participate in, like RCMP, is getting to talk with all the visitors and watch them as they enjoy my pottery!

Sarah Cray, Dandelion Paper Co.


A Little About Me: I majored in Studio Art at Sac State. Always having an interest in art, I thought that teaching was the way to go; however, as I was getting my degree, Etsy was growing in popularity. I was seeing other artists my age making a living by creating their own artwork and selling online and locally. At first, seeing the success of others was intimidating, but I realized that most of it was just actually going for it. How would I know that I would fail if I didn’t try?

About a year ago, I started to really focus on creating my own Etsy shop and pursuing my own business. Now I get excited seeing the success of others; hopefully with hard work and perseverance, that can be me! I am continually inspired by the artist community, whether online or in person, because it fosters a sense of a happiness and excitement! Playing around with colors and ideas while getting constructive critiques is such a great way to grow. 

Favorite Thing About Sacramento: Sacramento is really diverse, which creates an atmosphere of artistic variety. Being a part of a community that is supportive of local artists and celebrates originality is inspiring in itself and gives me the boost of confidence I need in order to pursue a career as an artist.

Reason for Participating in River City Marketplace: My favorite part about events like this is making real connections with other artists and customers. They all want to see you succeed; they all want to support you. The first River City Marketplace I participated in, I was blown away by the response I got, from other vendors and the visitors. It’s really validating to see such a positive response to your artwork and to see your community rally behind you. 

Jacqueline Greene and Cory Pensky, Wild Poppy & Co


A Little About Us: Sacramento is a beautiful cluster of artists, makers and locally owned storefronts that we really wanted to be a part of. Friends for years, Cory and I joked from time to time about starting a “traveling boutique” and being able to “come to the people” with our special finds. One day, over happy hour, magic happened. Our fates aligned and the seed was planted, Wild Poppy & Co was born. From there, we came up with a business plan, looked for the perfect truck and were on our way!

First and foremost, we consider ourselves curators, not retailers. Every piece of clothing and jewelry we sell is a direct reflection of who we are as women, how we see ourselves and how we see our community. We constantly talk about the thrill of searching and discovering unique finds whether it is vintage clothing, fun prints or beautifully made jewelry. When curating our “little” truck shop, we loved that although our passion was the same, our styles were different, creating a special formula for a unique shopping experience. 

Favorite Thing About Sacramento: Our favorite thing about Sacramento is the strong sense of community it creates, directly because of its people and their craft. We don’t see other vendors/artists or boutiques as competition, we see them as collaborators, friends and allies. We love seeing all of the creative ideas sprouting out of our little city and to be a part of that is something truly special.

Reason for Participating in River City Marketplace: As stated above, Sacramento is a very special place to harbor your creativity and we think River City Marketplace embodies that. To be able to go to one place and experience such a wide array of art taking its form, benefits everyone: the artist, the curator and the consumer. Residents recognize this magic and appreciate it for what it is. This is, simply, why events like this are so popular in the city we love, and the reason we do what we do, every single day. 


River City Marketplace returns to Fremont Park on Second Saturday, October 8th from 11am – 5pm! For more information or to participate in future events, visit the River City Marketplace website or connect with us on social media!


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