Bright lights strung over the street and the scent of kettle corn and grilled meat led people to the vendors whose passion was apparent in the food they made.
The Monday Night Market recently added more vendors between Third and Fourth Street for attendees and passersby to enjoy.
Gilbert Hernandez, owner of the vintage shirt company Deluxe Soul, had his colorful shirts neatly folded on top of tables for people to browse at the event Nov. 4.
Before owning a storefront off of Pacific Coast Highway in Lomita, Hernandez made the shirts for himself before friends and strangers offered to purchase them. Soon, he packed all the shirts into his 1976 Ford Maverick and drove to different markets to sell them.
He soon realized that customers were attracted to the shirts because of their vintage aesthetic and reminder of “happier times.” He explained the meaning behind the name Deluxe Soul.
“The reason is that [the shirts] bring out the best in them,” Hernandez said. “It attracts like-minded to like-minded. You automatically make more friends.”
Further up the street at Monday Night Market, settled between a potted plants vendor and a woman holding lit-up balloons, was Roxanne Boutique Artesanal.
Roxanne Flores, the owner, sells a variety of handmade fashion and accessories from Mexican artists including woven earrings shaped like fruit and beaded rings. Flores said her business is not only about making money.
“It’s really important to help the artist,” Flores said. “For them, it’s signifying support.”
Christy Pardini, a coordinator of Monday Night Market, said the community’s response to the event has been positive
“We have a lot of free games for families to play, so a lot of people bring their kids and they just come and hang out,” Pardini said.
According to Pardini, 75% of the vendors at Monday Night Market are repeat vendors.
One of them is Amber Fuller of Ambreezy Candles. Fuller shared how she suffered from anxiety after a bad car accident, and how she turned to meditation and using scented candles to help her relax. Soon after, she started making her own.
Fuller’s goal is to have her own store, but she was happy to be at the market.
“I love the energy,” Fuller said. “It’s like a free-spirited, open-minded community.”