By Mike Lauterborn

The first PopShop Market sprang up in the FTC's parking lot and warehouse on Sanford Street, an open-air venue for vendors selling a range of merchandise from crafts and clothing to food and drink.

The market was founded by partners Andrea Espach, Kelly Scinto and Ashley Kane, all of Fairfield, and will have three more sessions over the course of its first year.

The diverse offering from more than 40 vendors included jewelry and apparel to furniture, two food trucks, a bar area, a mini farmers market, treats for dogs, music performed by Tom Crowley and Oh Cassius, product samplings and demonstrations.

Faherty Brand swimwear was another participant with a walk-through mobile store and Fairfield Board Company was on hand with equipment.

"We have long admired the Brooklyn Flea Market and have been inspired by the markets in Berlin and London, and wanted to bring something like that here," said Espach. "This is the kind of thing we like to do ourselves on the weekend. We also tend to drag our husbands and fiances to these types of events so wanted to be sure there was something for everyone."

The market, she added, was planned as "a kick-off to the season."

The weather -- bright, sunny and warm -- fully cooperated, helping the market attract couples, families, teens and seniors who browsed the merchandise, shopped, sampled and hung out enjoying food, drink and music.

"Black Rock Life is stoked to be here and to branch out into Fairfield, and show people that BRL is a lifestyle," said Kevin Smith of the business that he described as "a clothing and entertainment company that loves to have fun and show that spirit."

Another vendor, Nancy Rabinowitz, of Nathan & Moe Jewelry, said, "The Fairfield community fits our demographic target. Our very beachy resort jewelry is about fun and summer. And it's nice to be with other well-curated vendors with great selections."

Strolling through the market with her husband Ed and young sons Eddie and Leo, Easton resident Suzanne Chiaramonte remarked, "I received a postcard about this and went online for more information. It sounded interesting. We generally like these markets in the springtime. It's a good diversion with the kids. We are looking for Father's Day gifts and there's a great variety of food here, too."

Fairfield Theatre Co. officials were pleased to collaborate with the PopShop Market organizers.

Chad Anderson, FTC's marketing assistant and public relations coordinator, said, "We liked the PopShop concept as it brings local businesses and residents together downtown, which is great for FTC as it speaks to our mission of partnering with the town and surrounding areas like Stamford and Black Rock. The food trucks are a cool element, too, with lots of possibilities for us in the future with after-show service."

For more information visit http://popshopmarket.com