Assembly Creators Market aims to bring together creative entrepreneurs for affordable luxury shopping

Assembly Creators Market window display at 1642 Orrington Ave. The store’s founder Reyes Witt said there’s an “eclectic mix” of styles that represent a diverse group of creators.

Photo courtesy of Assembly Creators Market

Assembly Creators Market window display at 1642 Orrington Ave. The store’s founder Reyes Witt said there’s an “eclectic mix” of styles that represent a diverse group of creators.

Vy Duong, Reporter

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Reyes Witt, the founder of Assembly Creators Market, said she wanted to give artists, designers and small business owners a curated space to showcase their talent within Evanston’s “rich art culture.”

Assembly Creators Market, located at 1642 Orrington Ave., opened in November 2018. The store houses designer works that Witt described as “quality, luxury, affordable items,” ranging from handmade jewelry to customized footwear and clothes. Witt said there’s an “eclectic mix” of styles that represent a diverse group of creators.

After working in mass production for 20 years, Witt said she hopes to bring a refreshing shopping experience to Evanston, stepping away from price-oriented consuming habits.

Chicago-based designer Cindy Hock-Lauwers, whose jewelry collections “Black Tie” and “Stardust” are featured, said Assembly delivers high fashion and enriches customers’ experiences. Hock-Lauwers said gathering different voices within the same industry can generate competition, but that’s not the case for Assembly Creators Market.

“Reyes really presents it in a non-competitive and girl-power way where we are empowering each other,” Hock-Lauwers said. “Anything in life, you’re stronger together than you’re on your own.”

Witt said the store has been organizing workshops for the public, including candle-making sessions where people create their own fragrances and name their finished products. Witt added that she was happy to see Northwestern students participate, as she tries to make the classes “affordable, fun and stress-free.”

While luxury goods are usually associated with high prices, Witt said Assembly Creators Market offers the high standard without the “insane mark-up,” and she hopes customers form a meaningful connection with what they buy and wear.

“Luxury really is treating yourself and creating an emotion, a mood, a sense and using quality ingredients and created with care,” Witt said. “I want people to love what they have.”

Chicago-based designer Valerie Dramé said she instantly connected with Witt when they first met at an artisan market. Dramé said she is excited to be working with someone who “has such a great eye” and also shares a strong interest in leather goods.

Dramé said she strives to bring both fashion and function together through her collection of leather handbags in Assembly, and she wants to show that handmade luxury items can come with an accessible price.

“My goal is to make bags that are pretty but also very functional,” Dramé said. “I find people really enjoy when they bought something handcrafted and others compliment them on it.”

Pointing to the “unique demographics” of Evanston, Witt said she has enjoyed getting to know people from around the neighborhood coming in. She said Downtown Evanston, which she partnered with during the Hygge Fest last month, has been a great resource for small businesses.

Witt said she hopes to be able to share her experience and insights to strengthen the local art culture.

“It’s all about helping each other out,” Witt said. “The idea of competition is done — competitiveness is ugly. Everyone has an opportunity and when working together, you start building really great communities.”

Email: vyduong2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @vyhduong

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