New Pop-Up Market promotes student makers

Design to Table sells products made by Syracuse University students in Marshall Square Mall.

[Correction: Our original article stated that "makers get 10 percent commission on all sold items." This information was incorrect as makers receive 90 percent of all sold items. The article has been corrected to reflect the correct information.]

A new pop-up market is giving student makers and designers an access point to sell their products.

Design to Table, which is run by fifth-year industrial and interaction design students Ryn Adkins and Ryan Pierson, opened shop on Nov. 9. It’s the latest business to take advantage of Pop^, a pop-up retail space located near the entrance of Marshall Square Mall.

Through the market, Adkins and Pierson promote local businesses by selling products made by Syracuse University students “We noticed a lot of kids on campus making really cool things. There isn’t a space for them to sell it, and we just want to be here for that,” Adkins said. “We want students to make money off of the awesome things that they do.”

 Design to Table is set up like a curated design shop and will feature a wide range of products every week. Currently available items include ceramic bowls and cups, leather bracelets, bees wax lip balm, scarves, prints, T-shirts, bags, and meditation stools.

In order to sell products at the shop, students have to fill out a rolling submission application at, Fifteen students — many from the School of Visual and Performing Arts — are set to feature their work at Design to Table, but Adkins and Pierson said they’re getting new submissions almost every day. Makers get 90 percent commission on all sold items.

Adkins and Pierson founded Design to Table last semester after working on a farm in Cazenovia. The farmer had “fantastic” practices, according to Adkins, but couldn’t sell his giant containers of lard. Realizing that a general unfamiliarity with the product and a negative stigma surrounding it likely contributed to the farmer’s lack of sales, Adkins and Pierson tried to rebrand the lard by giving it a new aesthetic. The result was 200 ceramic bowls that they said they plan to bring back to the farm to use for selling lard. “We thought the hand-made, or locally-made, object really paired well with the locally-made product,” Pierson said.

Working at the farm introduced Adkins and Pierson to a shared passion for empowering and working with local producers. “We formed Design to Table to put other people on a platform, whether it’s local farmers or people who make things,” Pierson said. They put some of their ceramic lard bowls on display at the shop, and they said they plan to make a recipe book to generate more interest in lard in the future. “It’s a project that we think we could scale up,” Pierson said. “Ideally, it would remain tied to small local farms and each one would be individualized in some way. But we’re really looking at this year as a test to see what happens.”

Design to Table will remain in business until Dec. 12. The hours of operation vary, but Adkins and Pierson said they plan to open the shop six days a week. Customers can check the business’s Instagram account @designtotable for daily hours.

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