Oh, Charm City. We may be behind other major metropolises in a few ways, what with their reliable public transportation and enforced traffic laws, but Baltimore has kept up with the buy-local bandwagon just as much as the rest of the country. Our farmer’s markets are packed with patrons and we love our local beers. This week, two Baltimore boys are extending the buy-local philosophy beyond what we put in our bodies to what we put on our bodies.
No, we aren’t getting a new store with four walls and air-conditioning. Where do you think you are, DC? But, we are getting a pop-up menswear market that is bringing a slew of independent, domestically-focused, and high-quality retailers from across the region to Charles Village. Conﬁrmed Stock is popping for one day at 2640 Space on April 28th from 11am to 5pm.
Neal Shaffer and Chris Walbert, who both work in creative branding and design in Baltimore, aim to present patrons with a well-curated and high-quality selection of clothes, shoes, bags, leather goods, accessories, and other mostly American-made products and vintage items. Shaffer and Walbert hope to encourage mindful retail shopping. Instead of buying cheap things you don’t really need, the philosophy behind this event is to spend a little more and thoughtfully buy quality products that will last.
“The main thing we’re trying to get across,” said Walbert, “is that your purchases matter. When you buy something, you’re voting for that product, who makes it and how they make it.”
Pop-up markets give small, independent brands and retailers a platform to promote their practices and products while giving shoppers alternatives to mass-produced and poor-quality retail made outside of the United States.
Most of the brands and retailers selling at Conﬁrmed Stock are producing their products the right way by purchasing materials made in the United States, producing the actual items domestically, or ﬁlling their stalls with brands that do so. Buying products produced this way supports the craftsmen that made the item and the community around them. Walbert said in some cases, the person who bound the notebook or cut the leather for a belt will be the same person selling them at Confirmed Stock.
“There’s something really special about shaking the hand of the person who made the belt, jeans, shirt, etc. that you’re buying,” said Walbert.
Baltimore’s own menswear store Sixteen Tons will be there, along with other locals Sandtown Millworks, which makes handcrafted furniture, and Almanac Industries, a bookbinder and letterpress. Red Emma’s will provide coffee throughout the day.
Shaffer and Walbert were inspired to create Conﬁrmed Stock by the success of other similar pop-up markets, such as Pop-Up Flea in New York City, Northern Grade in Minneapolis, and Gentlemen’s Reserve in Vancouver. The pair, going off the shopping habits and styles they witness around the city, decided there was no reason Baltimore should not have an event like this.
Schaffer said Saturday will really be the test for what he thinks is true: that Baltimoreans care about what they are buying and who they are buying from. “The demand for these types of clothing and products is really the wild card in all of this,” said Shaffer.
Schaffer and Walbert plan to organize another Conﬁrmed Stock event in the fall and continue to build the brand as a whole.
April 28th from 11am to 5pm
2640 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Payment options are up to individual vendors. Some will accept debit and credit cards, while others will only be able to accept cash. Street parking only.
For more information and a complete list of retailers and their philosophies on keeping it local, visit www.conﬁrmedstock.com