The Found Collective Joins the Boulder Farmers Market Next Wednesday

Step into a Found Collective event and you will be transported to the streets of a European city. With a wide range of local artisans bringing together vintage clothing, jewelry, home goods, and services like tarot and astrology readings, these markets encapsulate community. This is all the vision of Emmy Swenson, founder/curator of the Found Collective.

Next Wednesday, May 22, the Found Collective will be coming to the Boulder Farmers Market,  turning 13th Street in Boulder into a place with not only locally produced food, but also a variety of handcrafted goods and services.

This is exactly the kind of event Emmy envisioned when she started the Found Collective just under two years ago. As a hairstylist in the community for 18 years, she had a growing network of local creatives whose work she wanted to uplift. Many of her clients were artists, in addition to her personal community in creative spaces.

Emmy Swenson, founder/curator of the Found Collective.

Emmy noticed a lack of spaces for these individuals to showcase their work and build further solidarity, so the idea for a collective of creatives was born. Now, the Found Collective is collaborating with the Boulder Farmers Market to bring the vision to an even larger audience.

To get an idea of what a Found Collective event looks like, imagine a West Coast Craft market in California meets a European Bazaar, but make it uniquely Boulder. Many vendors have returned from market to market, but Emmy takes great care in adding new vendors to each event.

She centers diversity and exposure for folks who are newer to selling their art with scholarships, reduced fees, and many free resources for all vendors. She said learning all of the rules about running a business –  such as sales tax licensing and permits – can be intimidating, so she tries to lower as many barriers as possible to participation.

Over the past two years, she has seen her idea come to life. The first Found Collective event was held outside of the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder. Its immediate success spurred a second event at The Studio (Boulder), a spring market at the Rembrandt Yard, and another outdoor event at Dairy Arts Center. The event at Boulder Farmers Market will be her fifth, with several vendors returning multiple times. Interest in participation has grown and each event has more applications coming in, even some from out of state.

While preparing for next Wednesday’s event, Emmy is already looking ahead. Mostly a one-woman team, she has help from Sasha Baskin, who helps turn Emmy’s ideas into reality. They hope to continue expanding to accommodate more vendors, with more variety in the coming years.

The range of products available at Found Collective events is wide and constantly changing market-to-market.

The goal has always been to truly create space that is consistent, dependable and really fosters community. Not only through connecting Coloradans to artists, but connecting artists to each other. She compares her hair cutting style with a straight blade to painting, but “painters don’t paint together.” This community she is building allows for painters to paint together.

When asked what she wanted to leave people with, Emmy said that she hopes people know how much it means to the small artists for people to show up to support them. That these markets are filled with heart. That shopping in this way allows these goods to find you, not the other way around – something that is impossible when shopping online. 

Emmy is a single mom who still works full time as a hairstylist. The Found Collective is a passion project that she dedicates her time to because she believes in the importance of creating this community. Join her at the Boulder Farmers Market next week to see what the Found Collective is all about.

There will be live music by Jesse Manno and James Hoskins and a curated group of creatives alongside our regular farmers market full of local produce, locally made pantry goods, ready to eat food from food trucks, and beer from Wild Provisions by 4 Noses.

Follow @the_foundcollective and @boulderfarmersmarket on Instagram to stay up to date on the event and to pre-book your spot for Reiki and astrology chart reading. You can RSVP here!

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