The annual Front Porch Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m Saturday at home of Dr. Chris and Rachel Riley.
Rachel Riley, instructor of psychology, has hosted the market on her front lawn for a number of years, and it has grown from just an opportunity for her to sell her own “good junk,” to an annual event where students, alumni, her friends and even her children participate with booths of their own to sell various odds and ends.
“It’s a market. It’s not a flea market, it’s not a garage sale,” Riley said. “It’s just kind of like a day at the house where there’s music, there’s food, and there’s all kinds of things being sold. On an ideal day, people will come and stay and have some refreshments, listen to the musicians…”
After she and her family moved to the home she lives in now, which has an adjacent parking lot, she found that it was easy to invite other people to come sell things alongside her.
“I started inviting friends that I knew made things, so handmade items, or that had their own bakeries or food trucks or that sort of thing,” Riley said. “Also, so many students are so talented here at ACU, that my friends need to know about them, and they need to sell the things that they are making, so that’s made some pretty interesting connections over the years.”
There will be twelve booths at the sale this year, including some by her children.
“My son is in sixth grade, and he’s in Destination Imagination,” Riley said. “He’s going to have a booth called ‘Everything’s a book.’ That’s not necessarily the caliber of things that we sell. It’s usually nice things that have been repurposed . . . but everything will be a dollar, and so he’s collected donations and things to put in it, and he is quite a character, so it will be interesting to see what that looks like.”
Many of the booths will be selling what Riley calls “good junk,” while others provide food.
“Good Things Bakery will be there,” Riley said. “The owner of Good Things Bakery (Emily Cooke) is an ACU alum, and she makes the most delicious things.”
Riley is thoughtful about the things she sells in her own booth.
“I put out all kinds of things, some handmade things but mostly things that I’ve purchased at estate sales,” Riley said. “So everything is second hand in my booth, and then I try to think about ‘what are the things people would want in their homes?’ So there’s a wide variety of things.”
The musicians playing are mostly students, including Weston Weast, sophomore music major from Edmond, Oklahoma.
“I performed last year as well,” Weast said. “I appreciate the Front Porch Market because it promotes the love to create. It showcases men and women who take time to create something beautiful, whether the commons is clothing, jewelry, art, music, food, et cetera.”
Riley encouraged anyone interesting in having a booth at next year’s front porch market to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her home is located at 1725 Austin St. in Abilene.