Messages to go…, Hatuey Ramos-Fermín interviewed Essex Street Market’s vendors, learning about their experiences as business owners and documenting their unique perspectives on the role of the market within its neighborhood, the Lower East Side, NYC. Quotes from these interviews, featured on reusable shopping bags designed by Ramos-Fermín in consultation with vendors, are available to customers who purchase items at participating businesses throughout the market. As a result, the bags become part of a larger network of visitors outside of the Market, amplifying the stories and anecdotes featured in their designs.

This project is part of the In, Of, and Crossing Essex exhibition

Download the PDF of the Essex zine

Messages to go part 2

FABnyc and Downtown Art present Hatuey Ramos-Fermín’s Messages to Go, an art project that produces, designs, and distributes a series of reusable shopping bags based on conversations and interviews with local small business owners including the owners of Rossy’s Bakery and Coffee Shop, Dual Specialty, and La Sirena Mexican Folk Art, as well as with small business advocates including Cooper Square Committee Director of Planning and Development Abigail Ellman; CB3 Economic Development Committee member Meghan Joye; and NYC Council Member for District 2, Carlina Rivera.

The design of each bag features quotes by the small business owner and advocates along with a graphic, designed by Ramos-Fermin, of either the owners’ storefronts or recently vacated ones. Bags were distributed to each store and are available at Rossy’s, Dual Specialty, and La Sirena, amplifying both their businesses and their stories. All bags are also available in the lobby of Downtown Art.

Through a series of events hosted at Rossy’s and Downtown Art, FABnyc will continue to support the voices of small business owners and advocates fighting against small business displacement in the Lower East Side and across the city.