Tag Archives: Ridgewood Market

Star of Queens: Sarah Feldman, Community Board 5

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Sarah Feldman

Background: Sarah Feldman’s family was originally from New York City but moved to Houston in the ‘70s. Her parents then moved to the West Coast, where her father works for a software company. She moved back to New York in 2006 to study fine arts and web design at Parsons School of Design. Feldman moved to Ridgewood in 2011, where she met her fiance Neil Myers, and she fell in love with the neighborhood.

Occupation: Feldman is self-employed. She also owns a small jewelry business, Prince Peacock, and works at the YMCA teaching art to kids.

She owns Ridgewood Market, which sells affordable art, goods and alcohol.

“I wanted a safe environment that is community driven with the decisions of others,” Feldman said. “I wanted to bring awareness and a new, unbiased perspective of old businesses.” The next market will take place on Sept. 13.

Community Involvement: Feldman was recently appointed to Community Board 5. She’s one of the youngest people on the board and says that she’s learned so much already from the other board members.

“They’ve lived here all their lives,” Feldman said. “There is so much you can learn from them.”

Feldman additionally runs the Ridgewood Social website as its head of marketing.

Biggest Challenge: “The recession was scary,” Feldman said. Additionally, at one point, Feldman couldn’t leave the house due to a health problem.

She had a lot of social anxiety but was able to overcome it. Feldman absolutely loved the feeling of being welcomed into the Ridgewood community, and she has a very positive outlook on life.

Greatest Achievement: “My greatest achievement was my social anxiety not being as bad,” Feldman said. Now, she has more self-confidence, and she added that the people in her neighborhood definitely made her happier.

“Kindness can get you so much further in life than jealousy can,” Feldman said.

Biggest Inspiration: “My biggest inspiration was my grandmother and my stepmom,” Feldman said. Her grandmother, who passed away in 2008, was a creative artist and a feminist who was like a mother to Feldman.

Feldman’s stepmom was the mom she never had. She is self-sufficient and a great role model. “My stepmom practically saved my life,” Feldman said.



Ridgewood woman goes on TV to change look

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of TLC

When Ridgewood resident Sarah Feldman decided to take the brave step of changing up her look to go with her growing businesses and roles in the community, she didn’t ask for advice from friends and family or stop by a local clothing store — she turned to national TV.

But the show, TLC’s “Love, Lust or Run,” had a larger impact on the 27-year-old and some of its viewers than she ever imagined.

“I was worried. I didn’t know what they would do,” Feldman said.

“I thought they would put me in a boring business suit,” she added.

Feldman had only seen the makeover show, hosted by Stacy London, formerly of the same network’s “What Not to Wear,” once before applying, and thought it would be “funny” to send her footage, but didn’t think she would be “weird enough.”

But her look made the cut, and it made quite the impression on London. When Feldman stepped into the studio with her pink hair and cat coat, London reacted by saying, “I’m confused” and “You look like a sherpa.”

Another of Feldman’s looks, which she described on the June 19 episode as “granny chic meets acid princess raver goth child from the ‘60s,” showed her sporting butterfly wings.

But  the busy entrepreneur knew it was time to stop hiding in her clothes, something she felt like she was stuck doing from her adolescence.

As a new member of Community Board 5, she wanted a more appropriate look for her new role, but to also maintain her artistic, creative side, said Feldman, who also runs Ridgewood Social and Ridgewood Market.

The premise of the show, beyond a basic makeover, is to ask people on the street to rate the person’s look and say whether it makes them feel “love,” “lust” or makes them want to “run.”

Though the comments were unflattering, including that she belonged in an “artisan enclave,” and that her look wasn’t appropriate for business, Feldman said she “felt relief” when she heard the comments because she had been hiding for a long time. She was actually more apprehensive about the makeover.

Sarah in an after look.

Feldman trying on clothes during the show.

Feldman not only ditched the pink hair, turning into a brunette (she had predicted that the hair stylist would make her blonde), but was also shown by London how to pick out better fitting clothes.

“I look so smart,” Feldman said during the reveal.

Not only did the people on the street now love what she was wearing, but her fiance Neil surprised Feldman by appearing via video to tell her that he loved her new look and to say that she was “still the beautiful girl I fell in love with.”

London also surprised Feldman with a bag — made from her cat coat.

“Everything she was doing beforehand was really about creating a distraction and now she is going to see herself as an asset,” London said.

Stacy London with Sarah in her after look.

Stacy London with Feldman in her after look.

Since the show, Feldman said she has kept the brown hair and gotten rid of her old clothes.

“I didn’t really think shows like that had an impact,” she said.

Feldman’s appearance also made an impression on some of those watching. She has received letters from girls around the country saying that they can relate to her experience and honesty, and that they “don’t feel alone anymore.” Some even told her they cried during the episode and lauded Feldman’s bravery for going on the show.

“It wasn’t my intention,” she said, “but it was a definite positive.”



Shoppers flock to new artisan flea market in Ridgewood

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

The arts are exploding in Ridgewood at a new monthly artisan flea market, bringing a unique flair to an industrial area.

“I did this to support local artists,” said Sarah Feldman, the market’s creator. “Art in Ridgewood can be underappreciated. I feel like there should be more of a connection to the arts around here.”

Roughly 50 vendors set up shop at Gottscheer Hall on Sunday, April 14 for almost 200 shoppers coming in and out of the ballroom. Local residents came to browse the selection, as did customers from well outside the borough.

“I’m a big flea market person,” said Sara Andrews, a shopper from Westchester County. “I would rather buy from individuals. I like oddities, and I would definitely come back to this.”

The atmosphere and getting the opportunity to meet different artists was also an experience Andrews valued about the Ridgewood Market.

“The thrill of meeting all of these people is an experience in itself,” she said.

The market offers everything from vintage goods, to pottery, to paintings, handmade jewelry and food. For some vendors, it was their first time showcasing their work to the public. For others, it was simply another day on the job.

Rudy’s Pastry Shop has been a part of Ridgewood for 79 years, but came out to join the community at the new market and also present some of its new, gluten-free, vegan items.

“We still have the same old recipes, but we also have new items for the new neighborhood,” said pastry chef Cristina Nastasi. “We wanted to support what’s going on in Ridgewood and be a part of it.”

Feldman first got the idea to bring the unique market to Ridgewood after selling her own vintage jewelry at other venues.

She noticed there were very few vendors offering homemade items, particularly for an affordable price. And so she created the Ridgewood Market, with $25 tables for vendors, and has attracted a variety of sellers.

First-time vendor Amelia Toelke brought her unique jewelry pieces to the market – first, she creates a design on her computer, then she converts the design onto a piece of acrylic, creating laser-cut necklaces.

“This is a hard thing to get into, it’s been a while trying to sell and get this stuff happening,” said Toelke. “But this seemed like a really great market, and I love the neighborhood.”

Toelke does larger-scale sculptures as well, and said her jewelry line, Piecemeal, reflects her work. While trying to get the line off the ground, she works part-time for a jeweler and as a technician at the Fashion Institute of Technology.


The market’s opening was a successful one, and next month will consist of new artists with new pieces. Feldman said the variety will keep on coming – the vendor waitlist is growing by the minute.

“To see other artists here with such amazing work, it just blows my mind,” said Barbie Rodriguez, who makes handmade dolls, jewelry and purses. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

For more information on the market and next month’s date, visit www.ridgewoodmarket.com.