Local artists and makers have a new outlet to sell their wares in the heart of South Philadelphia.
Baby Tooth is set to open on Sept. 9 at the Bok Building at 1901 S. 9th St. It is curated by House Cat’s Zissel Aronow, the organizer of the Feminist Flea Market & Craft Fair, which has hosted more than 500 vendors and has raised more than $60,000 for local organizations since it began in 2018.
The Feminist Flea Market occurs a few times a year but artists now have a physical outlet six days a week to sell their jewelry, clothing, ceramics, records and more. The shop is a collaboration with Homies Helping Homies, a mutual aid initiative focusing on food and household item distribution in Point Breeze. The Bok Building space N1 will be shared with Corinne Dodenhoff Creative, a Philly-based graphic designer, illustrator and educator whose values of equity, accessibility and aesthetics align perfectly with Baby Tooth.
It’s a lot of neighbors working toward the same goals.
“There’s something special about being able to curate a space and share it,” said Aronow. “Homies, Corinne and others can use the shop for workshops and events, vendors can try out new work they’ve been experimenting with. It’s a space that’s supporting people’s passions across disciplines. When people have room to do something they love, that fulfills them, and that supports them financially, it bolsters the community they are a part of.”
Baby Tooth will serve as part-retail, part-community space, inheriting Feminist Flea’s mission to redistribute funds and support community organizing efforts.
In addition to hosting drop-off days and skill shares, five percent of all Baby Tooth sales will go to support Homies Helping Homies’ bi-weekly distribution efforts. Aronow and Homies co-founders Kevin Bass and Ant Adams are producing limited-edition merchandise marking the collaboration, proceeds of which will also go to Homies.
“We hope to utilize Baby Tooth to do more community events, lead workshops to share skills, have a space to organize, and sell merchandise to maintain our redistribution efforts,” said Bass. “I’m excited to extend our connection and offer opportunities to community members that aren’t primarily centered in food outreach, and to have some sustainable income for the next six months.”
Dodenhoff has worked as a self-taught freelance designer for over a decade, with clients such as Modest Mouse, World Cafe Live, Cora and other small businesses, bands and brands along with a host of pro-bono and sliding scale clients. Dodenhoff, one of the most watched hosts on the educational web platform Daisie and former educator at Moore College of Art, will use being at Baby Tooth to expand into more in-person teaching and gathering.
“I’ve always loved to learn and love to share my knowledge with others,” Dodenhoff said. “It’s not lost on me that Bok was a school building and I intend to honor that by sharing what I’ve learned throughout my tenure as a designer and a business owner. Gatekeeping is not what I’m about; good design should be accessible to everyone. And it should make you happy.”
Baby Tooth will kick off with 25 illustrators, herbalists, zine creators and fashion designers, with many having previously sold wares at the Feminist Flea Market. A grand opening will take place from 5-9 p.m. on Sept. 9. The first 50 guests will have their pick of a mini cake by Shannon Ryan. Opening party will feature tarot readings by Keiko of Mumbo Studios and photography by Rhiannon. Masks are required at the opening. For more information, visit www.babytooth.xyz.