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Dose Market offers an eclectic blend of fashion, food and wine. Starts this weekend

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An eclectic blend of local fashion, artisan food and wine all under one roof, the Dose Market at River East Arts Center promises to please Chicago shoppers looking for that perfect gift or holiday outfit not found in department stores, Natalie Hayes explains for the Sun-Times.
Similar to an upscale flea market, each month Dose Market features a different theme and a unique mix of vendors selling everything from gourmet food to locally-made art, clothing and home d├ęcor.
Shoppers get a more personal experience at Dose Market than they would shopping at traditional stores, and that" buying local" theme seems to be a major draw of the market for both vendors and consumers.
"People are becoming increasingly interested in learning more about where something came from, how it was made and who made it before they buy it," said Dose founder April Francis. "Buying locally is rewarding and it makes us feel close to the community we live in."
Francis started the market in 2011 with the idea to create a face-to-face connection between consumers and vendors, taking the shopping experience to a more personal level than shopping in department stores or online.
"The interaction you get between the maker and the consumer is invaluable," Francis said. "The immediacy breeds innovation and creativity and it's exciting."
Each set of vendors featured at Dose Market is hand-selected by Francis and her team, who seek out only the most serious of local artisans offering high-quality goods and foods.
"We put a ton of work into finding 'Dosers' and we're always selective," Francis said. "We're passionate about making sure everything is beautiful, well-made and high-quality, and we select each vendor because they're excellent at what they do."
But with a wide range of shopping markets vendors can choose to set up shop at during the holiday shopping season, what is it that makes Dose Market stand out from the others?
Trunk Club, a Chicago-based fashion service that provides stylist services for men across the U.S., will appear at Dose Market for the first time this month. Amy Weisenbach, vice president of marketing for Trunk Club, said Dose Market was unlike other shopping markets in the city because it focuses solely on fashion and shopping.
"You know people are coming here to shop--they're not listening to bands and just hanging around all day, but they're actually going in with shopping on their minds," said Amy Weisenbach, vice president of marketing for Trunk Club. "Dose is a great way for us to get in front of new shoppers who don't know about us and reach out to a new audience."
On the fashion side, Francis said this month shoppers will discover far-from-ordinary buys like architectural felted wool coats by local designer Andrea Reynders, a professor emeritus at The Art Institute of Chicago, and hand-woven shawls made from the pashmina goat by Chicago designer Atelier Azza.
"It's all about a potent dose of food and fashion for Chicagoans, and there's always this great energy at every market," Francis said. "We're gearing up for the holidays with this one, and will have plenty of entertaining ideas, party outfits and accessories."
Complimentary wines, beer and cocktails provided by 5 Rabbit Brewery, Femme du Coupe and Diamond Wine will be served at the event.
Pre-sale tickets are $8 until Sunday, December 9th from 10am - 5 pm at the River East Art Center. Event parking is in the garage at 456 E. Illinois St. for a discounted rate of $6 for four hours. For more information on Dose Market, go here.

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