FeaturesIssue 2

A Night Market To Remember

Leah Morgan at the ornamented Tacoma Night Market Booth (Nola Thury/ The Trail)

The Tacoma Night Market is an ever-changing event for creativity, community and small businesses. It combines the traditional market experience with a lively, food-and-beverage-filled nighttime atmosphere that makes for an exciting event. Vendors sell homemade products that range from candles to prints, bubblers to “Hip Hop inspired” copper wrapped crystals. Throughout the years, the event has been hosted at various venues across Tacoma, including the Museum of Glass, Alma Mater, and the Foss Seaport Waterway. 

Last weekend, the Tacoma Night Market was held as a part of the Home and Garden Show in the Tacoma Dome. Past rows of interior design companies and hot tub salesmen, in the far corner of the space, a balloon archway marked the entrance to the Tacoma Night Market. Neither the fluorescent light of the Tacoma Dome, nor the banality of the home improvement consultants seemed to dull the magic of the Tacoma Night Market.

I spoke with Mark Womack of Deff Jemz, who creates crystal pendants, crowns, scepters, and more. Womack, who introduced himself as “Mark Womack AKA Wojack the Jeweler AKA Wojack, King Wojack of Tacoma Washington,” has not always been wrapping jewelry. He described himself as “Tacoma Washington’s first, and I mean that, first Hip Hop artist with a group called Criminal Nation.” Since the pandemic began, Womack has been designing jewelry pieces “to protect people from the negative energies of the world.” You can find his work at https://deffjemz.com/.

Mark Womack sporting various Deff Jemz pieces (Nola Thury/ The Trail)

Another eye-catching creation at the market is the work of Rayna Arms. Her brand Royal Teez sells custom t-shirts and tumblers like those shown below. When asked what inspired her to create this product, she responded “my brother’s a stoner.” Word. Arms’ products are available at  www.royalteezrt.com.

Rayna Arms at her booth featuring Royal bubblers (Nola Thury/ The Trail)

The founder of the Tacoma Night Market is an eccentric local resident Leah Morgan. A glassblower, typewriter collector, and business woman, she somehow finds the time to put together monthly Tacoma Night Market events. When asked what the night market means to her, she confessed she might start crying. Spurred by a love for her community, Leah created the first Tacoma Night Market in 2018. Leah said, “I really wanted there to be a celebration around arts and creativity and small businesses.” You can find all of those things at the Tacoma Night Market, as well as at the Sunday Brunches that feature drag performances, delicious food, and more vendors!

The ongoing pandemic has proved a challenge for events like the Tacoma Night Market. However, it has also underscored the need for community spaces and human connection. Leah said “Especially now with everyone having experienced some real serious alone time, and all of the struggles and emotions, and there’s just been so much loss, just to be reminded that we have each other and we’re all in it together.” 

Leah Morgan at the ornamented Tacoma Night Market Booth (Nola Thury/ The Trail)

The Tacoma Night Market is held monthly at the Foss Waterway Seaport-Maritime Museum on Saturdays from 5-10pm. Their Sunday Brunch event is from 11am-4pm. Come meet some of the creative and unconventional characters of the Tacoma Night Market at their next event. Visit https://tacomanightmarket.com/ for more information.