arts and culturefeatured-art-and-cultureIssue 31

Mod Shop: Carefully-Curated Community

By Noel Daniel

Modesto is a city of talent and power. In spite of its hardships, Modesto’s artistic heart continues to beat with a growing strength as the community comes together to enrich it. Mod Shop is just one of the many success stories that gives Modesto its well-crafted roots.

Run by Ruhi Sheikh, Tricia Rosenow, and Kate Trompetter—names you right remember from Porchfest—Mod Shop is a carefully-curated handmade market that partners with local businesses and artists in downtown Modesto. They strive to create a platform for local artisans to sell handmade goods on Small Business Saturday, and it’s a tradition that’s been going strong since 2013.

It’s hard not to enjoy the market’s homegrown aesthetic, its camaraderie, and its steady backbone of music and community. It’s a market that does so much more than sell goods. With good food, good drinks, and good people, it’s an experience that’s sobering in the face of an increasingly digital age. Local makers and businesses alike come together to celebrate a love of craftsmanship and art.

“Mod Shop began in 2013 as a way to showcase independent designers, artisans and alternative crafters,” they say on their website. “Each year, on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, this event allows creative people to sell their wares and promote their small businesses in a hip, inclusive, and entertaining atmosphere.”

And with each year, the market only grows.

“We had a huge, overwhelming response,” Trompetter said of sign-ups. “Unfortunately, we had to turn many people away this year, but I feel like that’s really an indication of the tremendous talent we have in the area and the year-over-year success of Mod Shop.

“We’re so pleased that people want to participate. Although it’s always hard to turn people away, we are delighted to have over 90 very talented, creative, beautiful people planning to set up for Mod Shop.”

The market’s effects ripple throughout the community, affecting not only the artisans selling but also the businesses located around them. The businesses in Downtown experience a spike in patronage, one Trompetter hopes continues throughout the year once people experience them for what might be their first time.

“It’s also important because it celebrates and amplifies a group of creative makers living in our community who largely go unseen throughout the year,” said Trompetter. “If it weren’t for events like Four Friends Market, First Friday Craft Grab, Mod Shop, and many more, these creative geniuses would have very few places to practice and make money from their craft.

“We are merely among those who want to amplify and elevate this creative class to it’s rightful place among us.”

Finally, it builds community. This event is free, open to anyone, is family friendly, supports community, and encourages people to share a space with one another.

“We should be doing all of those things as often as possible,” said Trompetter.

This year will feature over 90 booths, live art, local music, live personal poetry writing, and a raffle to benefit MoST, the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center (find out more at

“We are beginning to explore the possibility of Mod Shop Pop up Events,” said Trompetter. “We hosted our first one this year and are thinking about opportunities to do smaller events in partnership with community throughout the year and there will be more to come.”

Such a profound impact is easily felt in such a small and close city as Modesto, and it’s one the community will never forget. As the site says, join Mod Shop on Nov. 25 for an evening of art, music, delicious eats, shopping, and feeling pretty darn proud of where you live.

For more information about Mod Shop, visit

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