Backroads Market: Something unique on the backroads of Indiana

Abby Taylor knew that she was meant to open a shop and she trusted that it would happen.

“I just felt like if God told me to do something, I’m going to do it and it’s going to happen because He told me that.”

“I just felt like if God told me to do something, I’m going to do it and it’s going to happen because He told me that.”

Backroads Market opened in early October 2020 in the middle of a pandemic. Taylor originally tried to open the shop in another town, but faced roadblock after roadblock. “We came to Corydon and saw that the building was for sale – it took us a lot longer than we had even planned on to get into the building. … I just didn’t let it get me down” 

Her persistence and resilience paid off – the shop opened on Oct. 3.

Backroads Market is a place where twenty-five local vendors sell their goods. They have crocheters, glass mosaic artists, painters, photographers, those who repurpose furniture, wood burners, jewelry makers, floral artists and more.

Backroads Market is a place where twenty-five local vendors sell their goods. They have crocheters, glass mosaic artists, painters, photographers, those who repurpose furniture, wood burners, jewelry makers, floral artists and more. The vendors are also able to do personalization on a lot of the work, which Taylor said the customers love.

Taylor herself is a painter and has been for 30-plus years, starting as early as 6 and going to craft shows with her mom as a young teen. The store idea came from her love of art, but also her love of all things artsy in general.

“Growing up when I went with my parents to artsy towns, that was just so much fun to me to go into all the little shops.  I almost envied the shop owners that that’s what they got to do for a job. It was the coolest thing ever.” – Abby Taylor

“Growing up when I went with my parents to artsy towns, that was just so much fun to me to go into all the little shops,” Taylor said. “I almost envied the shop owners that that’s what they got to do for a job. It was the coolest thing ever.” 

Taylor said her mom has always been incredibly encouraging when it comes to her artwork and was one person who really believed in her, which helped her believe in herself.

Taylor “piloted” the store, so to speak, in 2017. She and her cousin held an open-air festival along the river in Leavenworth, inviting different vendors to sell their goods. 

“That’s how we got the core start of our vendors,” Taylor said. “We had such a good response with the festival, so when I sent out the message and said we’re thinking about the storefront and 20-plus people said, ‘Heck yea,’ I thought, ‘OK, well maybe this is a thing.’”

The name actually came from the festival as well. “We needed a different name that nobody else had used and I was like, ‘Well, you’ve got to go through some backroads to get to the market … there you have it, so fancy,” Taylor laughed.

The festival had over 1,000 attendees and was a huge success. 

Though the original vendors came from the festival, Taylor said they find new vendors in a variety of ways now that the shop is open. Sometimes it’s a customer, a recommendation from a friend or a message through social media.

“Being that I’m an artist myself, I love the appreciation for what we do.  It’s handmade and local and you’re supporting a small business – you’re actually supporting 25 of them when you shop at our shop.” – Abby Taylor

“Being that I’m an artist myself, I love the appreciation for what we do,” Taylor said. “It’s handmade and local and you’re supporting a small business – you’re actually supporting 25 of them when you shop at our shop.”

Taylor said she thinks everything from the vendors is cool, but she has a few items she pointed out, including the pottery, the glass mosaics, and the wood burning and turning. This art, created by Eric Voyles, has a lengthy process to completion.

“For some of these bowls, he has to let that wood sit for a year before he can turn it because he doesn’t want that wood to crack,” Taylor said. “He has this picture of the Salem courthouse – every little brick he’s burned into that wood. It’s just amazing attention to detail.”

Taylor said she always tells customers she tries to stay behind the counter, because she loves all the shop items so much.

“I truly, truly love it all,” she said. “They’re [vendors] just so talented.”

Some of Taylor’s own items are also available for purchase.

“One of the hard things about running the business is that I don’t have nearly enough time to create,” she said. “But there are some items on the floor and there’s a mural behind the counter that I was able to paint.”

The shop is just one of the many things taking up Taylor’s time. She’s a mom, a wife, preschool director at her church, and she runs the business. At the shop, she is every job in one including marketing, working at the register, doing displays and bringing on new vendors.

The shop is just one of the many things taking up Taylor’s time. She’s a mom, a wife, preschool director at her church, and she runs the business. At the shop, she is every job in one including marketing, working at the register, doing displays and bringing on new vendors.

“Personally, you have no clue what you’re getting into when you open a business so you’re all the things for all the people,” Taylor said. “But, I love what I do so I get up and do it every day and don’t plan to stop.” 

She doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, already thinking about the future of Backroads Market. On top of wanting to put on a second open-air festival, she would also love to host classes taught by some of the vendors. Two of her ideas were a wood burning class or making a suncatcher with a glass mosaic artist, which she thinks would give more appreciation of the process.

“Every once in a while, you have a person that says, ‘Oh, I can do that’ and you want them to, but you also want them to understand the process and everything that goes into it,” Taylor said.

Really, Taylor is game for anything that allows the shop to grow and switch it up. 

“I’d love to invite new people in that can teach us something that maybe I don’t even know exists as an art form,” she said.

Taylor always brings it back to her customers, though. Her main goal is making life easier on her customers and clients.

“I want to be a help to people and make them feel like they didn’t just come here to buy something – they found a friend, they found somebody that’s helpful, and that they just leave happy and uplifted.” – Abby Taylor

“I want to be a help to people and make them feel like they didn’t just come here to buy something – they found a friend, they found somebody that’s helpful, and that they just leave happy and uplifted,” she said.

As a Leavenworth resident, Taylor was a little worried about opening in a city she doesn’t live in, but she has nothing but good things to say about the people of Corydon.

“I had a lady come in the first week we were open … she stepped in and threw her hands down on her knees and went ‘I am so glad you’re here’ and I said, ‘I’m so glad you’re here’ and then I spent the next 10 minutes going, ‘Do I know her?’” Taylor said. “And I didn’t at all, she just said ‘I’m so glad this shop is here; our town needed something like this. We’re so excited that you’re here.’ And that’s been the tone throughout. They’re so kind.” 

The shop is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and other hours occasionally. You can check them out on Facebook @backroadsmarketIN or on Instagram @backroadsmarketindiana.

Story by Darian Decker  // Michelle Hockman Photography

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