The Bizarre Holiday Market

A cozy home for local oddities.

Chop Suey Books

Photo courtesy of Bird Cox

Are you looking for any last-minute gift inspiration? Consider the curiosities of the Bizarre Holiday Market tucked away in Chop Suey Books on Richmond’s Cary Street.

Originally started in 2003 by Anna Virginia, owner of home décor store Tiny Space, the Bizarre Holiday Market has supplied Richmond’s book lovers with unique holiday gifts for more than a decade. After the success of the inaugural market, Anna approached Ward Tefft, owner of Chop Suey. Soon, the Bizarre Market was up and running outside the bookshop’s original location, free for vendors to set up on the condition that they made a small donation to a selected non-profit. The market drew flocks of people, raising up to $1,000 for organizations such as ART 180, The Read Center and Food Not Bombs. In 2005, the market was handed over to Bird Cox, a local maker of jewelry and other goodies.

Heartily by Nina Zabal

Photo courtesy of Bird Cox

In the shop there is no space wasted; sitting behind her desk, Cox lifts the tablecloth to reveal a snoring Wonton, the beloved Chop Suey mascot who is curled at her feet. “We try to select the more out-of-the-way, odd pieces that you wouldn’t find at your regular craft market,” she says. The shop itself reflects the diversity of visitors to Chop Suey, ranging from experimentally inclined VCU students to retired speed knitters.

When it comes to shopping locally, Cox says, “I like to spend my money where the things are being made. It supports not just individuals but the whole city as an artistic community.” Due to its popularity, The Bizarre Market organizes single day and weekend markets year round. In the spring, Bird hints that we can look forward to their upcoming collaboration with Blue Bee Cider.

The Bizarre Holiday Market is open every day during regular Chop Suey Books business hours through Dec. 24. TheBizarreMarket.com


Looking for more local gift ideas?

Check out this guide to Virginia-brewed holiday beer by Virginia Tourism, this gift guide for all things edible by Virginia Foodie, and our editors’ picks for favorite hand-crafted presents.

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum