Questioning the Locals: Kala Rehberger & Lexi Kane

free-wheelin’ discussion with local folks

McKenna Scherer, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

MAKING IT HAPPEN. Kala Rehberger, left, and Lexi Kane of Eau Claire Makers Market.
MAKING IT HAPPEN. Kala Rehberger, left, and Lexi Kane of Eau Claire Makers Market.

If you haven’t heard about the Eau Claire Makers Market by now, you’re just plain missing out. The Eau Claire Makers Market had its first shindig near the beginning of 2022, founded by two local artists, Lexi Kane and Kala Rehberger. With the support of many local creatives, they aim to produce an accessible space for local artists to spotlight and share their work. Now fully in its groove, their first Summer Market Series nearly done, it’s clear this is just the beginning for this duo.


Lexi Kane (she/they) and Kala Rehberger (she/her)


Kane is a graphic designer and Rehberger is an artist; co-founders of the Eau Claire Makers Market.

How do you both fit into the Valley’s community?

We both graduated from UWEC with art degrees and didn’t know what to do after that. We didn’t see spaces that we would feel comfortable being a part of, so we made our own. Sometimes you gotta do it yourself!

What place in town considers you a “regular”?

Kane: The Acoustic Café in Eau Claire and Menomonie. One-third of a turkey hoagie with no tomato please!

Rehberger: The Joynt and the Post Office.

If you were on your deathbed and you had to choose one last meal from a local restaurant, what would it be?

Kane: … One-third of a turkey hoagie with no tomato.

Rehberger: Vegetable Pad Thai from Rice Palace with a lime wedge! And I better be on my deathbed on a Wednesday to get the special.

What part of town have you never visited?

Rehberger: The bottom of Half Moon Lake, too deep.

You two have previously said, the goal isn’t for you to make money but rather offer a space for local artists to sell and gain exposure in an accessible way – how do you manage to do that? Is it “easier” the larger the market gets?

Kane: Oh, it gets harder every time. I think me and Kala flip-flop what gives us anxiety, I freak out the week leading up to the market and then on market day you can usually find me sipping an alcoholic beverage (I deserve it!) and letting the event kind of take care of itself. What makes it easier is when we have repeat vendors, so they kind of know the gist and know what to expect. The vendor costs cover the space of the rental and promo costs, so we break even at least every time. Since we’ve expanded, we’ve gotten more help and so we finally have a little money we want to use to provide paid gigs for musicians.

Rehberger: It is absolutely not easier the larger the market gets! It is definitely getting harder and harder, and I am an absolute anxious ball of excited energy on market days. I can only assume running a market is similar to running a marathon.

What book, TV show, or movie would you recommend to the members of the City Council?

Kane: I think they should watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. I think it would be a good team bonding activity. This season I’m rooting for Jinkx Monsoon, and I think you can tell a lot about a person from their favorite drag queen. I’d be interested to know theirs.

If you could rename Eau Claire with a different French name, what would it be?

Kane: I think we should rename Eau Claire to “Lechuga,” the Spanish word for lettuce. I just think that’s really beautiful.

Rehberger: The only French I know is “Eau Claire” and “Bon Iver.”

What sort of economic development would you like to see in our area?

Kane: We desperately need a new music venue. Preferably a club. If anyone from Pablo sees this, please turn the old antique store into a three-story dance club. Scooters isn’t cutting it anymore. I need a new place to shake my aSS in.

Rehberger: AFFORDABLE HOUSING! And a mass web store for local artists!

The EC Makers Market's last Summer Series event is on Sept. 10 at the Owen Park bandshell from noon to 5pm, with live music and entertainment happening throughout. Keep up with the ECMM on Instagram (@ecmakersmarket) or Facebook, and their website (


FORAGE. The girls at Forage have been lifesavers for the ECMM! They provide a gorgeous space for us to hold our winter markets. They are also working with us in our summer market endeavors. Love them forever!

AMBIENT INKS. My fav employer of all time. They actually care about sustainable business practices as well as supporting the hell out of their employees.

HALF MOON CLAY. Whitney of Half Moon Clay is a real life angel and I’m so happy to finally have a community ceramics studio in E.C.!


SEVEN SUNS VINTAGE. They hired me after I had a string of crappy jobs and they always supported me and my ideas, plus I love everyone who works there and the clothes are amazing.

TANGLED UP IN HUE. My time working there taught me a lot about coordinating with artists and I would say Jamie, Sarah, and Erin taught me a lot about what it means to be involved in your community.

REVIVAL RECORDS. I have a newfound love for cassettes, and Billy is one of the nicest guys I think I’ve ever met.