Not Your Grandma’s Craft Show
Does Black Friday (Pre-Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Etc.) make you want to rip your hair out, cry in horror and drink copious amounts of booze? Yeah, me too.
If you want to avoid the UGG wearing, Coach purse-toting monsters who are equipped with a bad attitude and shortage of manners at Wal-Mart – you’re in luck because we’re surrounded by talented artisans in this area who gather to host shopping events for the public.
With the recent revival of hand-made goods, we all have a remarkable amount of opportunities to shop local. Here are a few of our favorite artisan gatherings you can mark on your calendar in the next couple of weeks.
The Cleveland Flea Holiday Show
Saturday, November 23, 2013 and Sunday Nov. 24 , 2013 from 10:00am until 6:00pm
Slovenian National Home (6409 Saint Clair Ave, Cleveland)
The CLE Flea has been an ongoing, monthly “urban treasure hunt” that allows local vendors to come set up shop, network and showcase their goods. You’ll find anything from mid-century modern furniture to bagels to bespoke men’s clothing to candles. Every few feet you land on a new good, for a different person looking for a unique treasure.
As the event continues to grow, so does the complex thought process behind orchestrating it. First starting off as a simple gathering for vendors, there are now spin-offs and themes to each show, such as this Holiday Show (and for those of you preparing to tie the knot, there will be a wedding event in Feb. 2014).
Some of our favs include:
- All Things For You
- APE MADE
- The Foundary Woodprints
- Stitched And Wired
- Wright and Rede
- Yellow Door Goods (please, please, please have 1,000 more of those gorgeous [coveted] bar carts)
- So, so, so many more.
If you’re going to spend the morning and afternoon checking out the local vendors and workshops, you can plan on grabbing food while you’re there. The CLE Flea does a fab job of rounding up some of the tastiest food trucks around, including:
- Wholly Frijoles (LOVE these guys!)
- Dim and Den Sum
- Pig Lickin’ Good BBQ
- Sweet! Mobile Cupcakery
This holiday show is totally worth the drive if you’re from outside the Cleveland area, and truly can take up as much time as you want it to. Don’t expect to get out in less than half an hour, and if you’ve got no where else to be, you can totally take an entire afternoon shopping, eating and drinking. Great for couples, moms and daughters, friends or families (smaller families that don’t have wandering children). Still want to know more? Read about it here.
CLE FLEA BONUS
Friday Sneak Peek Party – Tonight!
Dress up in your fancy-pants and mingle with other vendors and shoppers.
Grand Opening of Collective Upcycle [pop-up boutique] right down the street.
$20 ticket but there are complimentary drinks and snacks.
Saturday, November 30, 2013 from 10:00am until 5:00pm
Musica (51 E Market St. Akron, Ohio)
This gathering of local crafters and artists has a lot of the same great traits as The Cleveland Flea, but a little bit closer to us in Akron. You’ll find about 50, talented vendors inside of Musica – the venue turns into a cozy maze of must-haves and gems (no, seriously, you might find gems here). The event will also spill into Uncorked Wine Bar and We Gallery, lending to even more space than the last.
The 5th annual crafty mart will showcase re-purposed, upcycled and handmade items that you can’t find anywhere else around the area. Bonus points – if you show up early, you can get a swag bag for free. Also, make sure to check out the photo booth and get a goofy snap shot (buy a frame from one of the vendors and you’ve got yourself a present).
What you can expect to buy and spend at Crafty Mart? Well, what are you looking for? You’ll find great jewelery, art pieces, tchotchkes, wallets, candles and more. This assembly has way more kids’ items than the CLE Flea, so don’t be afraid to bring the little people. Less furniture and less of the bigger items, but an abundance of jewelry, apparel and personal items. You can spend anywhere from $2-$200. Items are all fair in pricing, especially given the amount of time and detail poured into each piece.
If you get hungry, you’ll be in downtown Akron, which has a pretty great selection of charming restaurants. Some favs are:
- Urban Eats
- 3 point
- Luigi’s (this is an Akron staple, if you’re traveling to AK for the first time – go here and get the salad with Mozzarella!)
Check out Crafty Mart with your girlfriends, boyfriend, mom, dad or kids. It’s an impressive set up, but not something you have to devote an entire day to, so make it what you want. When we went to the last Crafty Mart, Collyn and I were in and out within an hour and a half (and with a baby, to boot). You can read about it here.
Other Local Buying Events Coming Up:
- City Salvage and Design Warehouse Sale: Saturday, November 30th from 10a-3p. “Bringing New Life to Discarded Items.” You can also find a booth of theirs at the CLE Flea.
- Canton First Friday: Friday, December 6th: Many local galleries and shops including prints, blown glass, wine boutiques, jewelery shops and more.
- 78th Street Studios: Friday, December 20th during 3rd Friday. Lots of awesome things to see, eat and buy. 40 retail galleries, studios, and other creative spaces.
Don’t forget that November 30th is Shop Small Saturday. So go check one of the local shops we’ve written about, or let us know where you think we should go!