Spring is here, and for many of us it is synonymous with craft show season. There are bunches of craft shows in the Raleigh Durham area where I live. One of the best local shows is most definitely The Handmade Market in Raleigh. This fantastic market is a one day semiannual show that features over fifty local and regional indie artists and crafters. This weekend, Saturday May 3rd, will be the seventeenth market since the show’s commencement in 2006. Every year so far, I have been tied up with other things, so this will be the first Handmade Market I will have attended, and I could not be more excited! This show is brimming with so many talented artists in all kinds of crafty mediums ranging from jewelry and clothing, to home accessories and fine art, and even great stuff for the kiddos. Here is a little peek at some of the amazing handmade goods you can find at the market this weekend:
You can see a full list of all the artists participating in the market and their website links on the Handmade Market’s artist page Here.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a little chat with a few of the Handmaidens, the behind the scenes crafty supergirls that created and produce this twice yearly event. The Handmaidens are a group of seven creative women including Ndidi Kowalczyk (Hothouse Poesy,) Lois Peterson (It’s By Design,) Kiona van Rhee-Wilson (Lucky Accessories,) Jenni Moore Myers (Milk & Honey,) Kristen Randall (Mood Swing Studios,) Leeann Hynes (Fleur-De-Lee-Lee,) and Tracey Johnson (Patina South.) As it turns out all of these lovely gals met through Raleigh’s most fun bead store Ornamentea (website here.) They became fast friends and decided to attend the 2004 Boylen Height’s Artwalk in Raleigh as a collective under the name “Bead the People.” They had such a great time, they continued to do shows, but under the new name of “The Handmaidens.” Pretty soon the ladies’ came to realize there was a bit of a void in quality shows around in the southeast to showcase our region’s independent design scene. And so, on May 6th of 2006, the first Handmade Market was formed. It featured 35 local artists and was held at Vintage 21. Since then, The Handmaidens have produced seventeen successful shows, grown through a few spaces, and are currently showing out of Cobblestone Hall in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. The success of this market is such a gift to our area’s indie movement. The Handmaiden’s love all kinds of art, and you can be sure that you will find some of the best local artists to shop from.
I asked the ladies a little about their process and what they look for when deciding which artists to use in their shows. As with most craft show, the work is juried. Every one of the Handmaidens vote on each entry. It is very thorough. Some of the things they look for when they are deciding on an artist as a candidate for the show are the uniqueness of designs, the quality of the photos submitted, and if it is a good fit for the show. Sometimes even the price points of the items are a deciding factor as they need to be comparable to other items in the same category for the show. The Handmaidens strive for a good balance of craft genres as well so they don’t end up with too many jewelry artists, or too many stationary designers. I think they do such a good job creating a show with so many types of items available. There truly is something for everyone!
I also asked the Handmaidens if they have any advice for artists and crafters they’d like to share. The synonymous opinion is to keep at it. Keep moving forward. Try new things, and go to as many shows as you can until you can find where you fit best. Try to carve out a niche for yourself by creating a unique product. Keep working on your photos. You will grow with your craft. If you are a local crafter of the Raleigh area and would like more information on how to apply for the next market in November, you can find the info on the Handmade Market’s web page Here.
One of the best things about The Handmade Market is their dedication to give back to the community through the spring charity drive. This year The Handmade Market will be partnering with Triangle Pets Alive to raise money and awareness of their efforts to save healthy pets at area shelters through a foster-based rescue network. Baskets overflowing with participating artist and local business donations will be part of the highly anticipated voluntary raffle. All raffle money will be donated to Triangle Pets Alive
The Handmade Market is made possible not only by the hard work of the Handmaidens, but also through volunteers and sponsors. If you are a local business interested in sponsoring The Handmade Market, visit their sponsor page Here.
If you are in our area and would like to attend the show this saturday, here is the detailed info from the press release:
The Handmade Market is a one-day, indoor designer craft fair and market featuring handcrafted goods from more than 50 artists, designers, and crafters. The FREE event will run from 11 am until 5 pm on Saturday, May 3, 2014. An extra, early bird, hour of shopping happens from 10:00 to 11:00am. Anyone interested in getting the first peak at all the latest designs can enter the market as a VIP, before FREE admission begins at 11:00 am, for $5 a person. The Handmade Market will be held at Cobblestone Hall, in downtown Raleigh. The entrance is located at 215 Wolfe Street in City Market, just south of Moore Square, in the former Greenshields building.
So all my locals out there, go check it out this weekend! You’re pretty much guaranteed to walk out with something you’ll love! In the mean time, be sure to check out the Handmade Market’s website for more info on upcoming shows Here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest.
And one last thing before I go…. Here is a little stop motion video of artist Jenn Hales creating the logo for the May market. Check out her site, Here, she’s fabulous!