Unique gifts can be found at craft fairs. To avoid kitsch, attend an indie craft fair this holiday season. Support local artisans, feel good about giving gifts from the heart, and have fun shopping!
What is Indie Craft?
The indie craft movement began online in 2006. According to Crafty Superstar, it is “… the visual contradiction of combining granny craft techniques with punk sensibilities.” Traditional craft skills blend with modern, unconventional style and materials to blur the lines between art and craft. Indie craft holiday fairs feature items that combine contemporary art with traditional craft techniques.
San Francisco Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium 2017
November 25-26, 2017 @ Pier 35, San Francisco
Etsy is the online marketplace for handmade items and vintage goods. It can be overwhelming browsing crafters on the internet. Etsy local events allow you to “shop in your backyard” and support local indie crafters. The San Francisco Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium is held at Pier 35 in the Embarcadero. The SF Etsy team has curated over 200 local artisans for the event. There will be small batch food sellers. Admission is free. Some of the featured vendors are Birch & Brush wooden bowls, Rocky Body Leather laser cut bracelets, and POPup foldOUTs‘ intricate paper cut art. This is the fifth year of the SF Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium.
Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show
December 2-3, 2017 @ Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, Seattle
Seattle’s Urban Craft Uprising helps vendors turn their hobbies into full-time careers. The winter show features over 150 curated and juried makers. 16,000-holiday shoppers attend the event looking for “unique, high quality, hand-crafted alternative to ‘big box’ stores and mass produced goods”. It is the largest indie craft fair in the Pacific Northwest. Olander Earthworks, Kind Apparel, and Moo-Young are just a few of the extraordinary crafters exhibiting at this event. Admission is free.
Chicago Holiday Renegade Craft Fair
December 2-3, 2017 @ Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago
Over 250 indie craft makers will vend at the Chicago Holiday Renegade Craft Fair. Renegade Craft Fairs are the “world’s largest curated showcase of independent craft and design.” Chicago is the home city of the first Renegade Craft Fair. RCF has now spread to 12 different major cities including London, San Francisco, and Denver. The “vibe” of the fairs is:
Equal parts entrepreneual incubator and community gathering space, it all culminates in a lively celebration of contemporary craft and design culture. Our Fairs feature hundreds of makers, interactive elements, inspired locales, artisanal food and libations, great music, and good times.
The Chicago RCF includes DIY workshops in addition to modern indie crafts. From jewelry to apothecary, unique creativity abounds. Indie crafters such as Grayling Ceramics, Peoples Garment Company, and Ply are sure to make holiday shopping easy.
December 2, 2017 @ Music Hall Ballroom, Cincinnati
Featuring local Ohio makers, the Crafty Supermarket expects 6000 shoppers to attend their holiday market. Local food and demo tables are just a few highlights of this popular event. This juried show is best attended at the beginning or end of the day to avoid large crowds. The Crafty Supermarket Holiday Show is the high point of holiday shopping in the Midwest. One-of-a-kind gifts can be found from makers like Paper Acorn, VintageLiz Leather, and Circle Circle Jewelry,
Indie Craft Experience Holiday Market
December 10, 2017 @ Yaarab Temple, Atlanta
Indie Craft Experience (ICE) Holiday Market is an intimate shopping experience. More than 50 craft and vintage vendors will be on hand while DJ Zano spins the tunes. ICE thinks it’s important to support local artisans. Part of their mission is to educate consumers about how buying crafts is impactful.
Guys. To be abundantly clear: we want for you to buy handcrafted gifts this holiday season. We think it’s really important. Imagine your hard earned 💵 going directly to a super talented person who works really hard. Way better than sending it off to a chain of middle men and a big box store.