Handmade Cavalcade: Big City Crafters, Small Town Charm

Reported by Rachel Johnson

I have only been living in New York City for six months, but in that short time I have discovered a huge and thriving craft community within this huge and exciting metropolis. The crafty NY ecosystem seems to be roughly focused around the Brooklyn area. There are near weekly craft shows, meet-ups, plus The Brooklyn Flea and the Brooklyn Indie Market. Perhaps most importantly, Etsy has their main office in Brooklyn, and one of the most active Etsy Teams, The {New New}, plays a part in much of the crafty activity in the city. (Etsy Teams are groups of organized Etsy members formed around a shared location or interest who network, share skills, and promote their shops together. The {New New} represents artists and crafts people from the the entire New York metro area, including New Jersey and Connecticut.)

Despite the many craft opportunities within the bustling city, sometimes I need to get out of town – and The {New New} agrees! On Saturday, September 12th, they hosted their fall Handmade Cavalcade craft show in the small city of Beacon, about two hours north of NYC. Beacon is an emerging art mecca, with a contemporary art museum, galleries, and a large number of local artisans. The Handmade Cavalcade show was held in conjunction with Beacon’s Second Saturday art celebration event, which made it an even more attractive reason for a day trip.

The craft show was held just off Main Street in the wood shop of Jon and Kristy Reichert (creators of Beacon Bookmarks) and outside Lydia Lynch’s Paper Presence stationery shop. I arrived late in the afternoon, and the weather was not being extremely cooperative – it was overcast, chilly, and a little rainy. The icky weather may have decreased the size of the shopping crowd slightly, but it did not dampen the crafty vendor’s spirits. Each booth was unique and fun, and the wide variety of items for sale ranged from greeting cards and jewelry to handmade soaps and baked goods (seen above is the Pulp Sushi jewelry booth and Nordea’s Soaperie).

The majority of the Handmade Cavalcade vendors live and work in New York City, but about a quarter of them live in Beacon or its surrounding towns. Everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly. I had fun browsing the lovely handmade items and chatting with many of the crafters (above is the adorable Felt It booth and Jody Lee’s A Studio by the Sea jewelry and glass bead booth). You can view a full list of the vendors on the Handmade cavalcade website.

The tag line of the Handmade Cavalcade was “bringing you the top tier of contemporary craft” and the show lived up to those words. The organization and marketing of the event was superb, and the artisans were all talented and professional. I am looking forward to The {New New}’s upcoming Crafts in Chelsea event on October 17th, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the New York City area.

Tell us about the crafty events going on in your neck of the woods!

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2 Responses to Handmade Cavalcade: Big City Crafters, Small Town Charm

  1. Avatar
    warpeDesign September 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    Thanks so much for writing about our little shindig up North. While the weather didn’t quite cooperate with us, we still had a good turn out and enjoyed our time in Beacon!

  2. Avatar
    Simone September 21, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    While I couldn’t make it to Beacon, it was fun to experience it virtually through your article and pictures. I’m really looking forward to Crafts in Chelsea and hope you can join us also.