Reported by Rachel Johnson
Last weekend was a packed full of craft shows in New York City! I managed to make it to two great events on Saturday: the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade and the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale. Both shows had dozens of quality craft vendors and were extremely busy with shoppers.
I made sure to be at the Handmade Cavalcade show right when they opened at 11 am so I could pick up my generous goodie bag. (The goodie bags were fantastic, with promo samples from local craft stores, postcards, three tote bags, a free issue of ReadyMade magazine, and a complimentary pass to the upcoming One of a Kind Show in NYC – very cool!) Even though I arrived early, the show was already packed with shoppers.
The Handmade Cavalcade vendors were spread throughout three rooms in the Openhouse Gallery on Mulberry Street in the Lower East Side. The layout was well-organized and each shopper received a very clear map upon entry, but the high number of shoppers made navigating the venue a bit tricky.
Despite the crowd, I got to browse tons of fantastic handmade goods and managed to pick up a few holiday gifts. I bought two pieces of amazing jewelry from Yania Creations. Her jewelry is made with only the highest quality semiprecious stones and metals. The designs are clean and simple, but exceptionally beautiful. I also bought a cute journal made out of a reclaimed envelope and assorted papers from Julie of Your Secret Admiral. Julie works at Etsy in the community department and she makes whimsical and very cool paper goods and journals. Another of my favorite vendors at Handmade Cavalcade was Red Bridge Studio, a textile design company based in Brooklyn. Tyshawn from Red Bridge Studio creates pillows, bags, and other textile products using natural fiber fabrics that have been hand-silkscreened using her original designs. I didn’t buy anything on Saturday from Red Bridge Studio, but I have in the past and love the prints and quality!
After making sure I had seen everything at the Handmade Cavalcade show, I headed over to the Martha Stewart Omnimedia offices to attend the first ever public Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale. For some silly reason, I had thought the Martha Stewart Sale wouldn’t be very crowded – I was very wrong! When I got to the building there was a huge line outside of people waiting to get into the sale. At first I was bummed to be standing in line, but it actually moved very quickly and the line helped keep the size of the crowd inside the venue from becoming overwhelming. Once I got in, I was very impressed with the large, clean, white warehouse space and the pretty Martha Stewart craft displays and vendor tables. Of course, I didn’t really expect anything but perfection from the Martha Stewart staff! (That is me above posing in front of the huge Martha Stewart Living magazine cover.)
The craft vendors at the Martha Sale had really amazing things for sale, and I was a little star struck by a few of the crafters – namely, Jodi Levine and Lotta Jansdotter. Levine is an Editorial Director and Designer who works for Martha Stewart Omnimedia and she is often on The Martha Stewart Show, but I have admired her ever since I was planning my wedding years ago and fell in love with her wedding in the Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. Jansdotter is an internationally renowned textile designer who has published multiple books, not to mention the fact that she looked like a model standing behind her table…
Basically, I felt intimidated by the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale. The set-up was immaculate (above is the pretty “Sweet Shop” where you could buy candy snacks) and it was fun to get a peak inside the Martha Stewart world, but I didn’t end up buying anything. If it is possible, I think the vendors were too fashionable (lots of giant necklaces and mustaches) and I felt a bit overwhelmed by the use of the words “couture,” “high end,” and “upscale” in many of the sellers’ descriptions. Also, the prices were quite high. I really do feel that the items were probably worth their prices, but I was not prepared to spend the type of money they were asking. I almost bought some extremely adorable iced sugar cookies from the Sweet Dani B table (her cookies were seen in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living), until I saw that they were $16 a piece. I really loved them, but couldn’t afford them. I hope I’m not revealing myself as low class! Maybe, I am still getting used to New York City prices…
Did you go to any craft sales or fairs over the weekend? If you attended the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale, what did you think of it? Did you buy anything? Did anyone make it to the Bust Craftacular here in NYC on Sunday? I meant to go, but got distracted…
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