Gift Shopping Goes Virtual for 2020 at Handmade Arcade

The online event featuring regionally made handcrafted products kicks off in time for Small Business Saturday.

Handmade Arcade’s annual in-person holiday shopping event — which typically packs Downtown’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center — may be a no-no in 2020, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the handcrafted goods. 

Known as Pittsburgh’s largest independent craft fair, Handmade Arcade, now in its 16th year, is hosting a COVID-19 friendly virtual makerspace and shopping experience. Featuring 150 crafters, makers, designers and artists from this region and beyond, the event kicks off on Nov. 28 — Small Business Saturday — and continues through Sunday, Dec. 6. 

Ticking off all your shopping needs are product categories that include handcrafted jewelry, artwork, bath and body products, clothing, children’s items, housewares, home decor and more.

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Among this year’s featured vendors are Pittsburgh-based textile artist LaVerne Kemp, design and printmaking studio strawberryluna and ceramicist Andrew Jowdy Collins of Jowdy Studio

With funding help from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to design and build a custom virtual marketplace, the reimagined event includes behind-the-scenes studio tours, hands-on demonstrations and Meet the Maker Q&As.  

The organizers of the nonprofit event note that when COVID-19 hit earlier in the year, it shuttered many brick-and-mortar stores and in-person markets — and also cut off many artists’ primary revenue sources. Handmade Arcade has since partnered with Bridgeway Capital’s Creative Business Accelerator to provide free online curriculum to makers as they pivot from in-person to online business models with the hope of reconnecting them to the community. 

“By shopping with us this holiday season, you play an essential role in refueling the makers’ creativity while helping them get back on their feet,” a statement from Handmade Arcade says. 

To learn more about this year’s event, visit here.

Categories: Holiday Gifts, Nest