Handmade Arcade Returns to In-Person Events with Show and Sell Market
Featuring a variety of artisans, the event takes place at Construction Junction in Point Breeze.
Local crafters have gone without for long enough.
Shopping online, while convenient, will never be the same as browsing the stalls at an in-person craft show event. Nor can clicking the “Add to Cart” button replace getting to feel the quality of hand-stitched, hand-dyed fabric. Not to mention that you can’t smell freshly carved wood or a hand-dipped candle online.
Now, with COVID-19 restrictions lightened, Handmade Arcade — after going virtual in 2020 — has returned to its signature in-person Show and Sell Market. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 at Construction Junction’s warehouse store in Point Breeze.
“More than anything, being able to see people’s work, smelling candles, smelling soap … interacting with the artists and having them tell you about their work feels so much more personal than shopping online,” says Handmade Arcade executive director Tricia Brancolini-Foley. “Nothing can replace the energy of in-person events.”
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Focused on showcasing emerging artists and vendors trying to gain exposure for their products, The Show and Sell Market was created in 2019 to celebrate Handmade Arcade’s 15-year anniversary, as well as its new collaboration with Construction Junction.
While the market was a hit, plans to make it an annual occurrence were short-lived after the show was cancelled last year due the pandemic. Since then, Handmade Arcade has created an interactive, virtual marketplace to keep patrons engaged.
Saturday’s event, the first-time the nonprofit has hosted an in-person market since before the pandemic, will be spread throughout multiple rooms so that each vendor has space to showcase their work. Among the 20 vendors slated for the market — which include everything from bath and body products to handcrafted bags and wallets — are Ell Gee, Ritual Soapworks, VettiMakes, Beautiful Curiosities, RocketArt and Shaplessflame.
“We always try to have a wide variety of things and be mindful of what to carry in our marketplaces,” says Brancolini-Foley.
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Food trucks from Sprezzatura and Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream will be in the parking lot during the event. Representatives from Pittsburgh Glass Center will also be outside of the market performing on-sight glass blowing for customers.
Volunteers are still able to sign on to the event. Each shift lasts approximately an hour and a half. Multiple time slots and tasks, such as directing parking and greeting guests, are available for selection, and volunteers are able to choose more than one shift.
Brancolini-Foley says Handmade Arcade hopes to continue to host both in-person and virtual events throughout the rest of the year.
“Vendors are able to decide how they are comfortable making sales,” she says. “Some might not be ready to be around a bunch of people yet, while others might want that human interaction. This way, everyone can still participate.”
Vendor applications are now open for both of the organization’s winter events. Handmade Arcade Winter Marketplace 2021, Part One will be a three-day, virtual market held Nov. 27-29.
Handmade Arcade Winter Marketplace 2021, Part Two will be a two-day, in-person marketplace taking place on Dec. 3 and 4 and includes a happy hour preview party to kick off the event.
Vendors have the option to sign up for each individual winter event or for both. Applications are due by Aug. 13. For more information visit here.