For me, the Handmade Arcade is like Christmas. I get giddy with excitement and this was only my second one! I had already purchased my Early Birdie tickets and my husband came with me again to keep my company (and drive me). There are 170+ vendors! We arrived way too early, 9:30 and hung out until Early Birdie shopping started.
With our Early Birdie tickets we were able to get into the free event an hour early, plus we get a swag bag. This year’s swag bag included lots of various coupons to some of the vendors as well as a sample of soap from Hip Modern Soap, holiday cards from Hey Beast Studio, and a small little canvas, paint, and pin from Artist & Craftsman Supply.
My first stop was a beeline to see WillowBrook Alpacas. I bought some roving from them last year and I have been following them on Facebook and an email list ever since. They are a local alpaca farm and they have wool and yarn available. They have an adopt an Alpaca program, where you can “adopt” an alpaca from the farm and you can visit them once a month for the year! Plus you get a picture of your alpaca, a birthday card, sample of wool, and discounts. Too cute!
Once I had visited WillowBrook, I tried to visit as many booths as possible (and get pictures) before the doors opened for free admission. Thread + Love is not a yarn or crochet shop, but they had precious little sewn dolls and other items. I ended up purchasing a cute little snow monster for myself to hang on the tree.
I found a cute crochet shop, Corchet Unique Crocheted Gifts. She had some cute little stuffed animals and hats. Everything was charming and well stitched. Really nice work.
Gingercake Patterns was another shop that I remembered from last year. She makes these charming lamas. Last year I bought one for my niece for Christmas. She also makes sweet dolls, stuffed animals, bags, accessories, etc. and she sells her patterns. Really nice stuff and one of my favorite shops at the Handmade Arcade.
Stitch Party is a local shop and blog. They dye their yarn and they also create little knitting kits. I refrained from buying yarn today, since I barely have the space left to store the yarn I have. But their yarn was beautiful. I will definitely save their contact info and will hope to buy some of their yarn in the future.
This woman from Heather Rose Sewing Boutique is an amazing artist. Her stuffed animals look like something that you would buy at any store. Actually any store is not correct, high end gift shops would be more correct. Her craftsmanship is amazing. I’m seriously in love with her stuff. She had a giant Panda Bear that was incredible. And the most adorable sloth, that I almost bought. I ended up buying a narwhal for my nephew, but if there were more kids in my life I would have been buying much more of her stuff.
One table had these two rad ladies. Cobra Cakes had handmade upcycled punk, 80’s, goth, metal clothes and accessories. Manifesto Moto is a female rider organization and space. I ended up buying a small bag made from recycled inner tube. I can always use small zippered bags, especially for my crochet accessories.
I stopped at Cuppa Stitches, another crochet table. They had various crochet items, but my favorite was the F bomb. Fun and cute stuff.
BatCat Press is a small press run by an organization for students at a local charter school. They bind books and make printed items. I ended up picking up some holiday cards.
I just want to make a couple more mentions:
Anyway, that is just a small sample of what the Handmade Arcade has to offer. I gravitate towards the crafty, but they also have shops selling jewelry, home goods, pottery, art, etc. The full vendor list is available here.
We lasted an hour an 45 minutes this year. Every year I say I want to spend more time, but about 2 hours is usually how long it takes for me to spend too much money. lol But I wouldn’t want to spend it anywhere else. I did not show off all of my purchases (since many of them are gifts) but perhaps once Christmas is over I may make a post on some of them.