Monday, November 19, 2012

The Fourth Annual Crafty Mart at Musica

The Fourth Annual Crafty Mart
by J Hudson

design by

I met my Crafty Mart co-founder, Juniper Sage, while shopping at Square Records the record store she owns with her husband Dave in Highland Square.  I like to support local businesses and so I buy my records and cds there instead of from big box retailers.  I also like to shop local art shows for holiday gifts.  About eight years ago, when I worked in downtown Cleveland, a designer coworker gave me the heads up about a new holiday bazaar on the West Side called Bazaar Bizarre.  The first time it happened in Cleveland I loaded my kids in the car and made the drive up to check it out.

It was in an old warehouse in a run-down section of Cleveland’s Near West Side. The vendors all had fun handmade products that you can’t find in the mall or in a chain store.  Juniper was one of the vendors.  She was selling bowls made from old vinyl records, coasters made from the LP labels and a variety of knit goods. Both my kids and I loaded up on presents that night and then drove home in the snow for an hour.

The next time I went into Square Records, Juniper and I talked about Bazaar Bizarre.  I told her how much I liked it and wondered if Akron had a show like this. She said she didn’t know of one.  I said there should be and she agreed.

The next December, the same thing happened again and this time, we said we should put one on but we didn’t.

Then the next year, we said it again, except this time we actually did it.  We began meeting in the summer of 2009 along with my daughter Juliet and began planning an Akrocentric, idioscycraftic holiday market that we called Crafty Mart.

artwork for the first ever Crafty Mart!

The good people at Musica volunteered their space for a Saturday in November.  Juniper and I filled Musica with a mix of our artistic and crafty friends.  That first Crafty Mart had about 500 patrons.  Since then, we’ve had a show each fall and spring. We’ve expanded into We Gallery and Uncorked Wine Bar on High Street above Musica and we now have around 55 vendors and about 1000 shoppers at each show.

As Juniper and I grew busier with our regular jobs, we started succession planning and asked our friend and Crafty Mart vendor Brit Charek to take over Crafty Mart. Despite being very busy herself, Brit agree and is running this year’s Crafty Mart. Juniper and I are helping where we can, but Brit has taken over and is a doing a great job.  Brit has even developed a relationship with the Akron Area Arts Alliance and that group is putting on Artsy Mart the same day as Crafty Mart.  Artsy Mart is going to spotlight local fine arts artists.

Artsy Mart will take place the same day as Crafty Mart at Summit Artspace

This year’s Crafty Mart is on November 24, 2012 from 10am to 5pm at both Musica (on Maiden Lane) and We Gallery (on High Street).  Artsy Mart is taking place at the Summit Art Space at the same time, and again on December 1.  For full details, go to the Crafty Mart website at


  1. I love love love this show!!! I attended last year and bought 90% of my holiday gifts! The items are so unique and well made. We will be traveling this year, so I won't be able to make it. Are other shows planned before Christmas or will the website have links to the vendors?

    1. CraftyMart has the one event--Sat. Nov. 24th. There is a master list (with links) to all the vendors on their website: Thanks for commenting :)