by Brit Charek
When my fiance came up with the idea to have a men's only craft show, I had a few problems with the idea at first.
First off, isn't that sexist? And second, organizing craft fairs is my thing!
Granted, he did get the idea from helping me organize Crafty Mart which is turning more and more into a team effort for us, so it wasn't that difficult to convince myself to stop feeling threatened by the idea of him having his own show. (The next Crafty Mart is taking place tomorrow, June 1. Click here for details!)
As for the issue of excluding women, I started talking to my friends in the crafty community about it. Is it ok to exclude people? Practically everyone was supportive, and the ladies I talked to are excited to come out and shop for the men in their life. There are plenty of shows that have themes and only except artists that meet certain criteria. For example, Collective Upcycle, a seasonal pop-up market in the Cleveland area, only accepts consignors that work with recycled materials. The Akron Zoo hosts an annual holiday market where artists make animal-themed or eco-friendly goods. Weirdfest at Devilstrip Dolly's in Akron only accepts vendors that are, well, weird. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Manly Mart is not excluding anyone (ladies, you are welcome to come shop and there are plenty of shows in Northeast Ohio to vend at) but it's showcasing something special. In this instance, it happens to all things manly.
Manly Mart is appropriately located at Mahall's 20 Lanes, a kitchy bowling alley/bar in Lakewood with an excellent menu that can satisfy the manliest of appetites. At the show, there will be vendors selling the perfect gift for whatever man you're shopping for, whether he's a sports nut, a music lover or a video game nerd. Local businesses like The Cleveland Brew Shop and My Mind's Eye Records will be there, along with over a dozen manly men selling items they made with their hands.
Come out, do some shopping, grab a brew and bowl a few games! Manly Mart will take place from Noon-6pm on Saturday June 8 at Mahall's 20 Lanes at 13200 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Following the event will be live music and then a comedy show! Click here to RSVP on Facebook.