According to the press release, Crafty Mart is a gathering of uncommon crafters & artisans from the Akron area. It’s a chance for the public to holiday shop in a comfy setting outside the Big Box and Mall. There will be scores of one-of-a-kind useful yet eye-catching holiday gifts that you won’t find elsewhere.
Crafty Mart began four years ago when co-founders Juniper Sage and J Hudson saw a lack of art shopping in the Akron area. Hudson would visit Sage, co-owner of Square Records, at Cleveland art events and wondered why these events weren’t happening in their own area. So, they made it happen.
“We had 35 vendors our first year and more than 500 in attendance,” Hudson said. “Now, it’s grown to 57 vendors and more than 1,000 people show up, and for a show like that in Akron, that is big.”
Hudson said he and Sage weren’t sure if Crafty Mart would take place this year since their lives became busy. They found help in passing on some of the duties to Brit Charek, the main organizer of this year’s event.
“Brit has been great in taking over, and her and Juniper are great at organizing, while I do most of the marketing and social media,” Hudson added.
Hudson said the group works hard to promote the arts and crafts in the Akron area, and they focus on obtaining vendors from areas such as Kent, Massillon and Canton, not just Cleveland. They receive more vendor applicants than they have room for and try to find a balance in selecting participants.
“We can’t accept everyone, and we have to go through and pick out vendors who best represent Akron,” Hudson said. “Some of these vendors are people that wouldn’t be artists otherwise and have now found a creative outlet. We try to keep things different and not have too much of the same items.”
According to the press release, crafts will include Bags, Balms, Books, Buttons, Cards, Ceramics, Children’s Clothes, Retro, New & Upcycled Jewelry, Pillows, Posters, Purses, Soaps, and Totes & Tees. Arts include Music, Paintings, Photography, Prints, and Hard & Soft Sculptures.
This year, there will be food from locally owned and operated Urban Eats and Ms. Julie’s kitchen
and warm & cold drinks. Music will be provided by local DJ Moose Malloy.
“Crafty Mart is fun. There is good music, good good and it’s family friendly. Even if you don’t shop, you will probably still enjoy yourself,” Hudson said.
Crafty Mart is also collaberating with the Akron Area Arts Alliance this fall as they present a sister
show, Artsy Mart at Summit ArtSpace the same day as well as on Dec. 1.
“There is such a good vibe at this place. Juniper and Brit are so well organize and we get a lot of volunteers. Watching people enjoying themselves at the event is an amazing feeling as well as seeing artists who have found their creative outlet,” Hudson said.
Crafty Mart is made possible through the help of the following groups: DJ Moose Malloy,
Musica, Ohioboy Art & Design, The Social Dept., Square Records, Holden Allan, Urban Eats
and We Gallery.
Parking is FREE at the Library Parking Deck on the SW Corner of High & Market Streets.