“I love the energy of in-person events,” says Tricia Brancolini-Foley, executive director of Handmade Arcade. “Nothing can beat being able to smell a candle, feel the fabric of a handbag, or see the colors of someone’s artwork. No online shopping experience can replace being able to shop directly from the maker. Handmade Arcade is all about being able to ask the artists questions, use our senses to experience the product, and be in the community with so many talented and creative people. Connecting makers to consumers is the core of our mission.”
Brancolini-Foley adds that bringing together people who enjoy shopping small and local under the same roof brings a magic to the event that is unable to be felt elsewhere.
The event will feature vendors who sell clothes, home decor, and much more. Plus, 30 of the artists for the Spring Market are brand-new to the Handmade Arcade markets.
“Many of the makers said they used the pandemic to learn a new skill, start a new business, and are now at a place where they are ready to join Pittsburgh’s robust creative economy as active participants in in-person markets and sales,” says Brancolini-Foley.
The Spring Market will have the “feel of a neighborhood block party,” according to a release, with live artist demonstrations, such as blacksmithing by Protohaven; local food trucks and companies Sprezztura, Hermes Food Truck, and Pittsburgh Mobile bars; and, take-home DIY kits for sale.
Brancolini-Foley says the event will benefit both the makers and guests who attend.
“The Spring Market provides an entry point for makers who have yet to participate in larger in-person markets, helping them learn the ropes and training them on industry best practices,” she says. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with such a fantastic array of artists who represent the diverse range of creative talent our region offers. With thousands of products, there are also gifts galore for that one-of-a-kind grad or upcoming events like Mother’s and Father’s day.”
Handmade Arcade Spring Market. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., April 30. Construction Junction. 214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze. Free. handmadearcade.org