Graphic courtesy of Flint Handmade
Article by Jeremy Benson

Saturday, May 1st independent vendors and eager shoppers from around the State will congregate in downtown Flint for the Spring Craft Market.

Organized by Flint Handmade, the multiple-location crawl-style event showcases the work of over 5 dozen photographers, designers, seamstresses, knitters, and other creators. In its third year, the Market has expanded to a total of five locations: the Lunch Studio, Brown Sugar Cafe, Wize Guys Pizza, the Loft, and the Rowe building, all of which will be open for business during the show; between browsing handcrafted wares, customers can stop for a bite to eat or refresh with a drink.

"Having several downtown locations each housing a nice little group of wonderful artists makes for several fun mini-shows. It's certainly different that any other show I have done in the past," says Lori O'Connor, a new vendor to the event, who sells photography-based designs as Basement Art Creations. She applied for the show after hearing "excited chatter" from other crafters. The show's reputation for variety and originality appealed to her. "My work is a little bit quirky. I seem to do much better with a decidedly 'unique' sort of crowd that tends to enjoy and prefer the indie type of shows, like this one."

Another artist, Courtney Fischer, had sold her jewelry at Flint Handmade's Holiday craft crawl last December. "The show had a great vibe and everyone was happy to support local artists and find unique gifts for family and friends." She promises the Spring Craft Market will offer a similar experience. "The vendors are amazing, shoppers will find unique handmade goods that you won't see anywhere else!"

Flint Handmade began in 2007, as part of the growing Do-It-Yourself and 'buy local' movements, to support independent artists and promote the local economy. Besides the two craft shows, the nonprofit organization hosts a monthly "craftLAB," at which artists and hobbyists can work on their individual projects while communing with other creators.

Likewise, the Spring Craft Market is a celebration of community as much as handmade crafts. Courtney says that while buying handmade, rather than from the mall or department store, "is a direct way to support the economy in Michigan," it is also "more fun! You get to interact with people, it's more of a personal experience."

For your seasonal fix of handmade goods and community atmosphere, stop by Flint Handmade's Spring Craft Market. And get there right at 10AM—the first 25 customers to stop by the Lunch Studio will receive door prize bags.

The Spring Craft Market is located on Saginaw Street in Flint. It begins at 10AM, and ends at 4PM.

© Jeremy Benson, 2010