Sunday, June 07, 2009

Renegade Craft Fair, Bklyn style

250+ vendors who work in a variety of media and employ a variety of styles, gathered together in a park on a sunny Saturday and Sunday? Yes, please!

McCarren Park was a sea of bright white tents and was thick with the smell of hipsters. I entered the fair with high hopes, and slowly made my way around to every tent. There were adorable felted animal heads by Cherry Box, beautiful chain necklaces by Tilly D'Oro, and adorable porcelain figurines from kg + ab.

I'd have to say though, there seem to be comparatively fewer gems each year. Each progressive fair sees its number of vendors go up, but the overall number of sellers with a strong design point-of-view stays the same. A fair that once answered a variety of niche demands has seen over saturation; you now see many duplicate screen printed tee, hand sewn bag, and headband stands. It takes an increasingly unique perspective and an obsession with detail within each niche to stand out, like Giant Dwarf's headbands do. Compare this vendor experience with Bust's Craftacular, in which a limited number of participants were hand-selected, featuring vendors seemingly at their game.

This observation didn't stop me from feeling inspired, making a few purchases, visiting some recent friends at Mean Cards, enjoying the sun, and deciding that I'll jump on the vendor bandwagon next year (if only for the chance to play with cute puppies all day).

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