Crowds Shop Local at The Big Crafty 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

by Adrian Etheridge

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As this holiday season approaches, shopping for gifts is at the forefront of many people’s minds. You could, of course, run to the nearest large department store and buy a generic, expensive gift. Or, you could support small, local businesses by buying more personal and handmade presents. Asheville is chock full of artists and artisans creating beautiful handiwork, and Sunday, December 1, 76 of them filled the halls of the Asheville Art Museum for The Big Crafty’s 2013 holiday event. The Museum partners with The Big Crafty each summer and winter to host the bi-annual craft fair event.

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The event kicked off at 11 a.m. with a new feature – VIP shopping. For a small $5 fee, shoppers could enter the Museum early to begin their shopping amid a smaller crowd, a holiday luxury since when the doors opened to the public at 1 p.m., the museum flooded with eager buyers.

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       Cozyblue handmade             An Open Sketchbook            Black Kitten Knitting

Products ranged from the traditional – kitchen supplies, wall decor, and apparel – to some rather out-of-the-ordinary handmade items.

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                                                          Arts Alive

Living plant earrings, for instance.

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                     Robin Plemmons, Lemon With a Pea

And, although the craft fair was hectic with hundreds of people roaming the space, the vendors remained incredibly friendly. One of the most enjoyable parts of the event was chatting with merchants about how or why they created their unique work.

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                        Rusticware                                 Macon York Letterpress & Design

For some vendors, this was their first holiday market. Others have had booths at Big Crafty for five years.

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                                                                                           Glak Love

After filling your bags with beautiful art work, there are handmade frames to mount each piece with. Some beautiful pieces even come with frames already on them.

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                            Short Street Cakes

And, no holiday fair is complete without homemade sweet treats.

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Vendors even spilled into the outdoors on the warm winter day. The Big Crafty holiday event kicked off the museum’s week long holiday market open during the museum’s regular business hours.

If you missed Big Crafty, or want to see a greater selection of work, most vendors have products available online.

The full list of vendors can be found at