This weekend I attended Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park for the first time and WOAH there are some talented people that live in this city. I had no idea Chicago is basically one big Etsy Think Tank. Not only were there plenty of gorgeous letterpress shops, furniture makers and jewelers represented, but people who were solving problems I didn’t even know I had with stylish, practical solutions.
The bad news is I totally underestimated the craft fair and went A: about two hours before the show closed on Sunday, B. with a tired baby, and C. with an empty wallet. The good news is managed to take business cards from plenty of stalls that caught my eye so I could A. create this blog post, and B. go back and shop from the comfort of my couch after my son has gone to sleep.
If you didn’t make the fair, were unprepared like me, or simply love handmade, local jewelry, skincare, and decor, here are some of the best Chicago-based shops I found.
This sweet/cheeky print shop is owned by Marianne Pearson, who creates all of her original designs from her home studio. Plus: Her cards are made from post-consumer recycled paper and her packaging is eco-friendly.
Can you say design crush? Norman Leigh was founded by Chicago couple George Norman Schaefer and Leigh-Anne Riebold, who create beautiful mirrors, tables, shelving and planters, many times out of reclaimed wood they find in alleys around the city.
Lindsay Lewis is an SAIC grad whose done the school proud. Her booth immediately caught my eye — I love that her earthy, tribal style pieces are unique, yet timeless enough for everyday wearing.
Before I found the Argaman & Defiance stall, I actually gave a silent compliment to a girl I saw wearing one of their capes (who turned out to be manning the booth). In addition to capes, owner Lily Crespo makes the prettiest raw silk scarves and tops printed with all natural dye extracts made from tree bark, roots, and leaves.
Scratch Goods is a line of food-grade skincare products made by the owners of the popular Roscoe Village salon of the same name. They make everything from shampoo, to cleansing oil, to bath soaks from ingredients that are literally good enough to eat. And their packaging is so cute you can leave it out on your vanity.
There’s never been a better time to be a macrame artist (Except for perhaps in the 1970s), so I’d bet Amy Zwikel’s talent is making her a killing this year. The girl knows how to knit. Sure, you can buy macrame wall hanging at Urban Outfitters, but it’s so much cooler when it’s a locally-made art piece.
Who are your favorite Chicago Makers? Did we miss anyone awesome?