Monday, November 27, 2017

The 12th Annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair Returns to the Masonic this Friday!

Over the weekend I asked my mom to send me a Christmas shopping list. When I got it and took a look, I was immediately overwhelmed with sadness. Everything that my mom asked for was practical. She asked for some new cupcake pans, a new turkey roaster, and she even asked for her favorite brand of Tic Tacs. And although I love to make my mom smile and get her what she wants over the holidays, I can't bring myself to get her any of that stuff on the list.

I am sick of giving gifts for the holidays because you are supposed to. I want to go back to giving gifts because I want to, and I think the only way to do that is to buy something special that someone can't necessarily buy for themselves. I want to give my mom something she doesn't even know she wants. I want to find the perfect token of my love and appreciation without spending a bunch of time in line with a bunch of angry people who are eagerly trying to complete their must-have lists.I also want to make sure that the money I spend goes back into my community, which means that this holiday I have decided that I am 100% shopping local. I only have a few people I plan to shop for, so I'm going to go out to the stores in my area, the craft shows, and the bazaars and I'm going to find something special to give the people that I love.

I'm going to start that hunt this Friday at the 12th Annual Detroit Urban Craft Fair because, as many of you already know, it is the biggest and best gathering of DIY talent in the Mitten. For three days, Handmade Detroit puts on the most bad ass craft fair that you have ever seen. The variety of vendors is usually so different that I can get most of my shopping done during my visit. Plus, I get to know that every dollar I spend is going into the pocket of someone who lives, works, and plays in the same community that I do, which makes Christmas seem a whole lot more joyful to me.  

I reached out to Carey Gustafson, one of the masterminds behind the legendary craft fair and creator of Glass Action, and I asked her a few questions about this year's event. Check out what she had to say about the event and make sure to head out to the Masonic Temple sometime this weekend to take a stroll around the bazaar for yourself. There will be good music, good food and drinks, and most of all, good handmade gifts for everyone on your list that you can buy guilt free! Stop shopping off of Amazon wish lists and start making the holidays wondrous, worry-free and magical again!

HID- Are there any specials or deals that we need to know about? 
Carey- "Opening night is $10 and runs from 6-9 p.m. This is a breezier party atmosphere that you can be first to select from our vendors stock, and enjoy some special Friday Night only attractions, including samples from Avalon Bakery, Blu Kitchen, Gus + Grey, a make and take with Craftsanity, a lettering station with Moving Beauty and more! 

Saturday and Sunday our admission price is $1, or folks are free to round up to further support Handmade Detroit! We're proudly the first and longest running contemporary craft show in Michigan, and all proceeds are infused right back into our community. Produced by local Michigan women! Every dollar helps run this 100 vendor show!"

HID- Why did you decide to donate some of the proceeds from the Friday night preview to Girls Rock Detroit? 
Carey- "We were excited to support and shine a spotlight on a group that was not only providing a fun rock n roll element to a camp dynamic but using music and a live-venue approach to empowering young girls to stretch their interests in the arts. They're learning about booking shows and setting up on stage and rehearsing together with women and venues in metro Detroit. Personally, I know a few families whose daughters went through the camp program and couldn't say enough great things!

Friday night is our special opening night celebration and some campers will be there talking with guests about their camp experiences, and Girls Rock Detroit has secured a few teen DJs to provide the music Friday night for our guests and shoppers!"

HID- What kind of music will you have this year?
Carey- "Crowd favorite DJ Dave Lawson will be spinning all day on Saturday 10-8 p.m. and 'Macho City' man Mike Trombley of Happy Endings Dance Party is our DJ Sunday from 11-6 p.m.!"

HID- Is there still going to be a cash bar this year?
Carey- "Yes! DUCF is set up once again in the Drill Room of the Masonic Temple (home base for the Derby Girls, if you've seen a bout!) and the MT supplies a bar with chips and snacks, pop, water, beer, mixers. Our entire show is located in one room. Guests love to 'try' and explore the Masonic when they come but many other areas have private parties or are blocked off, but guests should know for future reference that the MT does provide official tours of the Masonic! 

Delectabowl will be back to provide food Saturday from Noon-6 and Sunday from Noon-5 for guests from snacks to full meals to keep shoppers and their kids fed while they explore the craft fair!"

HID- What if you’re a local DIY crafter who wants to be in the show next year, what’s the best way to make that happen? 
Carey- "Great question! We field daily emails about this. Each year we open our applications for 9-10 weeks starting in mid-July. We close the apps late September and from those in-time applications, we build our show; the available spaces AND the waiting list. We pull people up if someone has to cancel. We have 95 spaces and received almost 400 applications this year! For those that follow or have attended a DUCF it's a modern show. We review price points, originality, quality of work, type of materials and the appeal of the goods for our audience. It's a special jurying process that is managed by a panel."

HID- Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Carey- "I always like to remind people that if you're turned off by the big morning crowds, think about coming down mid-day, before dinnertime. Saturday always eases up around 3:30/4 p.m. and Sunday it really slows down around the same time, and we're there until 6 p.m. There's a freight elevator that anyone that has special physical needs or has a guest in a wheelchair, you're encouraged to check in at the back desk/entrance of the Masonic and call for that service. There's also a DUCF parking lot for our guests! It's located at 640 Temple, just down the street.

The last thought is that if you've not been back in a few years, or a seasonal regular, it's exciting to boast that this year 30 percent of our show is BRAND NEW vendors to us. You'll also see crowd favorites that have been juried in. 20% of the show is from Detroit proper, and 90% of the show is MICHIGAN makers. The crafters you are shopping you will meet! You won't be greeted by brand ambassadors! DUCF will always be rooted in a local community party making the atmosphere. Come have some fun with us!!"

The Detroit Urban Craft Fair happens this weekend, December 1st thru 3rd at the Detroit Masonic Temple. The fair takes place on Friday from 6-9 p.m., Saturday from 10-8 and Sunday from 11-6.


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