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Save big, shop small
by Andrea Tyrell
Dec 02, 2013 | 1146 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Indie Reno Craft Fair at the Sparks Heritage Museum attracted locals looking to buy unique and non-traditional holiday presents.
The Indie Reno Craft Fair at the Sparks Heritage Museum attracted locals looking to buy unique and non-traditional holiday presents.
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While others flocked to Legends and other crowded shopping centers for Black Friday deals, local artisans sold their original, handmade pieces to buyers at the second annual Indie Reno Holiday Craft Fair, held at the Sparks Heritage Museum Friday and Saturday.

“It went pretty well,” said Shelly Jackson, the founder of the website, IndieReno.org. “There was a steady attendance, about 500 to 600 people stopped in. It was good for most of the vendors. Of course, there were some who didn’t see the sales they were hoping for but for the most part, everyone else did well.”

    The event kicked off with an artist reception Friday in the upstairs gallery of the Sparks Museum, followed by Saturday’s craft fair. The first 25 people at the door received a swag bag, filled with handmade pieces donated by the artists.

    “These are really nice pieces,” said Jackson. “Each piece retails from $5 to $10 and you get about five little items in a bag. Those pieces themselves make really nice gifts. People know that they get good stuff when they come early so there was a line on both days.”

    Some artists donated merchandise for a silent auction that participants were able to bid on and win. The fair also offered complimentary snacks, hot cocoa and hot cider.

Indie Reno supports a different charity at each of its craft shows. This fair, the organizers chose the Food Bank of Northern Nevada to help raise money for, as well as helping raise money for the Sparks Museum. Volunteers set up a tree with glittery ornaments that people could “buy.” The money went to both organizations.

“The Food Bank raised $125 and we helped the museum raise $225 for themselves,” said Jackson.

    For those who missed the craft fair, Jackson asks them to visit the Indie Reno website to find all participating vendors and their websites.

    “All the vendors from the craft fair on on the website,” said Jackson. “There will be other craft fairs this holiday season, too, at the Dave Asher Buy Local booth at the Reno Towne Mall. Also, some of the vendors work is available for purchase at Reno Artworks. We’re trying to work with other businesses about selling more stuff.”

    Some of the vendors will be at the Sparks’ Hometowne Christmas celebration Saturday.

    “I know it’s going to be a cold one,” said Jackson. “Our vendors will be on the heat patio. We’re hoping for a big turnout on Saturday.”

    Indie Reno is an artist collective, where local artists come together to sell their handmade designs. Jackson helps each artisan find the perfect medium to sell their products, whether it is at a craft fair or on an online site like Etsy.com. The group is made of about 100 artists, who’s handwork ranges from hand-tailored clothes to printed frames.

    “All of these were letterpress printed,” said Katherine Case of Meridian Press, pointing to a stack of Christmas cards. Case also makes and sells hand-printed journals and day planners. A stack of her Christmas cards, featuring “Noel” stamped across the front run $20 for a pack of six cards.

    With the movement of buying local products and supporting the businesses that make them, Jackson is seeing the need for more quality handmade products and encourages artists to join the Indie Reno group.

“Indie Reno feels like a family,” said Jackson. “We offer so much– if you name it, there is an artist here that makes it. Their works deserves so much local support– the city has been great but we can always buy more.”

    For more information about Indie Reno and their future craft fairs, visit www.indiereno.org.
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