2014 Holiday Shopping List
The DIY movement has found a home in the ‘burgh, and with it, a collection of local markets full of unique, handmade pieces. These markets are the perfect places to get a head start on your holiday shopping. We know you’ve got a long list, and to make your life easier, we’ve rounded up the best places to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts for your friends and families.
Celebrating 11 years as Pittsburgh’s largest indie craft fair, Handmade Arcade features 150+ nationwide vendors from over seven states, showcasing and selling their own items. Handmade Arcade has a multitude of unique items to choose from, giving you the opportunity to score the perfect holiday gifts — everything from moss terrariums by Woodland Blessing to t-shirts by Commonwealth Press. If you can’t find what you’re looking for among these vendors, the Arcade conducts a signature event series, called Hands-On Handmade. This area allows attendees of all ages to participate in a variety of drop-in, short and day-long interactive programs. Notable program mentions include Bandy Woodworks’ timed races, where participants must build the most stable structure using miscellaneous wood scraps, or Girls Rock! Pittsburgh, where participants create their own band logo or album cover and learn about design and branding. Handmade Arcade is free to attend, and takes place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Dec. 6 from 11:00AM-7:00PM.
I Made It! for the Holidays
I Made It! Market is the self-proclaimed “nomadic indie crafts marketplace.” About once a month, IMI hosts pop-up shops in various locations around Pittsburgh, from the Carrie Furnace to Bakery Square to Mt. Washington. Now into their seventh year, IMI is conducting their annual holiday market displaying over 100 local artisans who are showcasing their work. This year, the market takes place during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. What better way to celebrate the best in local businesses while getting all your Christmas shopping done? Vendors include jewelry maker, Georgette Frances,who works with beaded, wire-wrapped jewelry, and Devorah Naturals, creators of safe and organic skincare/beauty products, along with multiple others. This event will take place at The Heinz 57 Center on Friday, Nov. 28 from 2:00-8:00PM and Saturday, Nov. 29 from 11:00AM-5:00PM.
Holiday RAWk 2014
RAW: Natural Born Artists handpicks local, independent artists and gives them a platform to present their talents. They’ve expanded into 60 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia and London, hosting 30 to 70 showcases a month. Each of these events combines artists in film, photography, visual art, music, fashion, make-up and hair-styling. It’s been happening in Pittsburgh for two years, with the next event taking place just in time for the holidays. You can scope out the perfect gift while enjoying entertainment from local indie rock band, Wreck Loose, and singer-songwriter, Crystal Lee Morgan. This month’s RAW showcase will include independent fine artist, Bekah Coffey, and tattoo artist, Sara Eve, among many others. Buy your tickets here and support the local arts community on Dec. 10 at Xtaza nightclub from 7:00PM-12:00AM.
Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer
The Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer is hosting their fourth annual vendor fair on Nov. 22 at The Teamsters Local 249 from 9:00AM-3:00PM. This yearly event brings together the best local collectors and small vintage stores in the area to help you find thrifty clothing, quality wares, and other nostalgic artifacts you might be searching for. You’ll find nothing but high quality items ranging from clothing and accessories, to vintage furnishings and artifacts, to posters, comic books, vinyls, and more. Notable vendors include Highway Robbery, Retroburgh and The Ardent Forager. The event features DJs, food trucks, lectures, and guest appearances. Check it out if you need to find a gift for a collector or a friend who appreciates history.
“Super Friends” Last Minute Holiday Market
“Super Friends” is a local group comprised of artists named after their favorite Saturday morning, childhood cartoon. They formed an idea to host a small DIY show to wrap up their long holiday show season, and allow people the opportunity to shop for last minute gifts. The show’s vendors create work such as screenprints, visual art, t-shirts, jewelry, ceramics, original art, and much more. If you’re running out of time and still have gifts to cross off your list, come check out RedRaven Studios for handmade porcelain goods, housewares, & jewelry, or Make Believe It for screen-printed shirts featuring Pittsburgh imagery. The “Super Friends” market takes place on Dec. 13 from 12:00-6:00PM at Commonwealth Press Warehouse.
Shop Small-Shop Handmade
The I Made It! Market and Think Shadyside are coming together to bring you the best in local artisan goods. This weekly pop-up market starts on Saturday, Nov. 29 and continues every Saturday until Dec. 20 at the corner of Walnut and Bellefonte, above the Shady Grove Restaurant. You’ll have the opportunity to shop from over 80 local artists alongside an open bar with warm drinks, lunch, and vegan pastries from new IMI! artist Gluten Free Goat Bakery. Each week will showcase 20 different artists, including LEX Covato Art, jeweler Little Yesterday, and beauty products by Naked Bombshell, LLC.
Holiday Glass Sale
Starting Friday, Dec. 5, regional artists will display their handmade glass art and jewelry at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. This weekend long event will give you a chance to buy from the best glass artisans in the region. You’ll get to experience hot glass demonstrations on Friday from 6:00-9:00PM, and even have a chance to make your own glass ornament on Saturday the 6th from 10:00AM-4:00PM.
Join the Sweetwater Center for the Arts for their 20th annual Holiday mART. This event is a celebration for the art created by hard-working local and national artists and crafters. Holiday mART features a large selection of jewelry, ceramics, glass, fiber arts, two-dimensional art and more. The week-long market kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 29 with their Champagne and Preview Party from 5:00-7:00PM. You can buy your tickets here for a festive evening of food, wine and a first glimpse at the one-of-a-kind pieces that will be on sale throughout the week. Check out the rest of the events throughout the week including special happy hours and brunch, along with the market hours here.
People’s Gas Holiday Market
Add a unique, ethnic twist to your holiday shopping experience this year. The 3rd annual People’s Gas Holiday Market allows guests to experience and enjoy a celebrated European holiday tradition in downtown Market Square. Inspired by the original German Christkindlmarkts, shoppers can browse the illuminated Alpine-style wooden chalets, while enjoying an eclectic mix of high quality local and international goods. Be sure to stop by Yule Haus presented by NOLA to enjoy some traditional German cuisine, including bratwurst, sweet crepes, and strudel. Women of the Cloud Forest displays an impressive collection as well, including holiday products from fair-trade artisans in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Visitors can also enjoy local, multicultural entertainment each day, inspired by Pittsburgh’s melting pot community of strong roots and diverse heritage. People’s Gas Holiday Market is open daily from Nov. 21 to Dec. 23. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 11:00AM-8:00PM, Fridays and Saturdays, 11:00AM-9:30PM, and 11:00AM-6:00PM on Sundays. A complete list of vendors can be found here.