The Handmade Market … Because "mall" is a four-letter word.

The Handmade Market … Because "mall" is a four-letter word.

A showcase of independent designers, artists, and crafters in Raleigh, NC.

get to know our new sponsor: Shop Local Raleigh


Please give a warm Handmade Market welcome to our new sponsor Shop Local Raleigh!

Shop Local Raleigh promotes locally owned and operated businesses and works to educate consumers, business owners and the Raleigh community about the many benefits of spending locally.

Shop Local Raleigh has two bright sides to their coin. On the one side we as consumers can easily find a list of hundreds of local independent business owners in the area.  And there are awesome deals to take part in, like $20 on the 20th!

On the other side, members of Shop Local Raleigh are promoted through local television and radio ads, social media and directly on the Shop Local Raleigh website. (check out their colorful Instagram, you’ll want to start following them!) Members have access to networking and training events along with tips and articles to better their business. In this day of websites for just about every business, you need your home page to make a good first impression, right? Shop Local Raleigh has some great insights for you to be a success at this. Check it out here

The bottom line… when we spend money locally, it helps our own communities and neighborhoods. In fact here are 10 good reasons to Shop Local…Raleigh!

So Show Some Local Love!

and thank YOU Shop Local Raleigh for showing some love to The Handmade Market!

Artist Spotlight: Salty Oat

Say hello to Caitlin Topham, a new artist at The Handmade Market on May 3. Caitlin is the modern quilter behind Salty Oat, as well as a Spoonflower employee and owner of an online fabric shop specializing in independent, organic, and screen-printed fabrics. Caitlin’s quilts mix colors and shapes in a masterful way, and her design aesthetic is clean and simple.

How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? For me, success is seeing others using and enjoying the things I’ve made, whether that be wrapping themselves up in one of my quilts or using one of my zipper pouches when they travel.

When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. When work gets intense, I definitely do my best to lean in and take the time to get projects finished. Salty Oat is something I do when I’m not at my day job, so I try to maximize every minute I have available. There are times though, usually late at night, when I know it’s best to step back and unpick the wonky seam in the morning.

How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? I connect with a lot of other crafty people through Instagram, my blog, and the online charity quilting group, do. Good Stitches. I’m also lucky to have a quilting friend nearby, and we often get together for sewing sessions and coffee, to talk about fabric and patterns.

Is there a new item that you’d like to share? I’ll be bringing along some quilted coasters that I’ve been working on — they’re basically miniature quilts that give me the chance to try out new quilting designs and use up my batting and binding scraps!

salty oat - coasters

What’s your favorite tv show to binge-watch? Parenthood and Nashville are two of my favorites!

Stop by Caitlin’s Salty Oat table at The Handmade Market on May 3 and check out her pretty selection of quilts — and new coaster designs!

Artist Spotlight: Sperlazza Pottery

Today’s artist spotlight is on Beth Sperlazza Pottery. Beth’s earthenware pieces are both feminine and utilitarian. Each piece is hand-thrown on Beth’s potter’s wheel and decorated with layers of colored slips — the results are unique and playful. We think you’ll love how Beth’s designs incorporate traditional printmaking techniques like linocut printing and masking.

How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? I aim to measure success for myself on if I am being true to my principals and making work that I would love to own and use. If I can look back at the end of a week of working and say that I really tried to accomplish both of these things, then I say it was a success.

When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. When work gets really intense, first I tend to make a massive list thinking that I can take on the world … then I generally come to my senses and go for a run or grab a cup of coffee. This helps me get my head back on straight enough to realize what I am actually in control of or what is out of my hands. Once I have stepped away for a little while, I feel like I can take a second look at that sloppily made to do list and re-prioritize in a more concentrated and realistic manner. So do I lean in or step back? Both, I guess!

How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? I’ve been blessed the past three years to be Arist in Residence at a community art center in Fredericksburg, VA called LibertyTown Arts. This opportunity has allowed me time to work on my craft and to also develop and invest in friendships and connections with lots of local artists. Some do pottery like I do, but many others paint, weave, do printmaking, or metal work. This has been challenging in the best way possible — it has made me stretch as an artist as well as pull me out of the introverted little bubble I sometimes put myself into.

Is there a new item that you’d like to share on our blog? This spring I have been focusing on items which remind me that warm weather is truly just around the corner. The best examples of this are some small pocket vases I made. They are inspired by a little vase that sits on my counter year-round, just waiting for the first time that my husband stops and picks some small wild flowers from in the yard while out checking the mail. I just love this small sign that spring has come!

What city should you really live in? I should really live in Bozeman Montana … if it were by the beach! I loved every single thing about Bozeman when I visited a few years ago, except that the closest large body of water was oh … 700 miles away.

We’re excited that spring is truly here and even more excited to check out some of Beth’s beautiful new pieces at The Handmade Market on Saturday, May 3!

Thanks goes to our fine sponsor: City Market


Guess who is turning 100 this year? That’s right, City Market! Can you believe it? I wonder what it was like in downtown Raleigh 100 years ago?

citymarketcollageI think that’s Cobblestone Hall, home of The Handmade Market, looking at it from Martin Street. I’m sure not one of you would turn down some fresh local produce grown like it was back in 1914! This was THE place in Raleigh to get poultry, seafood, produce, baked goods and even flowers until the mid 1940′s. Once the exciting and new super market hit the scene, things slowed down at City Market. It’s gone through many changes since those old days.

We’re grateful that City Market has since been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. For that reason it’s still around for all to enjoy!

Did you know that City Market includes way more than just Cobblestone Hall? It is the area of downtown Raleigh located between S Blount St, E Martin St, Person St, and E Davie St. Tucked inside those streets are the quaint Parham, Wolfe, and Blake streets. Have you been downtown for First Friday lately? This is where you’ll walk among white lights strung over cobblestone streets. It’s where retail shops and restaurants extend their hours and live music plays out on the street. There are street performers and corn hole games. It’s where you just may feel like you are out of town on a little vacation. When in fact, you are really enjoying a little piece of history right here at home! Check it out on Friday, May 2nd.

After you have enjoyed First Friday, come back on Saturday, May 3rd for The Handmade Market! We get to use the same building in the very way it was first intended, as a Market!

And remember, there is ALWAYS something going on in City Market. Check out the calendar of events on their website and keep an eye out for information about how we can all continue to celebrate 100 years of City Market!

Thanks City Market for sponsoring The Handmade Market from the minute we stepped foot onto your beautiful cobblestone streets!

artist spotlight: tiny peepers

Returning to the Handmade Market is a local favorite (and ours, too), Tiny Peepers by the talented Kelly Smith. She screen prints everything by hand in her small home studio to create nostalgic and thoughtful gifts.

How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? I think a successful business is one that works on all levels–it’s creative and enjoyable to have, it’s engaging but doesn’t take over your personal life, and it generates income. I started tiny peepers mostly as creative outlet, but now, four years later, it’s become an important part of my family’s financial support. Just by the nature of the business, sometimes it takes over my personal life, but usually it fits in really well with my family’s schedule.

When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. When work starts to get intense, I step back–I lay around and procrastinate for a while, eat potato chips, and read Tiny Buddha posts on Facebook. For some reason, this helps me refocus when the real crunch times come. I like managing the business side during the week, and the creative side when I have longer stretches of time on the weekends.

How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? I connect with others mostly through other makers who live here, but I also love meeting other artists at craft shows. There’s a WHOLE WORLD of fantastic artists and warm-hearted people out there. The added bonus of taking trips to new cities for work is the best!

Is there a new item that you’d like to share on our blog? I’m *hoping* to have a new North Carolina design finished in time for the Handmade Market. It’s still in the early creative stages, so no sneak peeks yet!

What’s your favorite tv show to binge-watch? Lately I’ve been catching up on New Girl on Netflix and Hulu. I actually don’t watch much tv.

What city should you really live in? For now, I’m completely happy living in Raleigh, but it’s not yet able to support something I’m totally obsessed with–Tiny Houses. If I didn’t have two growing boys, I’d sell my fairly small house and build a tiny one. I can see myself doing this one day. Maybe I can rent out my current house, and put my Tiny House behind it and live in my own back yard! I think it’a growing movement that will continue to be more and more realistic as people yearn for a low/no mortgage lifestyle, free of excess clutter and full of doing what you love. Sounds divine to me.

We love to see Kelly’s beautiful smile all day at the Handmade Market and we think you will, too. Hopefully she’ll have that new North Carolina design ready to make its debut!