Back to handmade hotbed PA this week, visiting Rebecca and Wild Card in Pittsburgh.
When I first had the idea of opening a shop with the focus on the handmade, I knew I wanted it have the feel of an indie craft fair, or “etsy in the flesh” as one writer referred to it. The idea of being able to touch the items, try them on, etc, really appealed to me. I also wanted a place where crafters could get together for meet-ups, classes, and inspiration. I wanted to do all of that, plus be a part of the neighborhood.
I ended up opening my shop in my own neighborhood, and I really wanted to provide something fun and exciting for both the crafting community and the people who live here. Not only do we carry a range of handmade items, we also have greeting cards (many of which are handmade) and selection of small novelty items. There’s even two vintage pinball machines in the back (2 games for a quarter….proceeds donated to Bike Pittsburgh). I really like the idea of having something that can appeal to anyone, be it a hip 20-something, a little kid, or a grandpa.
Buying handmade is great for so many reasons—items are likely to be one of a kind (even silk-screened items will vary in color, placement, etc). It’s great to be able to tell a customer something about the person who made the item they are admiring or purchasing. (the person who made this is from the North Side–so is the customer! There’s a connection right there, and in Pittsburgh, it is probably that person’s brother’s friend!)
Buying handmade supports small business in a couple ways–my business can stay afloat when people are buying from me, and I can pay my vendors and support them, whether they craft on a full-time or part-time basis. A good number of handmade items use recycled materials, which keeps the materials out of the landfill, which sounds good to me!
4209 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201-3132