success in the burgh

bride mural in lawrence

so, as i said this morning, my family and i spent a long weekend on the other side of our fine state in pittsburgh. while i’ve been quite a few times now, i’ve never really had the chance or means to explore.

lucky for me, carrie nardini, founder & organizer of the i made it! markets, was only too glad to help me in my quandry!

but this post isn’t going to be about my travels – although, i will regale you with pictures! – it’s about carrie’s success. and even though she’s still struggling to find her exact path, she has had a lot of success. i love that when we talk, we talk goals: big ones, big ones that aren’t just pipe dreams but are real landmarks we’re hurtling towards.

as a bit of background, i made it! market is a nomadic craft bazaar which travels around the city of pittsburgh – new parts, old parts, revitalized parts – bringing the handmade movement to different audiences each time it makes an appearance.

beehive alt coffee shop

carrie has this to say about her success:

I had to mull over what success means to me for a little while. There are so many successes to be had, success in building relationships, in building businesses, in building community. Those are the successes I’ve enjoyed with I Made It! Market.

The market is nearing its third birthday and I feel like a proud mom who is watching her baby grow up. The market was originally founded to achieve two goals. The first was to create an outlet for local crafters to get their wares directly to market (growing their businesses) and the second goal was to build community by raising awareness and funds for arts, community and non-profit organizations. I feel the market has been a success on both fronts.

Personally I have met and become close with so many people who I now consider friends – kindred spirits and talented artists. That sounds like a success to me!

wild card - indie craft boutique

the picture above is the store front of wild card, an indie craft boutique in the heart of the lawrenceville neighborhood of pittsburgh. rebecca, the owner is lovely and runs a lovely – and hip – store full of handmade goods, many devoted to the upsurge in pittsburgh craft. i picked up indie burgh souvenirs for scoutie boy, lola, and me!

i bring up wild card, not just because it was hopelessly cool, but because it speaks to the success carrie has found in “community.” the personal & business success of these two ladies is intertwined by their love of crafters, community, and pittsburgh.

spider motorcycle

carrie continues:

The Pittsburgh factor is the similar to what it was when IMI first began – barriers are low, people are friendly and helpful and the community participation is phenomenal. Proud Pittsburghers tout the resurgence in community pride and development all over the city and it is really wonderful to see small businesses start to take root and succeed in Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods. This new development shows that we appreciate the impact each individual can make and how, by supporting local and supporting handmade, you actually can improve your neighborhood much like the Lawrenceville and East Liberty communities are doing.

thank you, carrie for sharing your city & your success with me! your passion is truly contagious.

4 thoughts on “success in the burgh

  1. Oh, I love this concept so much! And I loved Pittsburgh when I was there briefly for Craft Congress in 2007! I’d love to bring something similar here to New Orleans… with the New Orleans Craft Mafia we dabbled with a monthly craft market for awhile, but it never really took off, and I think part of it was the location. Making it nomadic makes sense… I wonder how much harder it is to promote the event though? I’d love to find out more about the logistics of organizing something like this, as I’d be keen to see something similar in my own area.

  2. This is so amazing! I have a feeling I’m going to be reading blogs late into the night tonight. I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for a couple of years now, but haven’t found my niche people-wise. This article may very well lead me to what I am looking for.


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