PITTSBURGH – Shop big locally at the Handmade Arcade Holiday Market at the David Lawrence Convention Center on Saturday, December 4th.
The Pittsburgh area’s largest vacation market features 200 local, independent manufacturers selling unique everyday items, crafts, and art.
You can find vendors like Melanie Vaughan, whose Bridgewater store Revamped by Vaughan specializes in bespoke charcuterie boards, coasters, and artwork.
“The charcuterie trend is very popular,” said Vaughan, who founded Revamped by Vaughan in 2018 after selling her bridal salon to spend more time with her family.
“My boards have become popular thank you gifts for local real estate agents, wedding favors, and shower favors,” said Vaughan. “I have a showroom behind the CBD store in Bridgewater, but since I’m so busy with custom orders I can’t be there regularly so I only open this by appointment. That’s why I decided to take part in this year’s Handmade Arcade . “
She had heard good things from the owners of Cord + Iron, the candle makers who are now based in Beaver.
“They’d been on Handmade Arcade for the past few years and loved what a wonderful show it was,” said Vaughan. “They talked about the other wonderful vendors and how many of their current customers first came to them through this event.”
Brand loyalty is a given at Handmade Arcade, where the atmosphere is fresh and artistic.
Banned to virtual status by the pandemic last year, Handmade Arcade is returning to a personal Christmas market with the annual Friday night happy hour opening December 3rd. Hours of operation are 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and entry is $ 35.
Entry to the Main Event is free from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on December 4th. Although early bird shopping is another option, from 9:30 am to 11:00 am for $ 25.
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This weekend, handmade things lovers can shop from the comfort of their own home by visiting the virtual Christmas market, available Saturday through Monday at handmadearcade.org
The Handmade Arcade website also provides a detailed schedule of special events and large-scale, artist-led shows.
With its return to the David Lawrence Convention Center, Handmade Arcade is prioritizing the health and comfort of buyers and manufacturers by implementing updated safety protocols including social distancing, masking requirements for participants over 2 years of age, zones for eating and drinking, and an additional hall for more space between the stands and wider walkways. In order to reduce the rush at the check-in counter, every buyer must register at handmadearcade.org for a free entry ticket with a time stamp.
“It’s been a long and sometimes isolating year and we’re excited to bring the entire community back together,” said Tricia Brancolini-Foley, CEO of Handmade Arcade. “With our happy hour on Friday evening, 83 new manufacturers and incredible live demonstrations, Handmade Arcade is taking this popular event to a new level.”
Revised by Vaughan’s owner, one of these new creators said she was excited and nervous as she prepares for the show.
“I feel like we are historically at a time when people are actively looking for local small businesses, and it has been overwhelming,” said Vaughan of Patterson Township. “I have received an incredible number of Christmas orders and I am so grateful for everyone’s support. I work non-stop to make sure I have enough products not only for the show but also for last minute gift requests.
Her 20 x 10 foot showroom on the Handmade Arcade Holiday Market will give her plenty of space to display her charcuterie boards, Christmas decorations, coasters, and artwork. Prices range from $ 24 (Christmas decorations) to $ 785 (large works of art).
“My charcuterie boards cost between $ 95 and $ 175,” Vaughan said. “My Pittsburgh board, made of alcohol ink graphics between layers of colored epoxy, is my most popular product right now. I am currently working on making my website available for purchase, but it probably won’t be available until early this year.”
Scott Tady is the local entertainment reporter for The Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger. He can be easily reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @scotttady.