by Laura Kelly
This past Saturday, one of my sisters and I returned to our hometown of Almonte – just 45 minutes west of Ottawa – to kick off the holiday season with the Handmade Harvest Holiday Craft Show.
For those who haven’t heard of it, Handmade Harvest is a well curated bi-annual craft show. This amazing show is the brainchild of Almonte locals and shop owners Emily Arbour (Hello Yellow) and Colleen Hewitt (Crush Marketplace), who bonded over their love of all things handmade. They set out to create a show that would “nurture the local independent craft community by providing an outlet for emerging makers of all ages…and make buying handmade items easy and fun to do.”
In 2014, Colleen stepped aside from her organizing role, so now Emily and her husband, Brad Weir, collaborate to create craft shows that are truly great experiences for both the vendors and shoppers.
Since the very first show in 2010, Almonte residents and out-of-towners alike have flocked to Handmade Harvest to find the perfect gifts for friends, family members, or themselves, and this year was no different. Over 3,000 shoppers came by the Old Almonte Town Hall over the two day show. It was a great atmosphere and the venue was abuzz with people shopping, snacking, chatting and laughing, and just generally having a good time.
The super keen were lined up around the corner for more than an hour before the show started. Those in line were anxious to be one of the first 50 people through the door and receive a coveted swag bag filled with goodies from vendors and sponsors. I myself was not one of these people, but I have a friend who was, and who makes it her mission to get one each and every Handmade Harvest craft show. Apparently these bags are definitely worth the wait.
Each Handmade Harvest craft show features tons of talented vendors and their quality creations. This year, the show hosted 121 different vendors over the two days. There were so many products to browse and choose from, including jewelry, clothing, home décor, artwork, furniture, and plenty of items for infants and children. A few of my favourites included:
Blondie Apparel and their super stylish Boot Cuffs
Sweetcheeks Kitchen and their delicious gluten-free treats
Daly Unstructured and their rustic and creative wine rack
These are just three of many vendors I visited on Saturday, not to mention the whole slew of new vendors that set up on Sunday. To check out all the vendors and their products, visit their profiles.
The Handmade Harvest Holiday Craft Show was a highly anticipated event on my calendar, and the show did not disappoint. Attending the show was a great way to support local artists, crafters, and businesses and get a head start on my Christmas shopping! I found unique and meaningful items for almost everybody on my list.
Do you have a favourite holiday craft sale?