The local list: Seventeen holiday shows and markets for gift-buying in early December
The holiday shopping season begins in earnest on this nasty day after Thanksgiving, and though Small Business Saturday is tomorrow, it doesn't mean you can't keep right on shopping local and handmade -- now and all year long. And how can you resist, anyway, with all of these alternatives still to come? Keep reading for a roundup of December's first wave of holiday markets.
Valerie Savarie, Valkarie Gallery.
See also: BALLS! V: A Holiday Spectacular
FUSEdenver brings together an elite selection of local and all-American vendors a few times a year, but the holiday market, which blends a smart blend of art, design, food and fashion pop-up shops, is FUSEdenver at its best. There is an admission fee to attend the exclusive event, but amenities -- from a cash bar to complimentary mini-manicures and photo booth -- are included in the price.
Here in Colorado, being crafty carries a double meaning: Whether we're hand-making beer or knitting woolen scarves and canning jams, we're out to excel. Avery Brewing's CrAft & CrAfts merges both craft movements by combining shopping for local, handmade gifts and -- natch -- Avery brews. That includes a special tapping at 3 p.m., featuring the strawberry-infused Strawberry Wit Belgian-style white ale. Buy up, and drink up, too. Proceeds benefit the Women's Bean Project.
Denver Potters bring together a stable of more than forty artisans, including jewelers, woodworkers and glass artists in addition to the organization's base group of clay artists for this annual show.
After a few bouts in the traditional craft-fair arena, screen printer Stuart Alden of Ink Lounge saw a need for a market that would appeal to men, as well as the usual shop-till-you-drop women who frequent handmade sales. So he and his wife and business partner Nicky put together Holiday Mancraft, which not only showcases handmade gifts for men, but also work created by crafty men. It's quickly become one of the best markets of the season and is moving this year to a bigger venue. The icing on top? They added a full bar. Wares include everything from pickles to art prints.
Continue reading for more holiday markets.