Got Craft?, Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair, began in 2007 by a husband and wife event management and wedding coordination team based in Vancouver. Its goal is to build and foster support for handmade and D.I.Y. culture by offering a bi-annual boutique style market that features local handmade artisans while giving the public the chance to find one-of-kind items. The market creates a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, offering free D.I.Y. workshops, music, food trucks, and swag bag giveaways. Starting with 20 vendors in 2007, the market has steadily grown to this year’s holiday edition which included 75+ artists in East Vancouver’s Maritime Labour Centre.
DIVINA DENUEVO HANDMADE LEATHER BAGS & ACCESSORIES
Divina Denuevo, Spanish for “Divine Again”, is the collaborative brainchild of the local design duo Victoria Ronco and Dave Kelly. Both are involved in conceiving and creating one-of-a-kind leather goods made from discarded and second-hand leather with antique hardware accents found in scrap yards and estate sales. In this way, the brand is ecologically responsible while producing pieces that cannot be duplicated.
What I absolutely love is the mix of simple, clean, structured lines with a touch of ornate antique detailing. In particular, the skeleton key fastened onto the bags sends the wearer onto an imaginative reverie, wondering what secret the key opened originally. To help with the puzzle, the designers thoughtfully stitch a label into the interior of the bag explaining what the key was originally used for. One of my favourites is the Wicklow Leather Handbag (being held by designer Victoria Ronco in photo) – it resembles a bowling bag, both classic and modern at the same time, perfect for holding everything a woman could possibly need on a day out.
Vancouver based jewelry designer Trudy Wynans launched Toodlebunny Designs in 2006. Inspired by nature’s flora and fauna, Wynans incorporates various metals with natural elements, such as bone, wood, horn and semi-precious stones. Her designs keep evolving over time which keeps her collections fresh and modern. I noticed this eclectic aesthetic while browsing the selection on display at her booth; there was something for every type of woman’s fancy. On one side, there was a selection of understated gold chains with a small pendant on the end. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a distinctly tribal orange and black stoned necklace, definitely a statement piece. So the first to go with your weekend brunch outfit and then moving on to the second to offset your black cocktail dress in the evening!
BELVEDERE MENS’ ACCESSORIES
Kari Bergrud came up with the concept for Belvedere when noticing mens’ interest in looking stylish and yet the lack of availability of such accessories on the indie market. Inspired by the gentlemen of the 50’s as well as the modern chap, Bergrud has created a classic collection of bow ties, suspenders, pocket combs, and tie clips made from vintage forks and spoons. The name Belvedere originates from an 80’s TV sitcom “Mr. Belvedere” which featured an always impeccably dressed Lynn Belvedere who took on a job as a housekeeper with an American family. The ties are a stand-out with their subtle colours and light cotton fabric, bringing me back to the days of garden parties and seersucker suits. Bergrud has also gathered a collection of vintage straight and safety razors which are environmentally sustainable, albeit a bit dangerous to use! A brand that encourages today’s men to return to an old school approach to self grooming and dapper styling – I’m a full supporter!
Got Craft? certainly offers an intimate boutique style of craft market, so no fear of running out of shopping steam. There is a variety of gift ideas available, including stationery, toys, ceramics, and housewares, but if it’s a special something for a fashionista in your life, there is probably a larger selection of fashion artisans in the other markets. Having said that, as you can see above, there are certainly stylish gems to be found here.
Stay tuned for Style by Fire’s announcement of the next Got Craft? Market which will be back in town in May 2014.
Words + Photos by Aurora Chan