DIY Artisan Market: Savvy Designers Pop Up In Town

By Tricia Romano
The Seattle Times.

SEATTLE

When Terra Link and Jacob Rideout arrived in Seattle from California in October, they looked for a crafts festival to sell their handmade wares for the Savvy Heart, their “lifestyle brand” of jewelry, furniture and scented oils. But they couldn’t find anything that seemed quite right.

“One of the only things that we could find was mostly farmers markets,” Link said.

And since most farmers markets don’t feature a lot of crafts, they did what any self-respecting Do-It-Yourself artists would do: They founded their own pop-up shop.

The Savvy Marketplace, now in its fourth, features 12 to 17 local vendors every month in Sole Repair, an event space on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. They’ve added a food truck (Sunday’s vendor was the Grilled Cheese Experience) and craft cocktails and feature live local musicians.

True to their name, the duo proved to be savvy themselves. Though Link is from the region (she studied interior design at the Art Institute of Seattle), she didn’t have a network of fellow artisans in the city. Instead, she and Rideout looked for hashtags such as “handmade in Seattle” on Instagram, and scoured Etsy and larger regional craft markets for Seattle-based makers. After cold-contacting vendors, they collected enough to fill a market.

As for finding customers? They went the comparatively old-fashioned route: direct-mail advertising via the Post Office. The duo mailed 1,500 fliers, concentrating mostly on Capitol Hill, sending a few hundred to other neighborhoods.

Darya Assadi, 23, who just moved to Seattle from Phoenix, said she found out about the marketplace through one of those fliers. She brought two friends, also newcomers to the city.

One, Massoud Torabi, 24, left with a soy wax candle from Capitol Hill Candle Co., made by Jeremie Berg just five blocks away.

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