Scarves & Guitars
Shop Party: not your Grandma's craft fair
By Leilani Clark
Indie bands, velvet wolf paintings, DJs, monster dolls—these aren't items one typically associates with a craft fair. But when Meredith Lenci and Olivia Browning decided to expand their winter craft nights into something more ambitious, they did so with style and edge.
"We were definitely inspired by the Indie-Mart Street Fair and the Maker Faire. We were like, let's make this happen in Santa Rosa," says Lenci, an experienced event planner.
Browning, a crafter and photographer, says the goal was to create an event that "entertains people as much as possible," while providing a vibrant space for vendors to sell their goods in a more personalized manner than an online crafting venue like Etsy.
Shop Party was born last year; Browning says the first one had 10 vendors and about 50 attendees. Since, the event has grown at lightning speed. This Sunday's event features 30 vendors, including Luce Goods and Skirt Chaser Vintage, and music by Emily Jane White, Owl Paws and others. Local artists Chris Wells and Mica Jennings will have work on display, and Born & Raised will sell locally sourced, organic food. "We want to provide an outlet for music, shopping, food," says Browning, "anything kind of goes as long as it's local and sustainable."
Shop Party happens on Sunday, April 17, at the Arlene Francis Center. 99 Sixth St., Santa Rosa. Noon-6pm. $2. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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