Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Renegade Craft Fair // Chicago

This weekend, I went to the Renegade Craft Fair for the second year in a row. I celebrated the anniversary of my first date with Kyla from House of Hipsters (remember last year?) and I coaxed Grace from The Big Reveal into coming to Chicago to join us, woohoo! I also found out that two girls from my bible study sneak downtown every year untethered by telling everyone they're going to a "craft fair," which sounds like a seriously repugnant way to spend a day. Genius. We totally bombed their date and I enjoyed every minute of their company, but to preserve their secret I will leave them unnamed here. Suffice to say, with gorgeous weather, great friends, and Instagram-candy abounding, I had the best time ever.

I can't wait to give you the scoop! (And unlike last year when I was, for the most part, so shy all I could do was sneak pictures and steal business cards and hope the makers didn't notice, I actually mustered the courage to TALK to these sweet people this year. Oh my goodness, shyness makes you miss out on the world! They were ALL so lovely. I felt like I left with a hundred new friends).

Now. Since I know you're all drooling over the wall hanging in that header photo, we'll just start with her- it's the 5-Strand Mobile by fail. Absolutely positively stunning, and her jewelry was equally perfect.

Also unlike last year, I knew better than to hope I'd get through this thing in two hours. Bound and determined to see every. last. booth, and in spite of certain distractions like Tacos-in-a-Bag, girl-crying on curbs, over-consumption of coffee, small bladders, and total lack of morning time-management, we made it to ALL of them, crossing the finish line at exactly 10 minutes after every maker had a well-deserved beer in hand. Due to this proud accomplishment and the ensuing brain glaze that comes from seeing too much good stuff in too short of a time, I can't chronicle the day with any sense of order like I did last time.

All that to say, here are pretty things I saw, in rapid succession and no particular order:

Loved the yummy stuff from The Good Hippie.

My money is on the Detroit Card Co. to be the next Anna Rifle Bond, especially for her "Be Kind" print and clever greeting cards.

{This year's Perfect Mani Award goes to Grace.}

Great styling and yummy smelling boy stuff at O'Douds.

Simple, graphic prints from Sean Mort (a really super nice guy).

Cute banners and pennants at Little Skunk Co

A charming flamingo print and zipper clutch at Louise Dean Design.

Whimsical animal prints by CW Drawings.

Candles should have cool labels and delicious smells. Check and check at Detroit Rose Candle Co.

I'm kicking myself for not buying these prints from Stay Home Club

This plywood art would look great in my boys' room. By Ply.

I was stopped in my tracks by the artwork on these tea towels, at my favorite booth of the fair: Yao Cheng Design

I felt like I could just swim in this Wisteria print.

I took way too many pictures of her booth but it was kinda like standing in a dream, so it had to be done.

Delicate gold jewelry and a fun wall hanging at Cities in Dust Jewelry.

This one was great fun- I found Aron, of Facture Goods, through our Instagram hashtag #foundforaged - so it was super cool to meet him and see his work in person.

Here was another great stop- Rebecca from Territory and Emily from Maya Mueble had piles of textiles and swoon-worthy home goods (such as this blanket, be still my heart). And they are like, THE sweetest women.

I could not resist coming home with this calendar for my daughter, from Hillary Bird Illustration.

Camping essentials like wood coasters and hipster pennants at Camp Hunt Co.

Cozy flannel scarves at Tucker & Scout

I snagged this Octopus Print by Repeater Printing, thinking it will be great against the navy walls in my guest room. The artist, Jason O'Grady, shared a booth with his brother and they were both awesome.

Grace and I were drawn in by the packaging on these soaps at Change Soap Co., but came away with a new BFF in creator/ designer Tina Ersig. She was so kind and fun (I'm sorry I'm saying that about all of them, but it's true!), and whatever oil (I think it was this one) she put on my hands is still making them soft days later.

Peg + Awl had GORGEOUS bags. In addition to their leather, I was obsessed with the canvas bags that came in a perfect indigo hue.

Cool maps and city-specific prints at Mr City Printing.

Should we talk about how badly I want both of these for the playroom? Probably not. Illustrated maps by Monorail Studio.

I have a slight dish towel problem, and have banned myself from buying any more. Like, ever. But oh this one...surely I should make an exception. Navy Chambray Criss-Cross by Little Minnow.

Marbled blue & white porcelain at Leah Ball

This guy. He was so dear! I am sad I didn't have his great smile in my camera roll at the end of the day. Is that weird? 419 Trading Co.

The darlings at FOUNT have my heart, as do their bags. I have the privilege of owning their Bellfield Tote, and the quality is outstanding.

And there you have it! A very condensed version of a shopping marathon so robust it was definitely the only exercise I'll need for at least the next 3 months.

Congratulations to all the amazing artists and talented makers who carted their wares to Chicago and worked so hard to make this the grand day that it was- and, at the risk of sounding like Socality Barbie- for sharing a piece of yourselves- it is a brave thing to do.


  1. Wow, I soooooo would not have been able to control myself there! I was so bummed when I couldn't make it up to Austin when Renegade was there earlier this year, definitely will make sure I can make it next time (and drain my life savings for it). Thanks so much for giving me a glimpse of how awesome it is!!

    1. Emily! You would love it for sure...too many pretty things to take in in one day!


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