Travel : The Echo Park Craft Fair
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to travel to Los Angeles for a quick vacation. And the timing ended up being perfect because I was able to attend the annual Echo Park Craft Fair. The 2-day event was started, almost a decade ago, by local California makers to promote artisans work, material and unique products featuring jewelry, ceramics, clothing, woodworking, artwork, and more.
The fair was set up outdoors like many vendor markets with local food and drinks, but also stretched into a warehouse set up full (and I mean FULL) with vendor tables of beautiful jewelry, unique accessories, handmade household items and vintage clothing. It was an amazing site to see so many people visiting each table or tent to get a glimpse at the incredible product and people behind each brand. I was able to stop at each one, speak to many of the artisans directly and try on the items they were selling. And now I have the scoop on brands to check out online!
THE BRANDS TO KNOW
Bryr Clogs : custom clogs made in San Fransisco
*I came across this brand a few months ago through social media and love the values behind their clogs. Each pair is completely customized by the buyer and handmade-to-order in San Francisco. You are able to choose your style, fit, leather color, and heel size. With the timelessness of clogs, this is a brand that you should check out if you've been searching for a pair!
Marais USA : Simple and timeless shoe collection - many made in vegan and eco-friendly materials
Sophie Monet : jewelry designed and handcrafted in Venice, CA
*I love the organic shapes and statement pieces that this designer creates. She makes each a wearable piece of art with precious stones, metals and exotic wood. 'Sophia explores different mediums using natural elements to make eye-capturing jewelry that will inspire and bring joy to its owner.'
Clyde : hats made in Brooklyn
Crescioni : handmade jewelry and leather
Hansel from Basel : awesome socks + accessories
Block Shop Textiles : textile company using eco-friendly Indian hand block printing processes to create beautiful scarves, blankets, rugs with a modern California aesthetic - purchases give back to communities.
Doen : women's clothing - bohemian dresses, blouses and denim
Salihah Moore : unique beaded earrings and necklaces
Rachel Craven : minimalist clothing line of basics and high-quality material
*one of the founders of the Echo Park Craft Fair
Anaak : sustainable + responsibly focused clothing brand based out of CA.
*featured in a past post on the local RVA boutique, Verdalina, Anaak is one of my favorite brands I have found through The Good Wear. Timeless and well-crafted natural fiber pieces that provide responsible partnerships with artisans in countries like India and Bolivia.
Botanica Workshop : lifestyle brand focused on underwear and loungewear made of organic and sustainable materials.
Hinge Designs : unique jewelry handmade from found stones - no two are alike
Fanny Penny : handmade + hand-painted jewelry and accessories
Tavin Boutique : boutique of bohemian vintage clothing uniquely picked by the shop owner
Bliss and Mischief : inspired by vintage collections, this brand creates unique clothing and recently launched a in-house denim line. All product is designed, sewn and hand-detailed in L.A.
Looking for more? Find all the brands featured at the Echo Park Craft Fair here.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL
What I love most about the Echo Park Craft Fair is the fair's unique ability to share the stories of artisans who work incredibly hard to create and share product they are passionate about. By attending the fair, I was able to learn about many brands that I did not know about before-hand and see the product up close. Purchasing local in the city you live in, or places you are visiting, continues to help provide for families, grow businesses that create differences in communities and most often, the purchase is higher quality than a mass producer. A majority of the brands featured here care deeply about sustainable practices, eco-friendly materials, reselling timeless vintage pieces and responsible production. Fairs like this help create buzz for a small local shop and build a loyal following of those who are passionate about the brand's stories.
While visiting the fair, I was able to make connections to brands, get to know what they were about and create a list of those I want to support + purchase from in the future.
An added bonus? A lot of brands at vendor or craft fairs have discounts available for attendees (not too shabby). I was able to get 2 pairs of Doen USA-made denim and with the great quality, I am excited to include them in my wardrobe for years to come!
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT LOCAL FROM HOME
- Attend local farmers markets, craft fairs, trade shows and festivals - a lot of local artisans sell at these events where you can speak directly to the makers and find out more information about their product and who they are. Whether its food, house hold items, clothing, etc, always look for ways to shop local and skip a trip to a large retailer.
* For RVA locals : Check out monthly, The Brunch Market, Saturday First Friday's Markets at Monroe, the South of the James Farmers Market, craft fair events hosted at Hardywood, & summer festivals.
- Follow local brands + retailers on social media. Tip: once you find a brand you love (specifically on Instagram) look and see who they're following or posting about - you'll be able to connect with more + more brands!
- Shop online and in-store at boutiques at hold vintage and local items!