If you’re like me, you are dreading the shopping craziness that is about to happen. Hot, crowded malls are just no way to spend your days off! What if I told you that you can skip the mall, get your holiday shopping done all in one day and find truly unique gifts while supporting local businesses? True good to be true right? Wrong! You can accomplish all this and find something for yourself at the Shipwreck Beads Winter Artisan Market happening November 24 at 8560 Commerce Place Drive NE in Lacey from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In its sixth year, the Winter Artisan Market is the perfect place to find unique gifts. Take a sneak peek in my gift bag and check out a sampling of great treasures waiting to be found at the Market.

Color Mob
Janeel Adams uses bright colors to create original artwork, like this bright mosaic on a wooden tray. Photo credit: Janeel Adams

Mosaic Art on Wooden Tray by Color Mob. Artisan Janeel Adams uses bright colors to create original paintings and mosaics. “I jump at the opportunity to be a part of this seasonal market at Shipwreck,” says Janeel. “It’s always a great chance to meet different artists who are there doing essentially the same thing I am – spending all their free time and resources to create and cultivate their talents and hobbies and enjoy sharing that with the rest of the world.”

Dyed Wool by Wild Wool Farm. The folks at Wild Wool Farm bring you something straight from their farm to yours – dyed wool that is collected from their very own sheep. “Everyone is so friendly and wonderful,” says Thomas Vasquez about the Market. “Full of holiday warmth.”

Headdress by Titania’s Wardrobe. Artisan Valerie Beerbower creates magical costume pieces and fairy crowns out of a plethora of materials. “It is one of a kind, as most of my crowns and headdresses are,” Valerie says about this particular piece, which is one of her favorites. “What makes it unique is that it combines floral and jewelry elements, and features real horns that I found at Shipwreck Beads.”

Dirty Man Soap
Dirty Man Soap will have something for everyone on your list, including their best-selling Tabacco and Amber soap. Photo courtesy: Dirty Man Soap

Tobacco & Amber Soap by Dirty Man Soap. This item is a year-round best seller (for both men and women) from Dirty Man Soap. “A lot of people say it reminds them of a grandpa, uncle, etc., and it has happy memories,” shares Hannah. “Other people just love the sweet, warm scent. People also love how it’s hard and long lasting, mild enough for sensitive skin, and has a creamy, moisturizing lather.”

Ceramic Keepsake Box by Lauren Harmon. Artisan Lauren Harmon makes truly exquisite slab-built pottery, anything from mugs and boxes to air plant holders. “My pieces are unique because I mix my own glazes and create interesting patterns and textures on the surfaces of my pottery,” Lauren shares.

These treasures are just a tiny glimpse at what awaits you at the Winter Artisan Market. Look for other unique items from the many vendors, including White Sage, LLC (wood bowls and cutting boards), Kats Handmade Co. (super soft hats, scarves, shawls, etc.) and Metta Weaving (hand woven home décor items).

Unique. Local. Personal.

For artisans, the market is a chance to grow their business. “Dirty Man Soap has been a vendor since our first market,” explains Beth. “It was their first market too. They are now attending many events throughout the year all over the Pacific Northwest and it’s neat to think that we helped them get their feet wet. We want our market to be accessible to beginners as well as more seasoned artists. It brings a great diversity to the event.” Dirty Man Soap’s success is one of the best reasons to shop at the Shipwreck Beads Winter Artisan Market. Each item you buy supports a local small business, often run by one person or one family.

Shipwreck Beads Artisan Market Titania's Wardrobe headdress
Stop by Titania’s Wardrobe booth to see her intricately designed costumes and crowns, like this headdress, which is one of her favorites. Photo credit: Valerie Beerbower

“Our summer market is a lot of fun, but I feel that the winter market is more important,” says Beth. “We are starting the gift buying-giving season and when you buy gifts from local artisans, you are supporting their household, their kids sports/dance lessons, and helping them be able to put gifts under their tree.”

Plus, attending the market allows you to actually see, touch, smell or even taste something before buying it. At the Artisan Market, you can not only get the story behind the product, but meet the person who made it and choose gifts you are sure everyone will love. “I love that you can find truly unique, handcrafted items while meeting and interacting with the artists themselves,” says Valerie Beerbower, owner and artist at Tatania’s Wardrobe. “I think it is so important to support your local art scene in that way. Shopping small, local vendors helps ensure that our culture and community thrive. As a bonus it ensures you will get a homespun work of art that comes with a story, and is sure to be treasured.”

Shipwreck Beads Artisan Market Titania's Wardrobe headdress
Stop by Titania’s Wardrobe booth to see her intricately designed costumes and crowns, like this headdress, which is one of her favorites. Photo credit: Valerie Beerbower

Every artisan said that meeting their customers face to face at the event is one of their favorite things about the market, and customers agree. “We are a small, family owned and operated business and every sale makes a big difference to our bottom line,” shares Hannah Parypa owner of Dirty Man Soap. “More than that though, we love being able to meet our customers face to face. We love chatting with people at events and have met so many neat people over the years, vendors and customers alike. It keeps things personal and helps us keep the heart in our business and that’s important.”

As an extra treat, bring two cans of food or a $1 donation for a ticket into their raffle. All prizes are donated by the amazing vendors.

“So many people are in search of gifts for the holiday season,” says Janeel, “and I think people always appreciate being able to find a unique, thoughtful gift, and those are everywhere you look with a market like this.”

Shipwreck Beads Winter Artisan Market
November 24
8560 Commerce Place Drive NE, Lacey
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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