Crafty Mart Team Profile: J Hudson


Crafty Mart Team Profile: J Hudson

We're excited to announce that we're adding another team member to organize our holiday markets. You may already recognize him from Crafty Mart's early days... Everyone, meet J!



J is co-founder of Crafty Mart.  He is director of the Hudson Farmer’s Market in Hudson, Ohio as well as the creator of the food festival Sausage Fest, and the Akron Farm and Flea.  He has four children age 3-34 and one grandchild. 


J likes to read, write, hike and collect records in his spare time, but let's be honest, he doesn’t have any spare time. 

We are beyond excited to be working with J again!

Ever wondered about the rest of the people behind Crafty Mart? Revisit the rest of our Team Profiles here!



Artist Spotlight: Expedition SubSahara

Our friendors at Expedition SubSahara are guestagramming on our instagram today and tomorrow! Check us out @craftymart, and their website of great products. Or, you could just swing by our 2018 Mom & Pop Shoppe this Saturday at The Akron Art Museum!


Bio from our trip/Expedition:

"Hi! I'm Sofi, the founder of Expedition Subsahara, a social connection that began as a tiny seed — a dream — and that we’re working to grow into something beautiful.

Originally from Senegal, West Africa, I came to the United States because my mom wanted me to have a bright future. She thought the best chance for me to thrive was for me to get a quality education. While there are schools in Senegal, there are a lot of gaps in education and it’s not always a priority for young girls to attend or finish school. The average household in Senegal makes $100 a month and for a lot of families, there’s simply no extra money to send their children to school. 

When I first came to America, I realized that Africans have a misconception of what America is like: think big houses, fancy cars and lots of cash. I basically thought America was Hollywood. And now that I’ve lived here half of my life, I know that Americans also have a misconception of what Africa is like. Though Africa is a continent of diverse countries, sometimes they get lumped in the same stereotype. People have asked if I lived in a hut, had a lion as a pet, or if there are streets where I grew up (no, no, although that would be cool, and yes). I’m privileged to understand these cultural misunderstandings. Neither Americans perceptions of Africa nor Africans perception of America are truths, but there are hints of truth in each. There are advantages to America, just as there are advantages to living in Africa. My mom knew my educational advantage would be here. An American degree means something to the rest of the world.

I understand now that if you take a single stereotype and make it THE story for an entire people, you’re doing a disservice to the world. It creates conflict when instead of investing in understanding one another’s stories, we focus only on the story we know. It makes it hard to empathize with other cultures and people. Every culture is made out of a million stories. Each country’s story is complex.

It is our goal at Expedition Subsahara to create a space where we can connect cultures in a way that’s respectful to all. We want to expand dialog to increase understanding and empathy. Connecting cultures starts with being introduced to them. Our products are made by African artisans. No matter where you display or wear them, you’re helping start a conversation and hopefully, create a more empathetic and understanding world. 

...And if all of that’s not enough, we plan on using the proceeds to build a school in Senegal. The school will benefit women like those who make our products, so that they have viable, technological knowledge to use in the modern workforce. We created Expedition Subsahara as a bridge that extends to everyone so that maybe someday our similarities matter more than our differences. And because girls education should be on an equal platform across the globe.  "



Get the Most Out of Your Trip to the Mom & Pop Shoppe!


Get the Most Out of Your Trip to the Mom & Pop Shoppe!

We are so pumped about our annual spring show coming up this Saturday, April 21st! 

This year, The Mom & Pop Shoppe is timed perfectly-- it's just in time Mother's Day, graduation party season, and Father's Day too! We put together a little guide for you to get the most out of your day.


This year, we are offering early bird access tickets. For a $7 ticket, you can beat the crowd. You’re also guaranteed a hand screenprinted canvas (thanks Champaign Paper!) shopping bag and a free drink! Choose from coffee, Tea Dude tea, a mimosa or water.

You can purchase tickets here, and there will be a limited amount available at the door for $10, but you're only guaranteed a swag bag if you get there early.

Don't stress about heading downtown. There's plenty of parking and it's free on the weekends! We recommend the Library lot or the lot between Summit Artspace and the Akron Art Museum!

2. SHOP!


Have you been following our vendor profiles and Instagram takeovers?! The curation process was highly competitive, and we're so excited to show off such amazing talent.

3. EAT!


Urban Eats and Western Fruit Basket are both within walking distance, and the Akron Art Museum's cafe has amazing soups, wraps, and a great selection of beer and wine.

Sweet Mary's Bakery and Akron Coffee Roasters are both open for your breakfast needs, too!



The Akron Art Museum Galleries are open throughout the event! Check out their latest exhibitions. 

Summit Artspace's gallery is also open featuring a beautiful photography exhibit highlighting all 24 neighborhoods in Akron.


Why not spend the whole day enjoying our beautiful downtown? Take a visit to the Akron Children's Museum or the Akron Zoo, or make plans for dinner at one of our amazing downtown restaurants like Nuevo, Crave, Bricco or the Lockview.


The Nightlight Cinema has several showings of Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs throughout the day, or you could head down to The Bomb Shelter to keep on shopping!


Our friends from Whiskertin Lighting, who are vending all day, are hosting an unofficial afterparty at Musica featuring their band Worship This! The show starts at 8pm.

Who says there's nothing cool to do in Akron?! For more exciting stuff, check out SummitLive365's website where you can search events by date or category.

See you Saturday! Early bird entry starts at 10, and the show is free to the public from 11am - 5pm.



Artist Profile: Tidal Cool

Our pals at Tidal Cool were just in Africa for a fashion show that featured their work! You can check out some photos on our instagram as they take over, but also at our fast-approaching 2018 Mom and Pop Shoppe on April 21 at The Akron Art Museum.

Tidal Cool is a fashion experience pulling global inspiration from prints, patterns, and techniques to create clothing, jewelry, and henna body art. Fashion artist Andrea Howell, the American designer/maker behind the label, uses fine tailoring and attention to detail to create bold, timeless garments. The newest Tidal Cool collection is inspired by global fashion, and marries African inspiration with American design, and includes traditional Ghanaian fabrics like Kente cloth and wax block cottons, as well as Malian mud cloths. The Tidal Cool Boutique is located in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Tidal Cool henna is all natural, hand blended and available for private appointments, parties, weddings, and events. Please see my gallery page for samples of my work. If you'd like to book an appointment, private party, event, or inquire about my services, please email me (Andrea) at tidalcool [!at]



Play the Devil's Advocate


Support local organizations that help support you! Our friend at The Devil Strip is asking for your help to continue to make the Akron artistic community fantastic. Support his Devil's Advocate program by helping us help this avid supporter of Crafty Mart and the whole community.


From The Devil Himself:

"This isn't the photo I originally intended to send you.

For starters, I'm crying and that's embarrassing. Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly realized just how much something means to you? That's what happened when my friend Ilenia came to shoot what I thought was going to be a happy-go-lucky lil' video talking about our new membership program, the Devil's Advocates. Instead, she got me to open up, to admit how much I really care about Akron and The Devil Strip.

For a guy who is all about collaboration and community, it's weird that I hate asking for help. But it's true. I'm horrible at it, and I've come to learn that it can be selfish to be that way. Thing is, I really want you to be part of The Devil Strip, and frankly, now, we need you to be so we can get stronger.

There are three ways you can help right now.

#1 - Become a Devil's Advocate for as little as $10/mo., and then come hang out with us at member events. SIGN UP -

#2 - Buy something from our new Merch Shop and wear it with pride. (Rogue members get a free shirt from our shop!) 

#3 - Tell somebody why you like The Devil Strip publicly. Share a post or leave a review on our page. We'll take all the good vibes we can get!"