This is another in a series of Shopper Stories where Crafty Marters can share their adventures and fun finds at one of our Markets.

Here is Greg Milo's story from his visit to the Pop Up Crafty Mart at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. (Sept. 2015):

 

The guitar I’m playing is made from a re-purposed cigar box. I’m amped up and it sounds awesome. I also look pretty cool playing it, no matter how many chords I chunk.

I’m enjoying the Totally Smokin’ Guitars’ booth at Crafty Mart. There’s a row of vendors to my left, including some cases of Thirsty Dog beer for cheap. Terra, my wife, willingly holds my Citra Dog, so I can strum the amped cigar box.

Like the re-purposed cigar box, Thirsty Dog Brewery is housed in the re-purposed Burkhardt Brewing building, and it feels like the perfect space for this Crafty Mart.

 

Whether I’m visiting the Crafty Mart vendors at Musica, the Summit Artspace, or Howe Meadow during the farmer's’ market, I marvel at the creativity and craftsman(woman?)ship displayed.

I like to pretend that I buy gifts for other people at Crafty Mart, which I sometimes do, but really, I’m there for myself.

But what is it like to be a MAN at Crafty Mart?

I’m there to immerse myself in the talent and passion that the local artisans display. It’s unique. It’s quirky. It’s inventive. Very Akron.

I catch myself marveling a lot at Crafty Mart, oohing and aahing as I move from table to table.

There’s also an element of nostalgia that pulls me back again and again. As a history teacher, I’m a sucker for crafts that tap into our history or geography—a kind of nerdy pleasure. My eyes are always drawn to the shape of Ohio with a mark of some kind that identifies where I live, whether it’s a shirt, a belt buckle, or a wood carving.

I say, “Look at that!” and point sweetness out to Terra frequently at Crafty Mart, like the items decorated with Nintendo images of my youth. “Look at that. A Triforce!”

Hanging in my classroom at Hoban are two Thirteenth Floor prints. One, a World War II p-47 is caught in a dogfight, trying desperately to shake a chasing TIE Fighter. The other shows allied forces approaching the dreaded AT-AT Imperial Walkers in the streets of a city reduced to rubble. I refer to these Crafty Mart prizes when teaching the truth about World War II.

I take a sip of my beer and look at the cases of beer for sale. Smile. Discounted mixed cases of unsold beers from a previous Thirsty Dog event are stacked high, waiting for beer enthusiasts like myself to shuffle through them to find just the right mix. There’s nothing like walking back to my car, weighed down by a case—it’s for the biceps, man.

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Beyond the crafts, I love talking with the experts who have created the awesomeness in front of me. It’s like networking, but without an agenda, just curiosity and friendliness.

I talk with Kim of Tindercraft Ceramics, while holding one of her big-ass mugs with the blimp on it. I’ve gotten a few things from her, like my Fisher Price man Christmas ornament. Not too long ago, I accidentally crashed the Tindercraft cup I used on a daily basis. So I promise her again, “I’ll get another one . . . some day.”

We talk with The Robot Consortium guy to let him know our little wooden man is doing fine and posed leisurely on a desk shelf. I point out the little wooden man laying down with crosses over his eyes. I find dead dolls funny, I guess.

I’m not one for a boring house, decorated with stale pictures that don’t inspire. I like a house with trinkets neatly displayed throughout. A metal bat hangs from the dining room curtain rod. A cat with wings flies in the spare bedroom. A spoonful of honey rests deliciously in my belly.

Whatever it is, Crafty Mart makes me feel and look pretty cool.

 

Thanks for sharing your story Greg!  Are you interested in sharing your shopper story on the Crafty Mart blog? Email us at craftymart@gmail.com with the words "Shopper Story" in the subject line!

 

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