When you’re a veteran Handmade Arcade shopper, it’s hard to decide what’s more exciting: returning to your favorite vendors year after year, or discovering new favorites!
Get ready to explore lots of never-before-seen goods this year, as HA welcomes more than 40 first-time vendors with one-of-a-kind wares. We’ll tempt you with just a few of them now …
Jewelry: Frost Finery
High-tech meets handmade to produce this sleek, modern and sometimes adorable jewelry. Frost Finery jewelry studio in Pittsburgh is the creation of owner and self-described shine-maker Melissa Frost. She combines old and new techniques (metal laser cutting, 3-D design and traditional metal-smithing) with metal, gems, and even plants and wood. We love her chunky quartz crystals on a delicate sterling chain, laser-cut leather wrist cuffs, and tiny coffee cups to adorn a caffeine-lover’s ears. Look for edgy statement pieces like hammered metal-chain-link necklaces, alongside sweet surprises like a kitten you can wrap around your finger.
Housewares: Rustbelt Workshop
Simple meets wild at Pittsburgh-based Rustbelt Workshop. Browse living artwork made from plants, wood and glass. Succulents take center stage in wood and stone planters, while moss makes a home in lightbulbs and antique glass globes. You’ll find elegantly rustic terrariums and hanging art made from driftwood, ferns, reclaimed wood and more.
Bath & Body: Lovett Sundries
No colors. No fragrances. No chemicals. No frills. Just good, clean, finely crafted apothecary products. Lovett Sundries is a family company based out of Wilkinsburg. Stop by their booth for body, hair, shaving and household cleaning goods. From texturing sea salt spray for hair (made from filtered water, Epsom salt, aloe vera and sea salt) to laundry soap (baking soda, borax, coconut oil, filtered water, lye), simple ingredients are gentle on the body while getting the job done. Check out the Lovett Sundries deodorant, peppermint lip tint, dry shampoo, charcoal soap and other items, too!
Artwork/Prints: nola & vi
Add a warm, sweet and dreamy touch to your home with felt and embroidery keepsakes by nola & vi. Owner and creator Julie Lynch has been making art in Pittsburgh all her life. Today, her hoop art wreaths, pillows and party favors play with modern designs and bright and pastel colors. They’ve also got personality, as cats in bow ties, surprised French bulldogs, vacationing panda bears, sleeping foxes and amused unicorns make themselves at home among her designs. We love her lifelike bunches of felt flowers!
You haven’t shopped leather goods like Chillibibbi before. This Pittsburgh-based designer uses leftover pieces of leather to make one-of-a-kind handbags. They say, “We upcycle leather because we are of the view that if an animal loses its life for us, the least we could do is use all of the skin.” The result is eye-catching cross-body, clutch and laptop bags for men and women. Browse items with bright and natural colors, bold designs and original embroidery. With zipper pockets, sturdy cotton linings and adjustable straps, each work of art is as functional as it is fashionable.
Stationery: Cannibal Paper Goods
Bookworms should make a beeline for Cannibal Paper Goods. This Pittsburgh-based studio and bookbindery deconstructs old and abandoned books to make journals, sketchbooks, boxes and more. They stalk thrift stores and estate and library sales for the best vintage designs. Like the best hunters, they make sure no part of the book goes to waste. We took a sneak peek at their Instagram page and loved their paper flowers, pocket-sized mini books, and pins starring salvaged storybooks, Hardy Boys mysteries, and more.
Other: Louson Drums
Louson Drums is a two-person company that makes drums right here in Pittsburgh. Stop by their booth to tap custom drum kits, shakers and other percussive instruments. Be sure to check out the cajóns, or box-shaped percussion instruments perfect for “pleasing low notes and poppy slaps.” Gorgeous glossy woods in espresso, moss green and other rich shades make them a treat for the eyes as well as the ears. A friendly jam session may be in your future!