Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles

Year in Review

Posted December 27th, 2012

To Our CRAFTED community,

From Black Friday to December 23, CRAFTED worked hard to create a holiday shopping experience that our customers would actually look forward to – full of fun, community and one-of-kind gifts.  And during the last few days of the season, I had some time to enjoy it myself and to wrap up my own holiday shopping.  One of our vendors had arranged for her church choir to lead a high-spirited sing-a-long, and their voices filled the warehouse. Morgan of Morgan Culture entertained young and old with handmade holiday crafts in our Creation Station, as many of our artists have during our Twelve Days of CRAFTsmas. I moved from stall to stall, talking with artists who were excited to meet their customers and help them select the perfect gifts. I found handmade delights for everyone on my list – I enrolled my man, who loves himself some toast, in the unofficial (but soon-to-be-permanent) “Jelly of the Month Club” with Paradise Preserves, and bought some beautiful handmade earrings for my mom made by Jennifer at Beetle Back Arts (shh! I haven’t gifted them yet).

The proprietors at Red Car Market gave me their secret vegetarian recipe for their own San Angel Red Mole. I smelled every soap at Jaden Moon and tried on every headband at the Jungle Bee, and no one made me feel like I was taking too long to make up my mind. And that’s the difference between CRAFTED and everywhere else: when the market day wound to a close and customers and vendors started heading for home, I actually didn’t want to leave.

By the numbers, since we opened on June 29 we’ve delivered 28 weekends of handmade happiness to more than 60,000 people. We started with 58 market stalls, and now we have 77 storefronts representing the work of well over 100 independent artists. This number grows every week. It’s been a wild ride, but we remain dedicated to the idea that craftspeople need and deserve a permanent retail outlet of their own. We believe that, given the option, people would prefer to buy from independent artists rather than a faceless conglomerate. We support the idea that work made with heart and hands has real market value. All of you – our amazing vendors, customers and staff – are shareholders in that experience, and we hope you’ll continue to support CRAFTED in 2013 and beyond.

Our first six months wouldn’t have been possible without the generous and sustained commitment of this community. We are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from the Port of Los Angeles, the San Pedro business community, our fellow waterfront attractions and Councilman Joe Buscaino’s office. We’ve welcomed hundreds of local musicians that keep things lively and fun; and our local beer and wine purveyors San Pedro Brewing Company and Off the Vine have been with us nearly every weekend to lighten our spirits. San Pedro is a tight-knit, welcoming community and we’ve been made to feel we’re a part of the fabric now.

I couldn’t be more proud of what our staff and artists have done to make CRAFTED a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, a regional destination, a community gathering place and a collective of craft. And we have some surprises in store for you in the coming year. Look forward to an expanded artisan food program; and discovering your inner artist with more opportunities to learn, craft and sell at CRAFTED. In 2012 we proved that this could work; in 2013, we’ll earn our top spot in the craft universe.

This new year is upon us! Stay crafty, my friends.

Rachel Waugh

Executive Director