69 crazy talented makers lined all 4 main mall hallways. A Local Libations Lounge overtook Buffalo Court. The Young Makers Market showcased 5 makers ages 13 and under. The Crafty Lounge was full of color. Free workshops were taken by about 240 attendees. And APT Studio Artists opened up their spaces to showcase their creative work. The 12th Annual Unglued Craft Fest was March 11-12, 2022 at West Acres Mall and was the perfect anecdote to an endless winter!!
This was our 2nd year bringing our annual Unglued Craft Fest to collaborate with West Acres Mall to especially allow more space in a pandemic world. We are so grateful for such a community-driven, art-inspired, and small business supportive team there we got to work with!
Each year we have an application open for any maker to apply and a 7-person jury meets to review and curate a new and returning variety of modern makers to showcase during the Fest. This year we went back to our "normal" number of vendor booths of local and regional makers, artists, and crafters from 45 last year to 69 here in 2022!
Then our lil' Unglued planning team meets to dream up all the other fun to get our community inspired through creative opportunities happening throughout that Friday evening and Saturday - both to get more people out and connected to these Fest makers and then to get creative themselves!
This year for the first time we introduced a Crafty Lounge on Friday night of the Fest! This was in the freakin' gorgeous space in Center Court of the Mall - the Oh Happy Day Lounge created by Love Always Floral and The White House Co. While Craft Fest admission was totally free both Friday and Saturday, this was an optional ticketed lounge for Friday evening to make it a fancy night out - complete with a Yeobo Sweet Shop cupcake, drink ticket for the Local Libations Lounge, and 3 projects included using a punch card to come and go!
Crafts included screen printing a tote bag with Amanda Heidt from the Plains Art Museum, potting a succulent and making it craftastic with our giant crafty stash, and grabbing a DIY embroidery kit we crafted up using an image from our Fest poster to take and use anywhere that night or enjoy at home!
Then it was time to shop your crafty heart out! The Fest (and Crafty Lounge) on Friday night went 4-8pm to kick off the opening shopping night of these 69 Fest makers!
It was also the perfect night to drop by the Local Libations Lounge with 4 handcrafted drink makers - Wild Terra, Proof Artisan Distillers, Drekker Brewing Company, and Dakota Vines!
Friday night also included DJ Pretty Ricky creating the whole evening party vibe(!) and Olive the photo booth by Gathered that was free for attendees to drop in and get their own photo moment!
Then the Fest closed up for the night to prepare for one full crafty day on Saturday!
Saturday morning kicked off our annual swag bags in a new way - the first 2 purchases at each of our 69 makers booths received a full fest swag bag! A variety of our vendors and sponsors put in coupons, samples, and promo fun (hello world's best pizza cutter from Kilbourne Group!) for attendees to use during the Fest and some to use after online or at their shops to enjoy!
And then the world grabbed a big ol' cuppa coffee from Thunder Coffee and got to enjoy shopping all 69 Fest makers all day!