You came. You shopped. You braved blizzard conditions and venue changes to get crafty with us!
Whew! This year's annual Unglued Craft Fest on March 10th and 11th, 2023, was quite a whirlwind. Nestled nice and snug between closing our downtown Fargo shop at 408 Broadway after 10 years and magic and mayhem and opening in our new location inside the hyper-local entertainment wonderland that is Brewhalla, we had 70+ makers and artists sell their handmade goods at the West Acres Mall.
Each year, a jury of 7 folks who have worked, sold, or shopped at the fest in the past comb through the incredibly talented batch of applicants to curate a variety of 72 of these fine makers!
When we first started planning our biggest maker event of the year, we were excited to host it at a brand-spankin'-new space at Brewhalla. However, some pesky construction delays got in the way of that wild plan. In the eleventh hour, the incredible team at West Acres Mall (our own personal superheroes) swooped in and saved the day by inviting us back to host the Fest at the Mall. They made it possible for us to bring you the most fantastic crafty shopping experience. Even with an impending blizzard, you SHOWED UP!
Starting out Friday evening with our Crafty Lounge, Local Libations Lounge, and shopping all 72 Makers Booths.
The sold-out Crafty Lounge is a new addition to the Fest over the past couple of years and amps up the crafty vibes straight to eleven. With each ticket, Fest-goers get special access to two craft projects, a drink from the Local Libations Lounge, a rare Yeobo Sweet Shop cupcake, and a DIY kit to take home or work on anywhere at the Craft Fest!
And that's in addition to all the fun already happening on Friday night, including DJ 1PrettyRicky spinning some sick tunes and the DIY Mall Hall featuring three free make-and-takes!
Shoppers came out with a snowstorm vengeance on Friday, making a phenomenal night of all things handmade.
At the end of the night, the makers left the mall not knowing their fate for the following day because a big blizzard was rolling its way into Fargo.
A few makers had to make the difficult decision to head home early to escape the weather, but by 6 am on Saturday we had made the call. The Unglued Craft Fest is ON for Saturday. Through shoveling out driveways and unplowed roads, our makers found a way to get to the Fest and were thrilled to find out that shoppers had done the same. Thank goodness we all had Thunder Coffee to fuel us through another day of shopping handmade!
Again, we have to shout out the resiliency of Fargoans and Midwesterners who stuck with us, checking our social media for updates, and in the end, getting their butts out to West Acres for a second day of handcrafted magic.
The Craft Fest was full of so many unique goods, including screen-printed tees and hand-sewn pet bandanas, ceramic mugs with worm patterns and modern stained glass, cocktail-themed candles and wood turned cocktail smokers, banana rugs and hamburger cookies, henna tattoos and so much more!
A phenomenal group of young artists and creators took the food court hall by storm at our Young Makers Market.
Free craft workshops are a staple at the Unglued Craft Fest and this year was no different. You crafted your own tattoos and patches with the Plains Art Museum, planted UFO planters and painted pots with Audrey, dropped-in to screen print with A Meandering Maker and make buttons with Handpicked Goods, created patterns with spring watercolors and fabric stamping with My Actual Brand, and Book Page and Triangle Wreaths with Crooked Lane Farms (via zoom! thanks, snowstorm!).
To top off the magic of the day a series of DJs, each with their own music selections and style, set the vibe throughout Saturday's festivities. Let's hear it for Ebb and Flow, Grizbeard, DJ LNZ, and DJ DizzyB!
Each year at the Unglued Craft Fest we award three booth awards, the Best in Show booth and 2 Crazy Awesome Kick Ass booth display winners!! This can be one of the most difficult jobs for our team. We look at how makers choose to uniquely display their products, what the overall vibe in their booth is, and the creativity they bring to their booth design.
Our Crazy Awesome Kick Ass Booth Awards went to @nodakianstudios for their totally on-point ceramic displays, decor, and creation of a whimsical shopping experience, and to @bridget.solsaa for their colorful and bright display of tufted products with retro vibes that fit their brand and product line so well.
This year @art_by_max_nd won Best in Show! His interactive display (hello giant coloring sheet!), creative ways to display so many great prints, books, and stickers, and the entire vibe felt so fun and so Art by Max!
We can't thank all the makers, partners, volunteers, and attendees enough for rolling with all the punches and joining us at this year's Unglued Craft Fest. Without all of these fantastic people, the Unglued Craft Fest would not be possible.
An extra huge thank you to our Fest photographer, Morgan from Studio Freshly, for bringing her own magic to these photos!