Bloomington Handmade Winter Market

Driftless, a Midwestern publication.

Driftless, a Midwestern publication.

Some of the pins and patches available from 1606 Supply Co.

Some of the pins and patches available from 1606 Supply Co.

We absolutely loved these wood toys from Fact + Fiction, and ended up purchasing a hammer table for Gus.

We absolutely loved these wood toys from Fact + Fiction, and ended up purchasing a hammer table for Gus.

I thought these paper hanging decorations from Paper Acorn would be perfect for a nursery!

I thought these paper hanging decorations from Paper Acorn would be perfect for a nursery!

I also really liked this jewelry from the Sophia Collective, which recently opened in Bloomington.

I also really liked this jewelry from the Sophia Collective, which recently opened in Bloomington.

The Bloomington Handmade Market has been on my Bloomington bucket list since we moved here. One of our family friends, Tracy Smoll of Smoll Things, has participated in Bloomington Handmade for several years now, and I’ve always been curious about it!

I missed the first market after we moved last fall (the 2017 winter market), but Ries, Gus, and I were some of the first attendees of the (very hot) summer market this year. That being said, I had no idea how large the winter market would be this year. There were so many great vendors and so many attendees. While several vendors have items available in Gather throughout the year, we saw a lot of new items and vendors present.

Some of our favorite booths included:

  • Driftless, an independent magazine that features art, food, and adventures of the Midwest

  • Limestone Post, a new Bloomington-based independent publication that focuses on in depth stories about the town and surrounding area—I’m hoping we can collaborate in the future.

  • Paper Acorn, handmade paper goods

  • Fact + Fiction, handcrafted organic wooden toys

  • Jillian Nickell, illustration and art prints that combine fantastical subjects with unique color combinations

  • Blue Aster Studio, a Bloomington based illustration and design studio—I liked the style of these prints and stickers, which are reminiscent of vintage national park posters and nature based

  • 1606 Supply Co, pins and patches that have a kick to them—I’m always impressed by the crisp designs

  • Arthur’s Plaid Pants, a sustainable based paper goods created by Midwestern illustrator—my favorite prints of hers are Wes Anderson themed

  • Sophia Collective, a comprehensive collection of services that focus on nurturing others through yoga, chiropractics, infrared therapy, massage, skin care, you name it. I haven’t yet experienced any aspect of the Sophia Collective, but I can’t deny I’m curious.

We also had the incredible opportunity of meeting Jeremy of Btown Lowdown, a podcast that shares and features Bloomington events and culture. Jeremy was kind enough to let me share a little bit about the blog with his listeners on a recent podcast that featured tattoo culture in Bloomington. We’re now subscribers of the podcast, and I really enjoy the enthusiasm and humor he brings to this incredible resource—which I’m sure if you live in Bloomington, you understand how challenging it can be at times to figure out what’s going on in town. Definitely check it out—I’ve included the link to the website above, but you can also find it in the podcast app on your iPhone.

I regret not being able to take more photos of this amazing event, but I made the mistake of underestimating how large the market would be and taking Gus out too close to his nap time. (It was one of those parenting days where we left in a hurry.)

If you missed the market this year, you can stop in Gather all year long, which is located downtown on the square, and keep an eye out for the market coming up this summer! In addition, if you are looking to support small businesses in your Christmas shopping, check out the websites for these amazing artists!

Xx

-A