It’s really bothering me that I didn’t center this picture better. There were lots of people standing in front of it though!
Truthfully, I’ve seen so many signs for festivals and markets since we arrived in Bloomington, that I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into by going to the Bloomington Handmade Market on Saturday, November 8, 2014. Bloomington is definitely artsy, and the adjectives granola, hippie, and earthy aren’t much of a stretch. So when I saw “handmade market,” I admit I envisioned Bob Marley-esque goods and wares. I was so pleasantly surprised with the vendors and what they were selling that I quickly had to set a budget for myself as I walked through the market. I came out with some great Christmas presents and several business cards for vendors I want to look up in the future. For a complete list and description of the vendors at the 2014 Market, click here. I’m featuring my top picks below. Be sure to check out the Handmade Market next year!
These are the companies I actually purchased products from.
Arthur’s Plaid Pants
I love magnets, but it’s so hard to find ones that are small enough to be useful, yet cute enough for me to want them on my fridge. I’m particularly a sucker for magnets and other collectibles that I can use while also representing places I’ve traveled or visited. I found the perfect Hoosier magnets from Arthur’s Plaid Pants to memorialize our years in Indiana.
Arthur’s Plaid Pants is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can find them online here and on etsy here.
Soapy Soap Company
As I was shopping for my magnets at Arthur’s Plaid Pants, I couldn’t help but smell the wonderful scents from the neighboring Soapy Soap Company. Here’s where the hippie comes in. This Bloomington-based company does not test its products on animals, and all of its products are vegan, gluten free, GMO free, and Halal-friendly. So if you are among my friends with a severe gluten allergy, or if you just like smelling wonderfully, check these guys out.
I was able to get a beautiful gift bags with two bars of soap and a lip balm for my husband’s family Christmas gift exchange for only $18. I’m pretty sure Bath & Body Works wouldn’t have been as affordable or as environmentally friendly. Check out Soapy Soap’s Sabun brand online here.
Bea’s Soda Bar
By chance, I happened to see a Facebook post about Bea’s Soda Bar before I headed over to the Handmade Market and I decided I would have to try their salted hot chocolate before the day was done. BSB is a mobile retro soda fountain in a renovated vintage camper. It’s adorable, and the hot chocolate, complete with cinnamon-infused whipped cream, exceeded my expectations. The soda bar fit perfectly with the market vibe, and BSB’s owners could not be nicer. My suggestion? Like them on Facebook and hunt them down around town this month!
These are the companies I was seriously tempted to buy from, but I restrained myself.
Art 2 The Extreme: adorably fun, handmade, rainbow crayons
Imagination Kids Toys: eco-friendly, brightly painted, wooden toys (if I were pregnant right now, I probably would have come home with a few)
Marcy Davy: this designer/printer had adorable prints that I would probably love to hang on my wall, but don’t have room for in our student budget