The 2022 holiday season is just around the corner. Already, local artists and makers collective SLOcally Made is gearing up for another busy holiday season. Every December, their downtown SLO pop-up shop becomes a hub of unique artisan wares. Local shoppers can browse curated handmade wares from dozens of creatives in the area. This year, the pop-up begins Sunday, December 4th!
SLOcally Made was the first pop-up of its kind in the SLO County area back in 2017. Now, in their 6th year, it’s a “one-stop makers-shop.” The program has become a beloved month-long annual community event, and helps to encourage more folks to shop local.
The two women behind SLOcally Made envisioned a more streamlined way to shop local and support indie creatives. Founders Sadie Rogers and Kerry Long were tired of “shlepping” their handcrafted goods all over the state every holiday season, attending countless events, markets, and trade shows. Consumers want to shop local, and creatives want to tell their stories and share their goods. They just needed a centralized location to make it all happen. When they were offered a brick and mortar space last-minute for the first year of the collective, Sadie and Kerry rallied fellow makers and community members to bring their dream vision to life. The event’s success was greater than they could have ever anticipated. Each year since, countless local artists look forward to applying to SLOcally Made for the opportunity to be involved in December.
As part of a collective like SLOcally Made, creatives have room to breathe. They’re able to focus more on sharing their passion and story with local holiday shoppers, instead of “schlepping.” On their website, Sadie and Kerry share how exciting and joyful the experience is for everyone involved. Their makers often end up with new collaborations and connections, along with plenty of happy customers.
The creatives involved with the collective specialize in a wide variety of trades. From leatherwork to embroidery to jewelry-making, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Dozens of art styles and traditional techniques make up the collective’s signature charm. Each participant brings something different and special to the yearly initiative.
Even if you’re not a #slocal, there are countless similar collectives full of hardworking and talented artists all over the country. You can shop local, engage with your community, and support indie artists at the same time.
This holiday season, consider seeking out such collectives, pop-ups, and local makers in your area for those perfect handmade gifts and accessories. Holiday shopping can be a community affair! Spending time and money in your own community is always a win-win, but doing so during the holidays is even more special.
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