Shop Local · Uncategorized

21 Days to Shop Locally and Be Crafty about It

Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about shopping at independent retailers, art galleries, craft fairs, coop and specialty markets, wine and bottle shops all around the Triangle.

Triangle area crafts

A quick check of upcoming calendar events confirms that arts & craft market high season rapidly approaches here in the Triangle. Many favorite craft markets are back for the upcoming holiday season. I’ve compiled currently available information and will make updates as new information becomes available (so bookmark this post to check back for those updates). Ready to get your shop on? Good, because it starts this weekend!

Festifall in Chapel Hill

Festifall returns to the west end of Franklin street for the 42nd year this Sunday October 5, 12 – 6 pm. The main focus of Festifall continues to be the diverse arts scene and community in Chapel Hill (and beyond). Presented by the town, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, and the Orange County Visitors Bureau the annual event transforms Franklin Street into a diverse artist market, with live entertainment on three stages, hands-on activities and always appealing Chapel Hill food.

Your local Farmers Market – Weekly

If you look closely sprinkled among the produce vendors at your local farmers market you will find a craft artisan or two selling hand-made items. Many of the area farmers markets host special one-day craft fairs this month and next, during regular market hours (helping shoppers knock out several tasks in one fell swoop). Saturday, Nov 1st will be the annual Fall Craft Fair at Western Wake Farmers Market in Cary. South Durham Farmers Market, Chapel Hill Farmers Market, Chatham Mills Farmers Market (and a few others) host a special seasonal craft market. Every week you’ll find the Durham Craft Market near the Durham Farmers Market and the Art Market at Vega Metals around the corner on Hunt Street (where the food trucks hang). Next visit to your local farmers market, plan to spend a little extra time browsing those non-food vendors. You might find something just perfect.

Pop Up Market at Sola Coffee Cafe – TBA

One of North Raleigh’s favorite cafes, as Sola Coffee Cafe, has been hosting monthly Pop Up Markets on Saturdays and I’m sure they’ll continue that tradition through the holiday season. Check back here for dates as they are announced. I can’t think of a more pleasant way to start a weekend than with a delicious cup of coffee and some hot mini donuts while shopping this special event at Sola. 

Pittsboro First Sunday – October through December

The first Sunday of each month (from noon – 4 pm), Historic Downtown Pittsboro turns into a mini festival of fun, music, kid’s activities, food, local shopping and arts, where vendors line the street offering their hand crafts. You can find complete details about each month’s event on their Facebook page

Mordecai Market – Nov 22 & Dec 6

Join the Mordecai Market for some crafty shopping deals this holiday season. Supported by local neighborhoods and businesses the market takes place outdoors in the front lawn area of the Historic Mordecai Park on select Saturdays. You can find more details on their Facebook page too.

The Handmade Market – Nov 8, 11 am – 5 pm

This is one of my favorite craft fairs.  I never walk away empty-handed.  Held indoors at Cobblestone Hall in City Market, bad weather is never an issue.  I suggest arriving a little earlier than the 11 am opening and treat yourself to breakfast at Big Ed’s located within City Market. Admission to the event is free but donations can be made at the door to benefit a local charity (or pay a $5 early entry fee to gain access at 10 am).  Check the Handmade Market’s website for this fall’s participants and start checking off your gift list.

Lochmere Arts & Crafts Show – Nov 8, 9 am – 3 pm

Ever been to the Lochmere Pavilion Shops at the intersection of Kildaire Farms Road and Lochmere Drive in Cary? You might want to stop by on this date to see craft items produced by the neighbors and friends of Lochmere. Art works featured include pottery, painted rocks, stained glass, jewelry, basketry, limestone sculpture, photography, handmade children’s clothing, tote bags, knit and crochet items. Should the weather be a bit rainy on the scheduled Saturday, the event will be rescheduled for Sunday, Nov. 9.

Duke Gardens Craft Sale – Nov 15, 10 am – 2:30 pm

Have an avid gardener on your gift list? The nature-themed, garden-focused decorations and gifts created by Duke Gardens Garden Guild may make a perfect gift for that person. Proceeds support the lovely Duke Gardens.  If the weather allows, consider packing a picnic lunch to enjoy a fall picnic while at the gardens.

Pop-Up Sunday Vintage Market – Oct. 26 and Nov. 23, Noon – 5 pm 

The Pop-Up Sunday Vintage Market kicked off it’s inaugural year in 2013 and the last market for this year will be in November. You can find the vintage vendors in the parking lot by Ornamentea on West Street in Raleigh. Check the Pop-Up Sunday website for vendor updates as the event date nears.

Durham Art Walk Holiday Market – Nov. 22 & 23

The two-day semi-annual art walk’s holiday edition really cranks up the season in Durham.  Staged in various venues around downtown, shoppers can stroll from site to site (or catch a free ride on the Bull City Connector) to shop, catch live music performances, and dine in any number of world-class restaurants. Check the Art Walk website to plan your visit.

ELF Fair at The ArtsCenter – Dec. 6, 11 am – 4 pm

Once again, ELF Fair returns to The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. More than 30 local artists will be present, selling jewelry, pottery, clothing, accessories, candles, toys and lots of unique items for all ages. Plus, a kids’ zone with hands-on art projects to keep the little ones entertained.

Saxapahaw Holiday Market – TBA

Described as a “holiday market of old”, a visit to peruse locally produced and handcrafted wares at the two day market might be in order this holiday season. Included in the (free) price of admission are free performances by local musicians. Naturally there’s great food nearby too (maybe an Eggnog Latte from Cup 22 Coffeehouse to get started). 

Boylan Heights ArtWalk – Dec. 7, 12 pm – 5 pm

This popular event held in downtown Raleigh’s Boylan Heights allows us to stroll a historic neighborhood and shop more than 100 artists & craft persons, displaying their wares on porches, in homes & studios. Admission is free to this fun and unique event.


That’s more than enough craftiness to carry us through the year, don’t ya think?  I hope you find yourself at just one of these events, and that you find the perfect hand-crafted treasure from your community.

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