Handmade Arcade announces virtual Spring Marketplace, other events

By Harry Funk staff Writer hfunk@thealmanac.Net 3 min read
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As a national leader in the maker movement, Handmade Arcade is pleased to celebrate its Pittsburgh roots with its virtual Spring Marketplace.

The event will run from April 30 through May 2, connecting locally minded shoppers with wares by makers who live or work in Allegheny County.

Shannon Richardson of Bridgeville-based Sha’Lari Couture offers handcrafted leather handbags and accessories using only the best leather and trims.

“Pittsburgh is our home,” said Tricia Brancolini-Foley, Handmade Arcade executive director. “Ever since our launch in 2004, local makers have been the heart of Handmade Arcade’s programming and work. We’re excited to shine a light on this community of resilient creators who make this region so vibrant.”

The Spring Marketplace features more than 60 makers who create products ranging from handmade home goods to jewelry, clothing and decor.

In addition to the three-day virtual market, Handmade Arcade is hosting a “maker takeover,” which will allow participating makers to share stories about their products, inspiration and process via the organization’s Instagram and Facebook channels, as well as its website,

The spring event follows the success of Handmade Arcade’s inaugural virtual marketplace this past December, which reached 23,000 users and garnered high praise from shoppers and makers alike for its ease of use, engaging immersive elements and fun virtual events.

Also scheduled by Handmade Arcade:

  • ORIGINS Virtual Marketplace, June 17-20. Handmade Arcade is honored to partner with ORIGINS, an organization that advocates for Black artists and craftspeople in Pittsburgh, to host a virtual marketplace featuring Black makers.
  • Show and Sell, in person on Aug. 7 at Construction Junction, 214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze. The socially distanced pop-up event will feature craft vendors who were accepted for the 2020 event, which was canceled because of the pandemic.
  • Handmade Arcade Holiday Marketplace, Dec. 3. The organization’s flagship event returns with an in-person marketplace at David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. An accompanying virtual marketplace will run from Nov. 26-29. Vendor applications for the virtual and in-person holiday marketplace will open in early June and close at the end of August.
  • Outdoor Winter Market. During the final weekend in December, makers from the Handmade Arcade community will sell their wares from the winter chalets in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, a favorite winter tradition for the city. Dates will be announced later this year.
  • Maker Curriculum.

In addition to its full season of virtual and in-person events, Handmade Arcade hosts an online Maker Curriculum, which includes panel discussions, lectures and demonstrations about running an effective online business. The curriculum was developed in partnership with the Creative Business Accelerator in order to provide local makers with the skills they needed to transition their creative businesses because of the pandemic. This free series is available on demand.

Tim Kapalo-Allen of Dormont-based Sleepy Hollow Handmade specializes in crafting handmade, vegan soaps.


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