One thing I absolutely love about the holidays is the abundance of holiday markets and pop-up shops. They always offer some fantastic items and products that would make awesome gifts for anyone in your family or your friends. And I’m a huge fan of shopping local and supporting local artists and crafters.
Earlier this month, the Indie Craft Experience (ICE) held a Christmas market in downtown Chattanooga. It was ICE’s first visit to Chattanooga, and I think it’s safe to say they’ll be back.
ICE, which started in 2005, is based in Atlanta and brings together the best artists and crafters to produce vintage markets and pop-up shops throughout the year. The debut Chattanooga Christmas market brought 50 vendors to Miller Plaza for attendees to shop for gifts for their friends and families, or even themselves.
Vendors at the Chattanooga market ranged from visual artists, printers and hand-letterers to candle-makers, woodworkers, jewelers and everything in between. For many, their crafts and work are their full-time projects and businesses.
Here are some of the top highlights from the Indie Craft Experience market in Chattanooga!
You can check out a full list of the vendors here.
Luna Leigh Arts brought some of her brightest and most colorful artwork. Many of her pieces were done with acrylic paints and pen.
Nicobella Organics had a selection of purely organic chocolates and chocolate treats. All of their chocolate is completely natural, with no added sugars at all. So it’s basically healthy chocolate. Dangerously delicious. They also had hot chocolate made from their cocoa and it was divine.
Matt Turner of Whiskey & Wood showed off some of his best products, most of which are made out of used whiskey barrels. All wood pieces are made by hand in Athens, Georgia. All of his items smell pretty good, too. That’s not weird, is it?
Rosalynne Love combined her faith, artistry and design skills with some of her favorite fashion items and accessories. As you can tell from some of her items, she’s quite the Gilmore Girls fan.
When It Rains Paper Co. started as a hobby for sisters Cason and Kat that quickly turned into a full-time business and passion project. They specialize in paper, party and personalization with bright colors and eye-catching designs. They’ve got something for any and every occasion.
PJ and Stacey of Lit Up Illuminations had an incredibly interesting story behind their soy candle business. With all the beer breweries in the Atlanta area, used bottles are abundant and usually aren’t recycled properly. So PJ and Stacey took the matter into their own hands and started making soy candles from the bottles. Genius.
Most of the vendors were from the Atlanta area, and for many of them it was their first visit to Chattanooga. Craft fairs and markets give artists opportunities to travel and see new cities that they may not get to experience otherwise. It’s a cool perk of the “job,” they said. When several of the vendors I talked with said they already wanted to come back to Chattanooga, I didn’t hesitate to tell them more about my love for my city and all the best spots to check out next time.
The Indie Craft Exchange hosts other events throughout the year, including other pop-up shops, workshops and other markets in the Atlanta area. You can find more information about those events on their website. I’m excited to check out more of their events, both in Atlanta and perhaps in Chattanooga again soon!
Have you been to any fun Christmas markets this year?