Monday, November 4, 2013

We're spreading out.

I feel very lucky that there is ample talent to choose from for the Lowcountry Artist Market. But I hate that I can't fit them all in!

So, we're spreading out. At the Dec 7th Holiday Artist Market, we'll be taking up ALL of the Music Farm. Vendors will be upstairs in both balconies, on the stage, and now outside of the Farm as well. You know that little patio area? The raised sidewalk where you stand in line? We'll have vendors there as well!

Be sure to cover all of the Farm when you come to shop! Don't miss the vendors outside and Hello My Name is BBQ in the alley. Lots of talent squeezed in.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Come hungry.

I always heard you're never supposed to grocery shop on a full stomach, but no one said anything about Christmas shopping with one. Be sure to bring your appetite to the Holiday Artist Market on December 7th and pick up goodies from these vendors:

Hello My Name is BBQ

Monday, October 28, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

We're featured in Charleston Magazine!

I was lucky enough to have Charleston Magazine come out to the last Artist Market to snap some shots. And this month, we're in the Local Seen!

Thank you to all the vendors/shoppers who tolerated a serious amount of flash photography at the last market. 

You can check out the story here or read below:

She may not be crafty, but 32-year-old Kristen Gastaldo is certainly an inspired creator. In 2010, this hip self-starter carved out the Lowcountry Artist Market, a seasonal gathering designed to draw out nearby makers and buyers. With 10 successful shows now under her belt and another slated for December 7, the craft-show director has stitched together an eclectic collection of handmade and vintage purveyors that has area shoppers glued to local loot.
CM: When did you craft the idea for the Lowcountry Artist Market?
 While planning my wedding, I purchased bridesmaids’ jewelry on Etsy. Turns out, the maker was from Charleston. At that point, the downtown farmers market included the same vendors each week, and artists creating on the side found it hard to make that commitment. Craft fairs are all around the country, but there wasn’t one here, so I did a local Etsy search and began recruiting.
CM: Did the market’s wildly positive reception surprise you?
Of course I’d hoped the first one would be good, but I couldn’t have known how popular it would be—people here love local. I wasn’t even prepared to count shoppers. We’ve had 1,000-plus at some markets—the holiday one always does well.
CM: How do you decide which vendors to include?
When I started, I wondered if I’d get a bunch of crocheted toilet-paper covers. But I’ve had to turn away artisans who make awesome things. The selection process is a work-in-progress. In the beginning, I perused goods online; now, a jury helps me. And if I have a vendor who’s done several markets, I’ll ask them to rotate out for one. I want that sweet spot of new people and old favorites.  
CM: Do you get a chance to shop?
 I buy something at every market. My husband jokes that I started this so I could shop! I usually walk around early to pick what I like, and if it’s still available at the end, I may buy it. You have to put money back into your business, right?
CM: Tell us about some of the market’s success stories.
 It’s amazing to see people make careers of what they love. Michelle Jewell with Finkelstein’s Center is now making stuffed animals full time. Rewined Candles doesn’t need me anymore. Whole Foods picked up Shivika Asthana’s upcycled clothing line, Little Bit Kids. Dodeline Design opened a shop in I’On where they create everything from websites to stationery. And neve/hawk did Charleston Fashion Week and is now carried worldwide.  
CM: Do you think the market will eventually outgrow Music Farm?
 Music Farm is a fantastic space for the market, and the only reason to leave would be that I have more people wanting to participate. I’ve thought about doing something at the Visitor Center Bus Shed or Hampton Park in addition to the Farm. I visited Germany last Thanksgiving and saw German Christmas markets in several town squares—something like that is another idea. If I could figure out how to do this thing full time, I would. Who knows? I could be one of my own success stories.

Lives: In Wagener Terrace with husband Michael and “one giant cat named Mable”
Occupation: As community manager at Blackbaud, she works to bring customers together through online forums, blog postings, Skype chats, etc.
Favorite vendors: Print art from Kristen Solecki, s’mores from Haypenny Confections, and vintage fashions from Inherited
Craft confession: “I would love to be craftier than I am, but my DIY skills are limited to manageable tasks around the house, like holiday decorations.”

The Holiday Lowcountry Artist Market is Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St. Admission is free. Find more information—including a vendor list—at

Monday, October 7, 2013

Now for the hard part.

For both me and the applicants. We have to pick vendors. And you have to wait while we do. I'm not sure who it is worse for. But at least this time I have help. Many, many thanks to our jury for helping to narrow down this selection. We'll turn away more than we can accept. 

So thank you to everyone who applied! I am very lucky to live in a city where there is such talent to choose from. When I first started the Market, I was somewhat oblivious to this. I knew a few makers, but now I'm overwhelmed (in a good way). 

It's going to be a fantastic market.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sunday is the last day to apply.

That's right, we're in the final stretch here - less than a week left to apply for the December 7th Artist Market.

So if you're a maker, crafter, artist, and/or entrepreneur, get that application in. The market is a great chance to take your goods from the internet to the Music Farm - meet your fellow makers, meet your fans. Apply for the market today!

Just click here to apply

Friday, September 27, 2013

4 years ago ...

Four years ago I married my best friend at Boone Hall, surrounded by our friends and family. The weather was perfect - for Charleston in September, that means it wasn't hot and not a hurricane in sight. My friend Steven Fiore played my favorite song by the Damnwells as I walked down the aisle. 

While planning my wedding, I found etsy. Here are some handmade pieces that made all the difference to me: 

Charms for my grandparents who have passed.

Borrowed Image.
Mr. & Mrs. pillows, made by my mother-in-law.

A Thank You umbrella, creating our Thank You cards. 

A flower in my hair.

Bridesmaid jewelry, custom created by Charleston's own Muy-in Molly.

Jerseys, for the Groomsmen from Hola Ola.

I love this handmade movement. I love that everything from your invites, to your jewelry, to the decoration, to your rings can be custom designed for your event. What better way to be thoughtful, creative, and different? Thank you artists for all you do - and making our special day even more special to us!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One day less ...

In the effort to give myself and the jury a little more time to go over applications, I'm moving the last day to apply for the Market back one day.

The last day to apply is now Sunday, October 6th. That's still over a week away, so please share if you know vendors who should apply. Looking forward to seeing old and new applicants alike!

Click here to apply.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jail Break is looking for vendors!

Jail Break Charleston is back at the Old City Jail on November 16th and is looking for vendors. 

If you haven't been to Jail Break, check out their website. This event is fantastic - bands, dancers, comedy, performance art .. gallery, venue, dance club, restaurant, runway - all in one.


JAIL BREAK returns Saturday, November 16th, and this Fall the inmates who attend the festival and fill the Old City Jail with their artwork and crafted goods, with their comedy and choreography, their music and their fashion are collaborating like never before to resurrect the spirit of PUNK! The locally imagined, locally constructed and locally governed music and arts festival of Charleston is embracing the pastime of Punk and and its celebration of unabashed expression, commitment to the do-it-yourself lifestyle and passion-driven rebellion. Like the pioneers of Punk who forged some of the most evocative progressions in music, art, literature, dance, film and activism, the inmates are running the show, without boundaries. The music will be more diverse, the dance bolder, the fashion more excessive, the artisans market more interactive, the artists exhibit will be raw and original, and the comedy returns with no-holds-barred. Look for surprises throughout the jail as never-before-seen installations line every floor, and experience the first original, collaborative performance piece of the festival, entitled Punk: Art Untethered, an In-Your-Face Interface of Movement, Light and Sound. Conventions will be broken and the Old City Jail will lend itself to the community and the chaos of creation unlike ever before.

JAIL BREAK takes place Saturday, November 16th, 2013 and is presented by Entropy Arts, the American College of Building Arts and Ear For Music. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the festival. Advanced tickets may be purchased at, or at the following locations: King Dusko, Artist and Craftsman, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Artisan Tees, Dancefx, and JLINSNIDER.  The festival begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 11p.m.  Artwork will be on sale by local artists, artisans, and vendors.  Food trucks will be on-site and alcohol will be available for purchase.  The Old City Jail is located at 21 Magazine Street, 29401 in Charleston, SC.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Christmas in September

I know it's way too soon for this. Even the stores wait until after Halloween to start putting up Christmas decorations. But looking at all of the Artist Market applications for the December 7th Holiday Market has me thinking Christmas. 

One of my favorite decorations is an Artist Market find (surprise, surprise) - my quilted forever wreath from One Mor Quilt. Full disclosure: I'm biased. One Mor Quilt is the work of my mother in law, so I know first hand how much work goes into these quilts.

This handmade wreath features hundreds of little pieces of fabric - check out the close ups below. That's a lot of effort hanging above my mantle. And it doesn't shed needles. 

It'll take Elvira a little time to make you one of these, so you should probably order soon. This is one time you want to think Christmas ... in September.

A little about Elvira Gastaldo, owner of One Mor Quilt:

I started quilting in 1973 when fabric was not what it is today and methods of construction were archaic. I made templates using cereal boxes and then drew each piece of the pattern on the fabric, cutting each piece out with a pair of scissors. I can make 6 quilts today with the time spent on just getting one ready back then. Quilting was a means to an end back at that time (if I wanted one, I had to make it) and my creative inner self went to Antique Reproduction Samplers (Counted Cross Stitch) on linen. As we traveled the world, I was able to take this easily along for the ride. Upon moving to Maine in 1999, quilting found me when I was asked to be the faculty adviser for the Quilting Club. This actually translates into teaching one evening a week during the academic year. I know that this is what I am suppose to be doing. I am suppose to be passing the art and tradition of quilting on to the next generation. I love sharing my gifts with family and friends and now have decided to share them with you.