There’s a new SWELF in town

This past weekend, I attended the Fresno Handmade Holiday Bazaar. For the occasion, I dressed up as an elf for a video I filmed for iLoveToCreate!  I called myself Alexa, the Swell Elf, but I quickly realized the word “Swelf” summed up my description much easier. In this photo, I’m imitating the scary elf from “A Christmas story”. I think I pulled it off!

Here’s me in line asking random crafty questions to attendees.  I also did a little song and dance!  I can’t wait for you to see the video! The photo is by local photographer Arthur Robinson!

And here’s the swell kicks I rocked at the Bazaar. I thought they were much cooler than pointy elf shoes! I really wanted to be a hipster elf!

I think I’m going to keep the elf costume and wear it at holiday parties.  It’s pretty funny and I like to be silly!

Until next time Swellions!


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Fun at the Fresno Handmade Bazaar

A lot of people think craft shows are boring and that the only “cool” events have to be in a major city like L.A., New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. I want to tell you that this is simply not true, and yesterday’s Fresno Handmade Bazaar was proof that a craft event can be hip and cool, you just have to have the right mix of people, promotion, atmosphere, and fun! 
Let me tell you how it all got started…a few months back, I attended a local craft show where it was the same-o, same-o kinda crafts that most people think of at craft shows…plain beaded jewelry, gourd art, hairbows, that kinda thing. I’m not dogging these crafts at all. There are a LOT of people that general crafts appeal to, but having been to a couple Renegade Craft shows and Bizarre Bazaar, I have a better view of what COOL craft show can look like. At this event, I hung out with my friend Devoya and Kim. Devoya has been a crafty girl for long time and started the group HellaCrafty in 2007 in Fresno. It was a group of local crafters that got together to make stuff and share the love of crafting! On a random note, I had actually heard of them back in KY…I could sense then that they were the “cool kids craft group”. Devoya knew she wanted to hold an event, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t the right time…people didn’t really understand what she meant by creating a craft show that incorporated music and drinks. 
So fast forward to a few months ago. Devoya knew that she wanted to reboot the idea. Me, Kim and my friend Silvia were on board to help her make it happen! We each had a part in organizing the event…Devoya worked all her connections and got us a venue as well as set up the live DJs, craft participants, and break down all the details. I was in charge of getting the FB page going/doing social media,and lining up some swag. Kim was in charge of aiding Devoya in organization (I like to call her the crafty VP), and Silvia was in charge of Make-it-Take-it coordination. We made a great team! 
So here’s a few little fun factoids of the event. I saw it as a big success and I know the rest of the crew and venue did too! 
1. There were over 800 people in attendance at the event, setting a record for Fulton55, the venue. 
2. There was ALWAYS a line at the door throughout the day to get into the place – People LOVED the cocktails, I heard the “Bloody Maria” was the best. They were so busy slinging drinks that they had to bring in extra help! 
3. The company I work for, iLoveToCreate, had a line all day for glitter tattoos. People loved them!
4. From what I can tell, every vendor had a great sales day…honestly, most local craft fairs you are lucky to break even. 
5. I saw all ages at this event…from 21 to 90! Guys and gals too! I think the drinks and DJ made it not feel so craft fairish and people really dug that! 
6. The energy and positivity was amazing. People got to make new crafty friends and connect! It was such a win/win day for everyone. 
 Here’s a few photos from the event that I took.

I was busy selling my buttons, necklaces, and postcards (I almost sold out of all the buttons I came with!) Actually let me retract that…William was busy selling my goods. I was too busy talking and yapping with people. He kept it all under control and is a great salesman and gave me some helpful marketing suggestions too!

This was the contents of the swag!  Finger knives from the Fiskateer community thanks to Angela Daniels, cool recycled journals from Craftside Publishing thanks to Stefanie Girard, awesome packs of buttons from Blumenthal Lansing, BakaGirl buttons, iLoveToCreate buttons, postcards, and candy, and coupons and sweets from sponsor Pinot Wine Bar!  Oh and how could I forget the donated Michaels bags via Kathy Cano-Murillo, the Crafty Chica. She was also a big advisor on this effort and gave us some great ideas as to what she does in Phoenix with these types of events!

My friend Pattiewack was making pom poms using her Pattiewack Pom Pom tool at her Make it Take it! People loved them!

The event far exceeded are expectations and we are looking forward to what’s next. It’s exciting to see this crafty movement thriving in Fresno! Here’s some pics from Photography-By Genevieve that captured the event nicely. Until next time Swellions!