Wholly Craft Celebrates 10th Anniversary in Clintonville
Time flies when you’re having fun. Which means that it’s hard to believe that Wholly Craft is already celebrating their 10th anniversary this weekend, marking a full decade of business for one of the original “shop local” artisan marketplaces that have become more commonplace over the past several years.
In fact, when Wholly Craft first opened in 2005, it only boasted an assortment of products from 40 vendors. Today, it includes 400 vendors in the mix.
“Overall, the changes in the craft and buy local communities have been fantastic for customers and vendors,” said Olivera Bratich. “More shoppers than ever before understand the value of buying handmade and buying local. And vendors have more of an opportunity to make a living from doing what they love.”
Of course, the surge in popularity doesn’t come without its challenges.
“We’re sometimes seeing trends get overdone and products looking homogeneous, and there’s some pretty blatant theft of crafters’ ideas and designs — by other crafters as well as the big boys,” she explained. “There’s tolerance of this behavior from other makers and stores under the excuse of ‘it’s just business’, so we try to provide a balance against this behavior by making community the focus of what we do. We do our best to tightly curate the shop to make sure our product selection is a fresh, fun representation of what creative minds are making.”
That curated approach is what Bratich says has given her store its longevity. In the summer of 2014, Wholly Craft moved to a larger location at 3515 North High Street, and she says that the new home has been very well received in its first year.
“The new space really exceeded our expectations, and we’ve never been happier or healthier as a business,” she said. “And we finally have the room to throw proper parties and events, including our monthly Pinterest Parties, crafty birthday parties, and of course, we’ll have enough space to really boogie down our the Anniversary Party.”
The Anniversary Party takes place tonight from 7pm to 10pm inside the store, and features live music, birthday cake from Mozart’s, and a live screen-printing station from Alison Rose. The first 50 customers in the door will also get swag bags filled with local goodies, all merchandise will be 10% off all day, and Wholly Craft will be donating 10% of all sales from today to charity.
For more information, visit www.whollycraft.com.
Photos provided by Wholly Craft.