Retropolitan Craft Fair + Our First DIY Kit!

Yesterday was such a blast. If you haven't been to Retropolitan Craft Fair in Knoxville, it really is a treat. It's a totally volunteer-run market, organized by a group of people who just really love and want to support the handmade community!

This year, the head organizer asked Smart + Becker to sponsor their first-ever "DIY Loft," and of course, we answered with a resounding "yes."

So we found a few makers who were either already teaching their craft, or who were interested in teaching, asked them to create a kit + demo experience, and started organizing the event! We ended up with Mary Lawrence Woodhull of Matchbox Factory, Hope Brasfield of Hopebroidery, Erin James of Crafty Housewife Yarns, and Caroline Bowen of Hypotenuse Studios

And, of course, we had a mini pop-up of the storefront in the loft where we debuted OUR first-ever kit! We're so excited to be offering our Knot Necklace in DIY kit form. Currently, we have two colors available -- bone + rust and black -- and kits are a wee $20.

Each kit comes with a set of hand-illustrated instructions by Paris Woodhull, and enough materials for one necklace.

But here's the thing -- theres a tiny mistake in the instructions! Well, not really a mistake -- I just left something out. The instructions are based on the materials if you were to go to the store an buy them yourself. At one point, you're instructed to cut the cord halfway through, but that's only if you've purchased the silk cord from a store, because the store-bought provides double the length you'd need for one necklace. So definitely do that if you make more in the future, BUT for this baby, there's no cutting required. You have the perfect amount for your necklace, so just annoy that little step.

Creating this kit has been such an amazing learning experience because the idea of creating a kit (even though I teach workshops all the time!) just seemed so big in my mind until I had to sit down and make it happen. When I finally decided to do it, I was like, "Oh. Yeah. I can do this again," and I'm already at the drawing board planning future kits that include future video accompaniment! 

Thanks for coming out -- we can't wait to see how this shakes out next year!