• Obsessions: Renegade Craft Fair

    Ah! It’s freezing in New York (Literally, the highs have been middling in the '30s), but that didn’t stop tons of makers from hauling their cute wares to the Renegade Craft Fair this past weekend. The second annual winter fair was held at Skylight One Hanson, a beautiful venue in Downtown Brooklyn that used to be the Old Bank of Williamsburg, and now looks like a lovely, gutted Gringotts. Of course, Renegade’s winter installment is for buying gifts—whether you do traditional winter holidays or secular Secret Santa with your gal pals. Here’s what some of the Renegade makers had to say about gift-givin’ and gift-gettin’.
    Interviews by Maitri Mehta

    CARU SKINCARE
    Who: Dominique Caron
    What: Caru Skincare, a line of eco-friendly, beautifully packaged natural skincare.
    Years at Renegade: This is her first! Dominique only started selling in March of this year. Before that, she was just making soaps for friends and family. Dominique makes all her skincare treasures in Astoria, and she taught herself (damn!) by taking classes on herbology and aromatherapy. 



    Favorite product:The French Green Clay Soap. It’s the first soap I made and it’s still my favorite.”
    Best stuff to gift: “Soaps--especially because you can plant the packaging and wildflowers will grow from them!”
    What you're gifting this year: “I’m making custom skincare products for all my friends.” 

    CALYER CERAMICS
    Who: Michelle Smith McLaughlin
    What: Sweet ceramic spoons, catch-all dishes and more in soft colors. Handmade in Brooklyn at Choplet.
    Years at Renegade: This is Michelle’s first year (she and her other crafty friends had a booth-decoration-making party, with wine of course).



    Best stuff to gift: “I like the jewelry dishes as gifts. They’re pretty little things that are also functional.”
    Best or worst gift you’ve ever gotten: “My parents bought me a plane ticket to the south of France for an art intensive, where I got to draw, paint, and travel to so many wonderful museums.”

    AHEIRLOOM
    Who: Amy Stricker Mowat and her husband 
    What: Digitally produced, geographically accurate state and country cutting boards. They also make cute ornaments and other kitchen miscellanea for the holidays.



    Most popular item people buy as gifts:The Michigan cutting board. People really appreciate that it includes both parts of Michigan.”
    Best/worst gift you’ve ever received: “Once, my husband gave me one single earring--on purpose. They were sold individually, so he thought they were supposed to be worn that way.”
    Gifts you're giving this year: “I like to gift from Etsy, usually pretty housewares, like cloth napkins.”


    GREENWICH LETTER PRESS
    Who: Beth and her sister Amy who come from a long line of letterpressers. In fact, they are third-generation printers.
    What: Greenwich Letterpress’ home is their brick and mortar shop in the West Village. They’ve been there for eight years, selling their hilarious and beautifully illustrated stationery and greeting cards.



    Best gifts to give:
    “Everyone loves the enamel pins. They’re affordable, and we love pop culture ephemera.”
    Best/worst gift you’ve ever received: My ex-boyfriend gave me an iPhone…which I kept. But I was really excited to get rid of it when I upgraded. It had bad juju.”

    Renegade is on the road! Next stop: Austin, TX on November 30 - Dec 1. If you’re in ATX and planning to go to buy some gifts, you can plan your visit here.