Flint Handmade to Sponsor Valentine’s Day Mini Market, Creativity in Flint

The fourth annual Flint Handmade Valentine’s Mini Market will be held at the Flint Farmers’ Market Atrium on Saturday, Feb. 10. The event will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Flint Handmade is a local organization that offers crafts and other goods from area artisans. It also provides classes as well as a space where like-minded individuals can meet. The nonprofit organization was founded in 2007 by Crystal Pepperdine,  originally called Flint City Handmade.

Since then, the association has grown to become an integral part of the Flint art’s community.

“Flint Handmade provides many free and low-cost opportunities for people of all ages to express their creativity, which is such an important part of our humanity,” said Pepperdine. “People from all over Southeast and Mid-Michigan come to Flint Handmade events. We are contributing to the vibrancy of the community and making Flint a more desirable place to live, work, play, and volunteer.”

Flint Handmade promotes the creative instinct via classes, as well as social crafting. These include programs such as Altered Art, ArtWalk, Coloring Parties, Craft Academy, Craft Supply Swaps, Quilting Bees, and a Yarn Brigade.

“Every year, we organize several indie craft markets, provide craft supply swaps and coloring parties, offer educational craft workshops, host a summer art and craft street fair, and participate in a variety of community events,” said Pepperdine. “We are proud to be involved in the artistic, educational, cultural, and economic revitalization of Flint.”

The group sponsors two juried craft shows each year. These are held at the Masonic Temple in Flint. A Spring Craft Market is held on the last Saturday of April and a Holiday Craft Market takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. There are also two “Mini Markets” hosted each year at Flint Farmers’ Market.  In February, one is held with a Valentine motif and a Halloween themed one occurs each October.

Each summer, Flint Handmade also hosts the Art & Craft Street Fair at the Flint Farmers’ Market.  A “Ladies’ Night Out!” in partnership with Crossroads Village, has also been held.  Last November, in conjunction with the Genesee District Library, the fourth annual Book Lovers’ Craft Fair was held at the Grand Blanc – McFarlen Library.

The future promises new means by which the creative process in the community will be promoted.

“In the future, we hope to focus on helping local artisans grow their businesses as well as collaborating with more organizations to provide opportunities for giving back to the community,” said Pepperdine. “For example, we recently started working with Carriage Town Ministries to offer free crochet classes to shelter residents. We will be teaching them to make hats, scarves, and slippers for themselves, other residents, and those in need. We greatly appreciate our community partners.”

To become a member of Flint Handmade, the cost is $25 annually. A family membership is available at an annual fee of $50.  This membership encompasses the benefit of memberships to “children, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and caregivers,” according to Pepperdine.

Some of the benefits of membership include a listing on the Flint Handmade website, reduced rates on craft workshops and on vendor fees, as well as an invitation to their annual appreciation event. Tax deductible donations may also be made to the group.

For further information on making donations, the group, or upcoming event information, contact Flint Handmade at www.flinthandmade.org or visit the group’s Facebook page.