Deluxe Winter Market brings locally produced goods to consumers 

click to enlarge © RACHAEL TAYLOR 2012
  • © Rachael Taylor 2012

If you’re in the mood to shop for one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts for the holidays, then you should check out the 2014 Deluxe Winter Market, hosted by Deluxe OK.

Organized by Sara Cowan and Jennifer “JD” McCoy, Deluxe Winter Market has garnered national media attention; a recent article on BuzzFeed called the event one of “35 indie craft fairs every creative person needs to visit.”

“We wanted to combine our favorite elements from all of the local craft shows we liked,” Cowan said. “Ours is family-friendly, all items sold are 100 percent handmade or artist-made, we have never charged admission, we keep our booth fees low (and, therefore, accessible to emerging artists) and we carefully select what items are in the show.”

Additionally, Cowan believes in offering items that can’t be found at every other craft fair.

“We don’t want it to look predictable,” she said. “Our customers expect us to keep them on their toes with new and exciting artists, along with the beloved Deluxers whose work they’ve begun collecting.”

As of press time, more than 60 artists, photographers, crafters and other do-it-yourself creatives will be selling their wares at this year’s market, offering a wide variety of items that Cowan hopes will cover gift ideas for the entire family.

Of course, shopping isn’t all you can do at Winter Market. This year, as in previous years, marketgoers and vendors will be able to enjoy a wide variety of entertainers and food trucks.

click to enlarge © RACHAEL TAYLOR 2012
  • © Rachael Taylor 2012

“JD and I have a lot of love for Oklahoma City, and we wanted to share with others all of the things we think make our city so special. We try to build a little two-day OKC utopia by bringing in our favorite people, artists, organizations and food,” Cowan said. “In previous years, I’ve brought in roller derby girls, robotics demonstrations and even a B-Boy battle just because I love those things.”

According to Winter Market’s website, deluxeok.net, Fowler Honda will provide an indoor playground for some of the younger guests. Local artists Hector Lopez and Tessa Raven will be drawing and selling caricatures, and market-goers will be able to try food from food trucks like Katiebug’s, The Saucee Sicilian and MOB Grill.

The Winter Market will also be a space for showcasing some of Oklahoma’s many charitable organizations and community groups, such as WildCare Oklahoma, The Curbside Chronicle and Bilingual Family. Cowan said that this, as well as highlighting young artists, is one of Deluxe’s many goals.

“We give space to our favorite community groups and showcase very young artists. Last year, we had our youngest ever Deluxe artist, and she was 9 at the time,” Cowan said. Cowan and McCoy have run the annual Winter Market since 2008.

“We were already good friends when we discussed planning a winter craft show with other OKC crafters, and we were among the most fired-up about making it happen,” Cowan said. “She’s my best friend. We’re both former teachers.”

In that time, they have worked to create a space that highlights the very best of Oklahoma creativity.

Early on, Cowan and McCoy enlisted the help of OKC Midtown Rotary Club. It is now the Winter Market’s sole regular volunteer force.

click to enlarge © RACHAEL TAYLOR 2012
  • © Rachael Taylor 2012

The curation process is vigorous, and Cowan said that anyone who wants to sell their crafts must go through it.

“All artists must submit online applications with descriptions, links and photos of their products. Even my 7-year-old son had to apply; nobody skips this step,” Cowan said. “JD and I select the artists based on our personal tastes and what our shoppers expect from us.”
Ultimately, Deluxe Winter Market is trying to shift the paradigm of how Oklahoma is perceived both within and outside the state.

“These are things I want to share with people who may not know about all of the wonderful, quirky and genuinely innovative things OKC has to offer. I want to help promote our city’s reputation as a supportive and engaging place for creative people,” Cowan said. “In the grand scheme of Deluxe, I want to show a relative newcomer, such as Mama Durant, around our market and let her see the city the magical way I see it.”

While the event is completely free, there is an incentive to get there early. The first 50 shoppers each day get a free goodie bag, and Cowan said they’re highly sought-after. This year’s bags include 2015 Keep It Local cards, sunglasses and surprises from artists and sponsors.

Deluxe Winter Market takes place Thanksgiving weekend, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It will be on the first two floors of Leadership Square, 211 S. Robinson Ave., in downtown Oklahoma City. You can find parking and other information at deluxeok.net.


Deluxe Winter Market

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Leadership Square 211 S. Robinson Ave. deluxeok.net Free

Print headline: Handcrafted Holidays, This weekend, Deluxe Winter Market offers indie crafts for everyone.

 

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