Craftsmanship in the heart of Denton

Craftsmanship in the heart of Denton

“Morph Speakers” owner Ellis Swanson interacts with a customer at the Dime Store’s Handmade Harvest event on Nov. 6. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

Craftsmanship in the heart of Denton
November 13
20:54 2015

Andrea Czobor | Staff Writer

@andreaczobor

For artists and locals who’ve caught the craft bug, the Denton Independent Maker Exchange (DIME) held their annual Handmade Harvest event this weekend at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center.

Inside, more than 40 shops filled the gallery with booths and racks covered in antique, vintage, handmade and one-of-a-kind pieces.

“Denton is very good at being a community and supporting its neighbors, but if you only hang around Target and Best Buy, you are missing the sweet spot,” said Shelley Christner, the co-owner of the DIME store.

Owner of Wanderlust Wares, Whitney Waffer interacts with a customer at the Dime Store’s Handmade Harvest event on Nov. 6. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

Owners of “Craft Cafe Collective” Amanda Sims and Ashley Wolfe spin yarn to sell at their booth at the Dime Store’s Handmade Harvest event on Nov. 6, 2015. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

On Friday, customers chose from new, limited and seasonal stock and shop products, accompanied by live acoustic music by Bo Aughtry and Matt Grigsby. The first 50 to attend the event on Saturday received a giveaway goodie bag filled with treats from several shops.

“Within the DIME artist community is a symbiotic network of like-minded individuals who bounce ideas back and forth, supporting eachother’s individuality and unique products,” These Things owner Amy Nalley said.

Nalley delivers durable, uplifting products for all ages. Apart from debuting several new designs from her plush line and expanding her collection for the holidays, she is a DIME co-op and helps run the shop during business hours.

At the event, it was clear to the shoppers and onlookers that artists put in hundreds of hours in preparation.

“I’ve been up since early this morning hitting the ground running on show stuff, but it really has been a successful turnout,” Rachel Aughtry, DIME co-owner said. “We have never done a Friday night opening, and with the band and drinks, it turned out way better than I could have thought.”

Many makers have families and other careers alongside their love of making goods.

Denton residents Annie and Justin Hamel came to support and admire the work of several friends who held booths at the event.

These Things owner Amy Nalley poses with her booth at the Dime Store’s Handmade Harvest event on Nov. 6, 2015. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

These Things owner Amy Nalley poses with her booth at the Dime Store’s Handmade Harvest event on Nov. 6. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

“It’s crazy to me that my friends are creating their products on their kitchen tables,” Annie said. “There is especially a stigma that if you make an authentic handmade business that you won’t make money, which isn’t true anymore now.”

Mother, wife, owner of Austin Street Apothecary and 2007 UNT alumna Caitlin Crawford said she began her 100 percent natural, plant-based skin care line out of necessity.

“I was dissatisfied with what was in my medicine cabinet,” Crawford said. “I didn’t recognize the ingredients and felt conviction over what I was putting on my skin, so I made simple and pure products in my home that I was confident in and gave me a peace of mind.”

She was partially inspired to start the line because she wanted safe products for her two-year-old child, and said her line is so safe that it can be ingested by children without adverse side effects.

Morph Speakers handcrafts acoustic wooden speakers using an environmentally-friendly method that spoke to many Dentonites at the event.

“These Things” owner Amy Nalley’s favorite item is the taco pin she sells. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

“These Things” owner Amy Nalley’s favorite item is the taco pin she sells. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

“We use reclaimed wood that would otherwise be trashed, and for every speaker we sell, we plant trees worldwide with Trees For The Future,” owner Ellis Swanson said.

Silly Dilly Baby, which sells plush monsters, dolls and baby clothes, was among the many offbeat ideas found at D.I.M.E.

“The monsters came from a drawing my son did, and I created something off of them. They are my inspiration,” Owner Emily Smith said.

Attendees seemed to enjoy the opportunity to slow down and appreciate the different art forms in a world where everything seems to travel at Internet speed.

One Handmade Harvest visitor, Jody Steiner, even came from Waco. She said she had been eyeing the event for years and finally decided to make the drive.

“Jewelry is my thing,” Steiner said. “This brings Etsy home. Well-made, detailed and not mass-produced items are hard to find. You can feel the passion and love they put in.”

Featured Image: Morph Speakers owner Ellis Swanson interacts with a customer at the Dime Store’s Handmade Harvest event on Nov. 6. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

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