FIREFLY HANDMADE ON OLD SOUTH GAYLORD STREET
BY MICHAEL ELLIS
There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” It is no secret that it is always better to give than to receive. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was one place where you could do both? Say, you buy some local organic honey, and a portion of the proceeds would go directly to saving the bees. Or you find a beautiful locally handmade bracelet and a percentage of the cost is directed to feeding the needy. This scenario is a reality with Firefly Handmade Markets, and for the second time in its history, they will be in Denver on Old South Gaylord Street, August 24th + 25th!
For those of you who have never experienced a Firefly Handmade Market, it is a vibrant community of makers, entrepreneurs, and artists who are passionate about sharing their craft and supporting local small businesses. With over 100 artisans in attendance, you will be able to check out fine art, handmade jewelry, artisanal food, home goods, and so much more. Chances are you will find something that speaks to you, but beyond supporting local small businesses, many of these makers choose to donate to valuable causes.
There are too many to list, but a handful of our favorites are Basin Reclaimed, Canned Goods, ReLoad Love, Bjorn’s Colorado Honey and Artisans Thrive.
• Basin Reclaimed handcrafts all of their original artwork from repurposed, one of a kind material. They value simple living and love to explore the outdoors, their work shares this messaging. Since the practice of “reusing” is in their roots, they actively keep their footprint small.
• Canned Goods repurposes tin food cans into unrefined, simple, modern, classic, handmade goods you want and gives one can of food for every item purchased through the CAN DO GOOD program.
• ReLoad Love helps heal the lives of little ones around the world who have suffered from the violence of terrorism. By transforming spent bullet casings into brass charms and donating their proceeds, as well as raising public awareness of their tragedy, they arm children with hope.
• Bjorn’s Colorado Honey offers local Boulder and Denver honey as well as bee-based skincare featuring beeswax, honey, and propolis. Their honey is raw and unfiltered, providing great taste plus the benefits of local pollen, while encouraging their consumers to harvest pollinator friendly flowers with seeds specific to saving bees.
• Artisans Thrive accelerates skills, income, and dignity for female artisans worldwide to thrive. An initiative of Women’s Partnership Market, while emboldening customers to make ethical purchases with their vibrant jewelry, clothing and handbags.
This is merely a glimpse of a few of the artisans who will be in our neighborhood for the Summer Market! We met up with owner/founder Beth Pomerantz to give us a deeper understanding for the overall mission of Firefly Handmade artisans.
Tell us what it means to spearhead a movement that supports local, handmade goods that often give back?
Offering the opportunity for artisans and makers to connect with community is where it’s at! Creatives have incredible stories about their art; how they started, what inspires them, materials used, resourcing/reusing/recycling, sustainability, working to make the world a better place in so many ways, and then connecting with their fans and making new ones. Handmade shoppers/fans/friends are also looking to connect to all of this and to support the creativity and be inspired.
Experiencing handmade goods and interacting with the people whose ideas, energy, and talents create them is what Firefly promotes. And for people looking to buy quality goods with a story and a soul, Firefly Handmade is the place to be. How wonderful to have art, home goods, skincare, apparel and more surrounding you in your home, and remember from whom you bought these beautiful creations!
We believe in supporting the local arts non-profits in our communities with no cost opportunities for them to have booths at our markets to share their messages, gain new members and donors, and offer DIY projects that showcase what they’re all about. We primarily work with Boulder’s Open Studios and NoBo Arts District. And for Summer Market on SGS, the Eugene Field Branch Library will have a free booth where they’ll offer registration for new library cards, library info and a DIY art/craft project.
What causes would you love to focus your energy on given the opportunity?
Short term, I’d love to offer a scholarship program for emerging artisans to be able to participate in our markets. As well as an education for artisan creative and business development. I’d also like to expand our Junior + Teen Firefly program which offers young creative entrepreneurs (6-17 yrs) who are interested in experiencing the entire process of being a maker and participating in a market, the opportunity and educational direction to participate in this mini market within one of our regular markets each year.
Firefly Handmade is your late summer weekend event not to be missed. They will feature 100+ new and returning indie artisans, outdoor cocktails, beer, and wine and live music with Denver’s Bear and the Beasts and Daniella Katzir Trio, and Boulder-based Oliver Jacobson Band, DIY experiences, kids craft activities and more! Of course the fabulous local shops, restaurants, and bars on South Gaylord Street will be open all weekend as well.
The market will run Saturday from 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm, with free admission and parking. Discover exceptional handmade home goods, jewelry & accessories, adult & children’s fashion, skin care, ceramics, art, artisanal food, pet goods, and more.
Experiencing handmade goods and interacting with the people whose ideas, energy, and talents create them is what Firefly promotes. And for people looking to buy quality goods with a story and a soul, Firefly Handmade is the place to be. Firefly Handmade’s mission is to cultivate a passionate community of artisans and art lovers, rooted in creativity, quality, and individuality.
Complete market details and the artisan line up can be found at fireflyhandmade.com. See you there!