You may not know it, but Baltimore has its very own mafia. And before you make a reference to Little Italy or some other out of touch stereotype, let me tell you that this mafia is of the craft variety.
Yes, Baltimore, the Charm City Craft Mafia is where it’s at for the best local (and some out of town) crafts, jewelry, decor and more. Never heard of it? Well, consider this your cheat sheet to help you become an expert. It’s right in time for Charm City Craft Mafia’s Pile of Craft show. Trust me — you don’t want to miss this.
What is the Charm City Craft Mafia?
The most common mafia mistake is that this is a large club. In reality, it is an organization of twelve professionals that wanted to bring Maryland crafters and makers into the spotlight. Promotion of arts-related events throughout the city, acting as a resource for new handmade craft businesses, and occasionally offering workshops on business matters or crafting techniques have been just a few of the things this organization has done. But the big goal was to create a local craft fair for Baltimore makers. What started in 2006 has grown to be some of the best crafting events of the year. (This is my sole opinion, but trust me, I’m dead on with it.)
Who is the Charm City Craft Mafia?
The board currently consists of 11 very talented local professionals:
Val Lucas of Bower Box Press * Whitney Cecil of Almanac Industries * Tamara Hammond of Block Party Press * Kacey Stafford of Found Studio * Jen McBrien of JennyJen42 * Jennifer Wilfong of Yummy & Co * Priya Narasimhan of Priya Means Love Bodycare * Rachael Kondalyas of Open Eyes Press * Gary Godbey of Urban Assemblage * Monique Roberson of Nikdapooh Designs * Annie Howe of Annie Howe Papercuts
When is the Charm City Craft Mafia?
Get out your calendar and mark this down now: Pile of Craft is this Saturday, May 12, from 10 am to 4pm at St. John’s Church on St. Paul Street. (While you’re at it, put a reminder on your phone that the Holiday Heap is later this year in December.) These juried craft shows have a little of everything, from plush toys and bath products to jewelry and ceramics. Need a painting or photograph for your blank wall at home? You’ll find it here. Have a child with a sweet tooth? Buy some local cookies or candy. Office could use a quirky little addition to brighten the space? One time there were adorable felted dogs, another cute air plants in wooden wall hangers.
If you miss the main events, keep an eye on their Instagram account for possible workshops in their “Tiny Workshop” series and the holiday show they also hold called Last Stop Hops n Shop.
How can I be part of the Charm City Craft Mafia?
Volunteering and sponsoring the shows is a great way to get involved. Even better is telling a talented crafter or maker you know to apply for a show! Sign up for the mailing list to receive notifications about applications and deadlines. They are always looking for new talent to include in the upcoming shows.
What could just B more crafty?