Pensacola, Florida
Friday October 19th 2018


To Market, To Market

By Shelby Nalepa

Looking for some gift inspiration? Skip the mall this weekend and check out two unique shopping experiences that support locally handmade goods. Dozens of area artisans will come together for the Holiday Makers Market at Cowork @nnex on Friday night and the Little Spruce Market, which will be held at the Museum of Commerce Saturday.

“We have an amazing array of local makers,” said Little Spruce Market organizer Liz Allen. “We are strictly no direct sales, only local makers and owners of high-quality product. Our mission is to promote self-sustainability within our locale, whilst promoting our vintage heritage.”

A variety of goods will be for sale at the market—from handmade soaps and ceramics to prints, hand-blown glass and jewelry. Coffee and desserts will also be available.

“Our mission is to have visitors and vendors alike to be part of and feel the enchantment of Christmas within the historic downtown Pensacola, as well as to support local and promote the creative ability within everyone,” Allen said.

Vendors include Truth Soap Co., Soft Earth Ceramics, Yesternow, Drowsy Poet Coffee, Chrisoula’s Cheesecake Shoppe and Cafe, Charlotte Mason Printing Company, Dolce & Gelato, Euphoria Desserts, Alcohol Inks by Rachel Eidson, Oceans Own Gems, J Moody Glass, Atlas Glass, Beachy Keen, Straight Up Cake, Wild Magnolia Kombucha from Fairhope, Ladyganics from Panama City and Encore Old Piano from Milton.

“We believe handmade is happiness, and that handmade and local gifts are more meaningful than mass produced, one size fits all, type of profit game,” she said. “There is a different type of energy that comes from a gift given from a place you know, almost as though you know it was lovingly made by the dreamer themselves.”

To match the nostalgic Christmas shopping experience, Allen said packages will be available for purchase for parents who want to give their children some time with Santa and receive a crafty gift. Little Spruce will also have puppies and kittens for adoption on site from Pensacola Humane Society and a wish list tree for Pensacola Children’s Society.

Allen said that the idea to do the market came from a desire to open a store focused on selling local artisan goods while offering a creative space for moms. Allen founded the group Passion Moms of Pensacola when she first moved to the area five years ago, which also contributed to the idea of starting a market and sharing different skills and crafts. Allen and her husband Mclain also make their own furniture using reclaimed or locally sourced wood.

“We are bringing wood signs that my husband put together from wood reclaimed from renovating our house, which I stain, paint and stencil,” Allen said.

The newly officially opened Cowork @nnex and Leader Art Consultants (LAC) will also be hosting a holiday edition of their monthly @rt at the @nnex series featuring local artists and makers. More art-focused, the Holiday Makers Market will be the largest curated indoor popup market during the December Gallery Night.

“Shoppers can find modern, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts and meet and buy directly from the artists,” said Alexis Leader, director of LAC. “With over 30 vendors, visitors can browse hand-blown glass, ceramics, paintings, stationary and holiday items.”

Featured vendors include Joe Hobbs Glass, Laura Bogan Photography, Soft Earth Ceramics, Charlotte Mason Printing Company, Jarrod Goldman, Ben Bogan Designs and Leslie M. Ward Art & Design. Samples of freshly baked gingerbread cookies by Bluejay’s Bakery and seasonal craft beverages from Big Jerk Soda Co. will also be available.

Leader said that visitors are encouraged to bring a donation of a classroom art supply for the Pensacola Museum of Art education department. Suggested donations include color pencils, crayons, markers, paint and drawing paper.

Emalee Hudson, owner of Soft Earth Ceramics, will be at both Little Spruce and Holiday Makers Markets with her modern, sleek ceramics.

“I have always been a believer in simplicity and I like to portray that in the pieces I make,” Hudson said. “A lot of my style comes from the cultures I grew up with. Being both Swedish and American, I try and incorporate the two different influences into my pottery. The Scandinavian side shows through with a clean and deliberate aesthetic where function meets form, while the rustic look of the clay and glazes I use go hand in hand with growing up here in the south.”

Hudson started working with clay in elementary school but got serious with her craft while in college at Pensacola State.

“My very first piece was a pinch pot all the students made their mom’s for Mother’s Day,” she said. “I was in high school at Gulf Breeze when I took a shot at throwing on the wheel. It’s where I really felt a pull towards ceramics. But it wasn’t until I took a class at PSC that I knew I had caught the clay bug. My idea for Soft Earth Ceramics started shortly after in 2014, in that same PSC pottery room.”

Hudson, who primarily sells her ceramics on an Etsy shop, said that it will be a different experience selling in person compared to online.

“I like the opportunity that selling in person gives the consumer to interact with my pieces and myself,” she said. “While my Etsy and social media is an accurate representation of who I am and the pieces I sell, it doesn’t get much more personal than someone in front of me holding the pieces I put my heart into.”

Hudson currently makes ceramics in her home studio with two kilns, two wheels and a few other pieces of heavy equipment.

“My process has been evolving steadily since I started ceramics,” Hudson said. “I try to have a strict production schedule while also leaving myself time to experiment and explore new ideas and glazing techniques. The process of making pottery itself takes time and involves multiple production steps including prepping, throwing, firing, glazing, and then firing again which can take days to weeks to complete. In the end, it’s all worth it when you open the kiln to fresh new pieces that will be going to happy homes.”

WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15
WHERE: Cowork Annex, 13 S. Palafox
COST: Free; Shoppers are encouraged to bring a donation of a classroom art supply for the PMA education department

WHEN: 1-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16
WHERE: Museum of Commerce, 201 E. Zaragoza St.
COST: Free; “Dashing Tickets”  that fast-track you into the market are available on request


Better Late Than Never
If you don’t finish all your shopping this weekend, fitness studio Wild Lemon will be hosting a Last Minute Market next Saturday, Dec. 23. That means all you procrastinator’s out there can shop in style with vendors including Between Boutique, Keep Away From Cats Jewelry and White Gold Boutique.

WHEN: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23
WHERE: Wild Lemon, 3000 N. 12th Ave.