The way Ariana Katz (CAS, ’12) and Sarah Merriman (CAS, ’12) see it, you have a couple options when it comes to shopping. You can go to, say, Urban Outfitters and buy a $28 earwarmer or you can get a hand-knit hat that costs less and was made with more love.
They prefer the latter option and are bringing this ethos to Handmade BU, a craft and food fair/DIY extravaganza where BU students will sell their hand and homemade goods.
The fair, which will be held this Friday, Feb. 18, is the love child of Katz and Merriman, both ardent believers of the self-described “do it your damn self” philosophy.
Katz is a knitting expert who has been knitting on commission for five years and sells knit and crocheted goods through her business, Ariana Makes Things (for You!). “If it’s made out of yarn, I’m pretty sure I can do it,” she says.
Merriman is a cupcake connoisseur who sells affordably priced sweets through her business, Sarah Sparrow Baked Goods. “I don’t believe in charging my friends $4 for a cupcake.”
They were inspired to create the fair last fall and started to get serious about the idea after going to mega-craft fair Bazaar Bizarre and talking to vendors.
“It’s a wonderful way of building community,” says Katz, and the central location of the George Sherman Union Link — the space lined with tables leading up to Starbucks and City Co. — was a perfect spot to bring the community in.
Along the nine tables lining the link, 16 vendors will be selling a plethora of goods: handmade chocolates, tea blends, knitwear in all styles, photo prints, screen prints, jewelry, journals and more.
They will also have an information table where 20-minute DIY tutorials will be offered on everything from how to fold origami lotus flowers to how to ice cupcakes to making yarn flowers.
The information table will also be accepting donations for the charity Warm Up America, an organization which distributes handmade knit goods to tens of thousands of people. Part of the $10 vendor registration fee will also be donated to the charity.
Besides taking away gifts, Merriman and Katz hope that visitors take away a sense of empowerment that comes with making your own goods and supporting people who do. Nothing compares to handmade, says Merriman.
“Crafts hold up better. Food tastes better.”
For a sneak preview of the goods for sale, check out the next page.
Handmade BU will be held Friday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the GSU Link.