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Indie craft show planned for WinterFest

Indie craft show planned for WinterFest

A local tailor is stitching together an indie craft festival for next month.

Danni Trester, of Trester Tailor, started Ritz Crafters back in 2012 when she was living in Madison. After putting the event on there for three years, she made the decision to relocate to Minnesota. Now, she’s restarting the show in Rochester with hopes of carving out a following here.

The show — scheduled for Saturday, February 9 at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds — will feature about 40 handmade vendors showcasing their best in woodworking, footwear, jewelry, printmaking and more.

Distinguishing it from traditional craft shows, “indie” crafters are more likely to apply a modern touch to a time-tested craft, explained Trester. In many cases, makers will re-purpose — or “upcycle” — old materials, like t-shirts or scrap metal, into something useful or decorative.

“The mission of the event is to highlight craftspeople who have really honed their skill set and transformed their materials into thoughtful, useful, everyday objects,” Trester told us recently.

“There's not always humor and whimsy involved, but it tends to be a big part of indie craft. Indie makers are up on or ahead of most of the trends, and in a lot of cases are the trendsetters before Target gets a hold of it,” she added.

To create more of an interactive experience, some of the vendors at Ritz Crafters will being doing demos, like woodcarving, by their booths. Trester said the purpose of the show is not solely for shopping, but also learning more about each maker’s craft and the stories behind their businesses.

“When you connect with people and understand their process, you are more likely to cherish their items,” said Trester.

While mid-winter may seem like an unlikely time for a craft show, Trester said the timing is intentional. She said this typically tends to be a slow season for craft events, and part of her goal in hosting Ritz Crafters is to give makers across the region another opportunity to sell their goods.

“In addition to providing a selling opportunity for makers,” she added, “it's also to provide a fun, family friendly event to the community in the worst part of winter when typically there's not a whole lot going on.”

Ritz Crafters will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the Olmsted County Fairgrounds’ 4-H Building. Along with the craft vendors, there will be coffee from Café Steam, donuts from Drift Dough, the Twin Cities food truck Eastern Promises, and a full bar with bloodies and mimosas. Canvas & Chardonnay will also be on site hosting classes throughout the day.

The show is part of the annual Rochester WinterFest. Donations collected at the event will benefit LINK, a youth homeless shelter in Rochester.

Cover graphic courtesy of Ritz Crafters

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