Crafters, artists and creators alike met together for a weekend to showcase their handmade products at the Riverside Galleria at Tyler in the Etsy Guild Market.
Etsy, a website designed to give private creators and small businesses an outlet to sell their one-of-a-kind products, hosted the market to give local sellers a chance to expand their customers at a physical level and foster face-to-face interactions.
The Market occurs every weekend in different locations throughout Southern California with the Riverside dates landing on the last weekend of the month. The most recent Guild took place Jan. 26–28.
Sellers are able to set up a booth displaying their handmade products, ranging from jewelry to hats to paintings and chocolates.
Donna Medenhall, creator of Donna’s Truffles, set up a booth displaying her handmade gourmet truffles.
Medenhall and her business partner, Frankie Chapman, stumbled upon the event in December and said they saw it as an opportunity to bring more awareness to their business.
The market was the first time Medenhall had brought her business to a booth-setting as she usually sells her truffles through direct online orders.
“It’s different and it’s very nice,” Medenhall said. “There’s so many times when we’re involved in country clubs and weddings and showers and birthdays or bar mitzvahs. Whatever occasion calls for truffles, then that’s where we are.”
Medenhall’s business is based in Riverside but the owners also take their truffles to other market’s such as the Redlands market.
Michael Sedano, creator of Area 90 Art, brought his original artwork to display and sell at the market.
His display of paintings represented a of lot his of emotions and inspiration, especially because it was all original, handmade work.
“All the vendors here, they make everything,” Sedano said. “It’s like an art walk.”
Sedano said he has seen many vendors start small in the market and increase their consumer market.
“I’ve seen people actually start here and branch out,” Sedano said. “They see how it works and just branch out. With me, I like it because it’s different locations. You never know who you are going to get.”
Sedano has been bringing his artwork to the Guild Market and other art walks in the area for three years.
He said he has seen his confidence and success grow because he has had the opportunity to share his artwork and the
stories behind the work with others.
Ashley Church, junior music education major, said she enjoyed coming to the market and seeing everyone’s handmade work and that no two items were alike.
“I really liked that almost everyone there has a handmade item they work on continuously throughout months,” Church said. “It’s their art. It’s something they spend time doing and working on. It’s something that makes them happy but also can potentially make someone else happy.”
The personal inspiration that drives the handmade items is admirable, Church said.
“It really does come from the heart,” Church said. “You’re putting time into it. That’s the coolest thing about (the Guild Market).”
Church said she knows people who currently create their own products but cannot find time to consistently improve their craft.
These sellers at the Etsy market producing their own products can be inspiring to anyone working on a product because of the dedication they show to the business, Church said.
“College students, especially, can learn from these sellers,” Church said. “Being reminded now is the time to be pursuing your artistic passions.
“The younger you are and the more time you have on your hands—that is the best time to get a head start on (creating your own products).”
Anyone interested in participating or attending future Guild Markets can visit www.socaletsyguild.com.