Handmade from the heart

Annual Handmade Holiday at Yellow Cab

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Handmade drink coasters made by A-Round Dayton, one of many unique items available at Handmade Holiday, Dec. 4-5 at the Old Yellow Cab Building; photo: Erin Vasconcelos

The holiday gift-giving season is upon us once again, and us would-be Santas face choices when it comes to where we purchase presents for our loved ones. Our options are basically two-fold: We can go stand in line in the cold, dark parking lots and sidewalks waiting for malls and big box stores to open their doors while it’s still technically Thanksgiving Day, or we can buy from locally-based shops and creators that help support the regional economy and allow these businesses and makers to keep doing what they love. While we can’t expect local artisans to make your college-bound son or daughter a microwave or your arson-happy uncle a flamethrower, what these local creative types can do is make you something unique and straight from the heart, made with their imaginations and their bare hands. It’s this entrepreneurial and “support local” spirit that has led to the success of Dayton’s annual Handmade Holiday event that will be held for the fourth straight year at the Old Yellow Cab Building in Dayton, a place that itself is representative of the do-it-yourself ethos that runs strong in the Dayton creative community.
“The Yellow Cab Building was started by an arts co-op called The Dayton Circus,” explains Yellow Cab event planner and Dayton Circus Creative Collective member Erin Vasconcelos. “The Circus started out of a desire for local artists to have an outlet to create and show their work. Events had been held at vacant locations through the city until we found the Yellow Cab Building in 2011. The building had been vacant for several years before we moved in. While the group has evolved and changed over the years, the Yellow Cab Building still remains an outlet for creative endeavors. We have monthly food truck rallies from spring to fall, hold art shows, music shows, plays, movies, game nights, festivals, fundraisers and more.”
Based on the mission of Dayton Circus and its newfound venue, the Yellow Cab Building seemed like the perfect place to hold an event like Handmade Holiday, which had previously been floating around Dayton at off-sites each year prior to finding a permanent home at The Yellow Cab.
“I see Handmade Holiday as an event that supports local crafters, artisans and small businesses while giving you an opportunity to buy your loved ones quality items made with care,” Vasconcelos says. “Each vendor will have a 10×10 booth throughout the building to sell their wares. All items are handmade by the person[s] at the booth.”
So you might be wondering at this point—what types of handcrafted items will be for sale at Handmade Holiday?
“Handmade Holiday features a wide variety of items for sale—everything from hats, purses, buttons, jewelry, aprons, bibs, cards, gift tags and much more!” says Dayton Circus member and Yellow Cab planner Tara Moore. “There are too many to list! There are also items at every price range. Some items cost as little as a dollar.”
“In addition to what Tara stated, we have vendors selling soaps, lotions, candles, pottery and glassware, pet toys and a chocolatier!” Vasconcelos adds. “We will also have a photo booth with festive dress-up items so you can get your family holiday photo done while you shop!”
And over the years, demand for the event has grown not just by the public but by dozens of local artists and crafters to get a much coveted vendor booth in an effort to not just peddle their wares and make money but to show off their creativity and in turn exhibit the DIY spirit that the Gem City has in spades.
“Every year, we post our application online with instructions and deadlines,” Moore explains. “Anyone can apply, but we emphasize that the items must be handmade. We then review each application and narrow down the vendors through a jury process to ensure variety and quality. We always try to make sure our vendors are diverse so that there are different items to see every year. Because we have limited space, there have been times when we have had to reject some applicants but this year we were able to accept everyone!”
And while the number of vendors is strong, the turnout for each successive Handmade Holiday continues to climb and event organizers expect this year’s edition to be its most successful to date.
“I definitely believe this year will be the biggest,” Vasconcelos says. “It has been getting bigger every year, so I do not suspect it will change this year.”
Handmade Holiday will be held at the Yellow Cab Building on both Friday and Saturday this weekend to flexibly fit your schedule, and earlybird shoppers will be treated to swag bags featuring coupons and freebies from local businesses such as Butter Cafe, Neon Movies, Clash, Sew Dayton and Toxic Brew. At this point in the game, it seems that nothing can stop the continued success of Handmade Holiday … well, maybe except for one thing.
“Our only fear is the weather. Unless there is a county snow emergency issued, we’ll be open,” says Vasconcelos. “Be sure to come out and support your local community and have fun shopping!”

Handmade Holiday will take place this Friday, Dec. 4 from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday Dec. 5 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Old Yellow Cab Building, 700 E. Fourth St. in downtown Dayton. For more information, please visit yellowcabtavern.com and find Handmade Holiday 2015 on Facebook.

Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

Tags: ,

Gary Spencer
Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Got an Opinion?


We are interested to hear what you think.  Please send us a message.  

The St. Vincent de Paul relief mission continues


  Gateway Shelter for Women and Families on W. Apple St is ready to help 24-hours a day.  By Tim […]

Mulling the merits of Merit Grill


Wide variety compromised by some puzzling choices The Merit Grill’s Carne Asada substituted sirloin for skirt steak, but the salsa, […]

Bread Baking Demystified

IMG_6577 v2

The secrets to a delicious loaf of bread are in the details The process of properly kneading bread dough includes […]

It’s happening in Troy


Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin Music at The Troy-Hayner Center The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is welcoming the arrival of spring with […]

A tradition of storytelling

shannon mcnally 1 - sebastian smith

Shannon McNally at Newport’s Southgate House Revival Singer-songwriter Shannon McNally By Dave Gil de Rubio Songwriting has always had a […]