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Published on 11/29/2018

Published by marketing@concretebroker.com.au

You'll love it for Christmas

Concrete jewellery and planters

Concrete jewelry and air planters — millennials will love gifts from these 2 Chicago markets


Christen A. Johnson

Contact ReporterChicago Tribune

Anthology Objects, the colorful ceramics sculptures made by Renegade Craft Fair vendor Sarah Hicks, add a touch of whimsical playfulness wherever you use them. (Yuge Zhou)


Millennials thrive off of doing things differently — whether in the workplace, relationships, food choices (we see you, avocado toast) or places to shop.

But the thrill of exploring an unbeaten path isn’t enough; millennials like to fill up their homes and lives with distinct, uncommon purchases that bring peace, provoke thought and demonstrate some sort of consciousness. There’s no question, then, that many will be looking for holiday gifts somewhere else than the aisles of Target.

Two Chicago holiday markets — Renegade Craft Fair and One of a Kind Show — more than satisfy the desire for a unique gift with a good story.

Both fairs bring hundreds of artists into the city to display and sell their custom-made, handcrafted goods. Everything from housewares and fashion, to mixed media, paintings and photography are in abundance, just waiting to find a new home.

If you’re stumped about what to get the against-the-grain millennial in your life, then our preview will be your guiding light. If you’re a millennial who wants to splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime indulgence, then these vendors’ crafts, especially those from up-and-coming artists, will be the perfect addition to your beloved unconventional path.

Renegade Craft Fair

What it is

Founded in Chicago in 2003, Renegade has been dubbed a “curated gathering of the creative spirit.” The craft fair features rising and established makers and designers, art you can engage with and immerse yourself in, and installation artists, all while celebrating the culture of contemporary craft. Artisanal food, libations and music are on the roster as well.

Why we love it

You are sure to see the highest quality goods produced by amazing talent. Renegade Chicago brings together artists at the forefront of their craft with a community of conscious consumers dedicated to supporting handmade creators and advancing the creative economy.

Don’t miss

Anthology Objects by Sarah Hicks. Whimsical and playful, these colorful, inordinately shaped ceramic sculptures are multifunctional and a delight to the eyes.

Finch and Fleur. What’s sweeter than a hand-painted, watercolor card with kind words that celebrate those dearest to us, and the big and small victories in life? Owner and illustrator Jennifer Sweet infuses her paper goods with care and love, hoping to brighten someone’s day.

When and where: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 1-2, Bridgeport Art Center.

One of a Kind Show

What it is

Returning for its 18th year, the One of a Kind holiday show is an indoor fine art and fine craft shopping show that brings in over 650 artists. The artists come from all over the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, and offer products that range from fashion to ceramics, from furniture to bath and body. The show aims to be all-inclusive and to go beyond shopping, with gourmet cafes, bars and special drinks, live music, and a fashion show that highlights items from the exhibitors.

Why we love it

What makes this show truly one-of-a-kind is that every single item is fully handmade in small batches by the artists themselves — nothing is outsourced, not even locally, making each product distinct. Moreover, shoppers will have the opportunity to talk directly with the designer and executor of the work. Shoppers are sure to find something spectacular. The merchandise is spread across the floor and not arranged by category. Although large, the show is easily walkable.

Don’t miss

The Emerging Market. Twenty-nine up-and-coming exhibitors who have never done this show or any show of this scale.

JLB Designs. An emerging artist this year, Jennifer Lippman-Bruno crafts minimalist jewelry pieces out of concrete and sterling silver that are elegant and timeless.

Facture Goods. Creator Aron Fischer, who is also new to the show this year, makes kitchenwares and utensils with hardwoods, clay and metals that create a rough, “primitive modern” aesthetic.

When and where: Dec. 6-9, times vary. Seventh floor of Merchandise Mart


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