The Crafty Guide to Akron

It might be smaller than Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, but Akron is teeming with a skilled, do-it-yourself community of artists and crafters. Where else could Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO and the Black Keys have found their origins but in the Rubber City? Our art is filled with allusions to local eccentricities like blimps, the history of the rubber industry and tire manufacturing, and our love of hard work. This is our crafty city guide to the greater Akron area! — Joanna Wilson, local author and assistant director of Crafty Mart; and Mary Beth Filon, owner of the Portage Trail Barn

S Main cityscape
Cityscape of a row of destinations on S Main St. Photo by Shane Wynn

CRAFTY STORES

Everything Akron
209 S. Main St., Akron, OH
This brick-and-morter has been open less than a year, yet it features goods by local artists, designers and crafters in a much-needed downtown space.

Hazel Tree Interiors
143 W. Market St., Akron, OH
The framing shop also carries artsy domestic furnishings and wall decor. They’re well-known for their iconic wall mural, visible from downtown.

Rust and Found
616 S. Main St., North Canton, OH
Repurposed furniture and handmade home goods including candles, jewelry and more. You can even sign up for workshops to learn a thing or two!

PLACES FOR MAKERS

Synhak, The Akron Maker Space
48 S. Summit St., Akron, OH
Equipment and classes are available with a focus on technology, science, and art.

Rubber City Prints
First Floor, Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St. Akron, OH
This is a shared space for artists to make, collaborate, and display printwork.

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smARTStudio Akron
678 Paine Ave., Akron, OH
Classes and studio space for artists (both adults and children) to express themselves creatively in a variety of mediums.

OSC Tech Lab
12 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH
A hip downtown coworking space that also serves as a networking group for startups and creatives. Free coworking on Thursdays!

CRAFT SHOWS

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Crafty Mart’s monthly pop-up market at Summit Artspace. Photo by Nat Hansumrittisak

Crafty Mart
various locations
Now a nonprofit organization, Crafty Mart (run by Midwest Craft Con co-organizer Brit Charek!) is in its eighth year and continues to expand, hosting monthly mini-pop-up markets with the downtown Artwalk, the Mom & Pop Shoppe spring show, the annual holiday show, and more. Each year, the holiday show bursts at the seams with handmade goodness, stretching more than 80 vendors across three venues, all within walking distance in downtown Akron on Small Business Saturday just after Thanksgiving.

Oddmall
various locations
Hold on to your hat, Batman! Northeast Ohio’s own Emporium of the Weird celebrates everything unusual, geeky and odd, and showcases artists and crafters.

Portage Trail Barn
151 Portage Trail Ext. W, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
A rustic barn that opens its doors three or four times a year for seasonal events featuring local artists and crafters with an emphasis on repurposed and upcycled items for the family and home.

BEST VINTAGE

Givits Thrift and Recycling
5153 Darrow Road, Hudson, OH
A beautiful combination of thrift store, garage sale, and antique shop, Givits has a pickers barn that is perfect for repurposers, treasure hunters and artists.

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The Bomb Shelter
923 Bank St., Akron, OH
A warehouse of only the best vintage items including midcentury furniture, retro signage, and pop culture items to bring back your favorite memories.

Land of Plenty
339 W. Market St., Akron, OH
An eclectic collection of vintage and antique furniture and decor, arts & crafts, houseplants, succulents, and terrariums, with a new age/metaphysical vibe.

Stagecoach Antiques
449 W. Market St., Akron, OH
Staff that really know their stuff and rooms upon rooms to explore. Dishes, postcards, books, did I say dishes?

CRAFTY HANGOUTS

Urban Eats
51 E. Market St., Akron, OH
Yummy cafe of creative, seasonal and local foods.  I think it’s safe to say most, if not all, crafty ideas have been hatched sitting right there eating an amazing pizza or panini.

Nighlight bar
Ticket counter and bar at Nightlight Cinema. Photo by Shane Wynn

The Nightlight
30 N. High St., Akron, OH
Around the corner from Urban Eats is Akron’s own independent film theater. Come for an artsy movie or enjoy a craft beer, a cocktail and stimulating conversation in the lobby.

Mustard Seed Café
867 W. Market St., Akron, OH
Above the market, the second floor’s healthy food café and patio is a brand-new eatery in the Highland Square neighborhood — even LeBron James has been there! Grab a meal and a smoothie, then head across the street to shop for new and used LPs at Square Records, and then to Angel Falls Coffee Company to sit in the comfy overstuffed chairs and people-watch.

Angel falls mural
Street art mural on the outside wall of Angel Falls Coffee Company. Photo by Shane Wynn

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
529 Grant St., Akron, OH
The award-winning brewery features a tasting room with their delicious beers, or come on a Saturday and take a tour of the brewing complex.

Are you coming to Midwest Craft Con in February? Get your tickets now and join creative business people from all across the Midwest!

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8 comments

  1. Thank you for including us! This list is full of so many of our favorite businesses and we look forward to visiting the fun events included.

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    • I agree with Carol- I would also love to see a more in-depth article!

      You mention Givits in Hudson – but Live Dream Create Shop (which features local artisans and handmade items) is just two driveways down in the same little shop community with The Red Twig (who is constantly hosting artsy and community events), Shack in the Back, and Lily Lane… Life is Sweet is almost directly across the street from Givits… not to mention all of the artists and galleries in Downtown Hudson. Hudson even has it’s own 2nd Friday Art Hop each month starting in April, as well as art shows and other events.

      I know it’s a tall order trying to list everyone in the Akron area (there are soooo many great places to mention!) – but those of us in Hudson always seem to get forgotten about, even though it’s a thriving and growing place for artists, handmade, vintage, and antiques!

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  2. We were talking about how hard it seems lately to sell art. Came to the conclusion that according to statistics Akron area is the cheapest area in the US to live so we all live here but because everyone is poor nobody buys anything. I know it is a not a perfect picture, but we had an intersting discussion about selling your work.

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    • I find the NE Ohio art market to be very streaky. No two shows are alike and the same show can be different from year to year. I do find , however when I market to higher end customers, my total sales are quite a bit better. I sell more mid ranged work and maybe a couple high end pieces. I’m still learning how to have a successful arts business. I’m beginning to find out that diversity may be the key.

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  3. You missed my favorite, The Palladian Palette at the north end. Best selection of rubber stamps die cutters embossing folders, painting classes,crafts, party venue and much much more . Second floor above the glass works

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