Craft Caravans, personal tours of the crafty hot spots of Columbus, Ohio, have become a beloved feature of Midwest Craft Con. Passengers get a behind-the-scenes tour of the shops from the owners — and have plenty of time to shop! You are welcome and encouraged bring drinks and snacks on the bus as we chauffeur you around the city.
#1 Crafty Tour of Columbus: Sponsored by Sew to Speak! $10 per seat • Friday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shop some of the longest-running craft shops in town! You’ll visit Wholly Craft, Igloo Letterpress and Sew to Speak. The caravan departs Friday morning from the conference hotel and gets you back in time for the opening session. Bringing your lunch on board the bus is encouraged!
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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!