“It’s all about having a good time”

Julie Raboczi is good at bringing together creative people and organizing great  events.  She created the Philadelphia Independent Craft Market and she convinced the Pabst Brewing company to sponsor her events.  She is also a mom to 3 kids, a wife to Steve and she works part-time at Starbucks.

When she went looking for a “real job” after 10 years of home schooling her kids, she wanted a way to generate income that didn’t involve a 9-5 commute but with something where the kids could go along and she could be creative.  So her eclectic style of making jewelry and kitschy items was the way to go.  A few years ago she couldn’t  find many venues where she could sell because they were either once a year events, not affordable or were for more high end items.

So, the Philadelphia Independent Craft Market was born.  She used the 941 Theater in Northern Liberties and for the past 3 years or so put on monthly, family friendly events that included crafts, local bands and free beer and attracted crowds of interesting and creative people.    On her Facebook page, Julie says “The Philadelphia Independent Craft Market offers a venue for local crafters, artists, vintage clothing dealers, and all sorts of cool peddlers to come out and sell their wares. We are committed to keeping our table fees low.”

After hosting dozens of arts and craft events in the city, she has her sights on another area.

“The 941 Theater closed in November and now there are lots more opportunities in the city for crafters, so we haven’t had as many events as in the past.  I miss the fun, community feel of our events. So now my plan for 2010 is to find places in the suburbs.  I’m looking for a bar or a coffee shop that has a decent parking lot and would be interested in having music and craft vendors for a day.  It’s very important to me that the vendors have a decent place to sell because I think of myself as a vendor first, then an organizer.”

This past Saturday night, she organized The Philadelphia Independent Craft Market’s 2nd Annual Pabst Blue Ribbon Crafting Challenge at 2424 Studios in Fishtown.  Approximately 20 vendors were on hand to sell items they had made with a PBR theme.   Everyone got into the spirit of the theme as you can see in these photos.  Love Julie’s blue hat!  Here’s a few photos of Julie, the HMP table, Andrew in his PBR outfit.

Julie says the “PBR colors and logo are visually appealing and it just lends itself to crafting.  I’m very thankful to Pabst for their support.”  Prizes were awarded and more photos will be available at Julie’s Craftypants Philly Facebook page soon. 

At the Handmade Philly table for the PBR event, Ruth gave a workshop on making mini plushies using embroidery and hand stitching techniques. She said it was very well received and lots of people attended throughout the day.   Inspired of course by the free Pabst Blue Ribbon beer!  Rebecca with Beck’s Buttons and Lisa with Light Mosaics from Handmade Philly also sold their crafts.

Keep up with Julie and her events at her Craftypants Philly Facebook page as we all look forward to where she lands next!

This is the first in my series of interviews with Handmade Philly members.  Let me know what you think.   Jan Cohen  www.thejmccollection.com


One Response to ““It’s all about having a good time””

  1. lilithsapothecary

    Julie is such a wonderful person to work with and I love her events — the vibe is great, there’s always fun music and wonderful sellers. I am not a huge lover of doing craft shows much of the time, but I always make sure to catch some of her events during the year, because they are always well worth it.

    Thanks for posting this fun spotlight on Julie!

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