Silk, velvet, fringe, no fringe…

Growing up in the Pike Place Market is like having a very large family. As I walk through, I see familiar faces; loving faces who have embraced me and even employed me as I grew up. For my post this holiday season I want to share with you one such Market family member, Claudia Kelly.

Claudia has been a part of the Market since 1981. She is a graduate of Evergreen State College and Seattle Central’s Apparel Design Program. Her area of expertise – fabric. She designs and makes unique scarves, wraps, jackets and bow ties. You can usually find her at the corner of the Desimone Bridge on the craftline. She is an especially important part of my life because I worked for her years ago.

Everyday that I worked I would go down to her locker and roll out her cart (neatly packed to the very top with lots of bungee cords.) Coffee in hand, I would head to roll call early enough to make sure and get that corner spot on the Bridge. Roll call can be an emotional time. If you don’t get the spot you are after, or you arrive late, your whole day is set on a different course than planned. To this day I dream of roll call and of working for Claudia. Once I got my spot I unleashed each bungee cord and carefully placed out the beautiful fabric creations. Everything on the cart had a place on the table. Once I was done it was completely covered with gorgeous scarves.

When you sell something wearable on the line you begin to play with psychic abilities (emphasis on the “chic” in this case) by matching scarves with customers and helping to decide on the perfect gift. I think that is what I enjoyed the most; using my own creativity to tell a story about each scarf. No one knows the fabrics better than Claudia. In looking for fabrics, she has traveled throughout the world. Her creations are truly original. 

Claudia’s scarves are the perfect holiday gifts. If you are looking for something extra beautiful, try the velvets and go for the large wraps. I have several hanging in my closet and I get compliments every time I wear them out. For the man in your life, try a bow tie – always classy. Claudia even creates themed bow ties, fishing anyone?


Handmade for the Holidays! For more information go to

~ written by Mercedes Carrabba, Market Ghost Tour


Handmade for the Holidays

Today, more than ever, where you spend your hard-earned dollars really counts. And many people are thoughtfully choosing to support small, independent and local businesses when they do their holiday shopping.

Of course, small, independent and local is exactly what we – the Pike Place Market crafts vendors – are.

This year Pike Place Market is all about ‘Handmade for the Holidays’. Buying from the crafts people ensures your loved ones will receive original and beautiful gifts, unlike anything you’ll find at the malls.

It also supports the ‘shop local’ principle, which benefits the community as a whole in many ways:

  • Creating jobs
  • Putting money into the local economy
  • Keeping the Market interesting and diverse
  • It’s eco-friendly

Buying local and handmade is a nationwide movement, including The Nature Conservancy’s Green Gift Monday campaign encouraging everyone to buy responsible, meaningful gifts on ‘cyber Monday’ this year.

Many Market crafts people have websites where you can buy on cyber Monday, November 28. Take a look at our Member Businesses page for links.

And in the weeks up to Christmas, why not turn off your computer and come to the Market to shop? Meeting the producers – the faces and hands behind your gifts – makes the holiday shopping experience so much more personal and special.

Free holiday parking at Pike Place Market

We promised you details of the parking offers at Pike Place Market this holiday season… and here it is!

Every day from December 1st to 15th you’ll can park for FREE for two hours in the Public Market Parking Garage (located at 1531 Western Avenue).

You’ll just have to spend at least $30 with Market vendors. Not a problem, we’re sure, when you’re buying Handmade for the Holidays from your Pike Place Producers friends!

If you want to make a day of it, early bird parking is just $8 if you’re in the garage by 9.30am.

All the details will soon be available at the Market website where you’ll also find information about the Magic in the Market event and merchant holiday specials.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

In the Market crafts community many of us are gearing up for the holiday season pretty much as soon as the last one wraps up.

The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year are always busy as we welcome throngs of holiday shoppers to our booths, which offer a wonderful array of unique gifts for all your loved ones.

This year, with so many people planning to support the ‘shop local’ movement for the holidays, we expect to be busier than ever.

Magic in the Market

At Pike Place Market, we’ll be kicking off the holiday shopping season on Saturday, November 26 with Magic in the Market. This annual event is a good time for all the family, so bundle up and join the fun.

Highlights include:

  • Santa will be under the Market Clock from 1 to 5pm, take your photos with Santa in front of the vintage farm truck.
  • Buy your gifts from Market artists then have them wrapped by the Market Foundation, for a suggested donation of $5.
  • The Dickens Carolers will be dressed in their Victorian attire and singing holiday songs all afternoon.
  • See the lighting of the tree and holiday lights at 5pm.

Parking deals

Hot off the presses: we hear there are plans in the works for some super parking deals during the holiday season. We’ll post the details here as soon as they are available.

For all the details about Magic in the Market and everything else Pike Place see the Pike Place Market website.