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Items donated by Pike Place Market craftspeople for the Camp Ten Trees auction

Today I’m headed over to Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to make a very important delivery. No, it’s not 100 lip smoothies for wedding favors or 50 bars of soap for film festival swag bags (though I have made both of those deliveries); it’s two Pike Place Market tote bags overflowing with items donated by market craftspeople for the Camp Ten Trees annual auction.

Camp Ten Trees is a nonprofit organization offering summer camp sessions in the Pacific Northwest, featuring a week for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) youth, and a week for children and youth of LGBTQ and/or non-traditional families.

I came to learn about Camp Ten Trees through a customer of mine who is involved with the organization. A few years back he asked if I would donate something to their auction, which I happily did. I mentioned it to Lynn Rosskamp of Pingi Hats this year and she offered to contribute a hat. Then word started to spread. I asked my market friends on Facebook if anyone would be interested in making a contribution. Last weekend items poured in. I received handcrafted purses, pottery, artwork, jewelry, a beautiful wooden cutting board, clocks, a nightlight, piggy banks, and a private tour of the market. When vendors heard I was collecting items for this auction they took product off of their market tables to give.

As a community, the producers at Pike Place contribute to the lives of others in many ways. We support our own in times of change, whether it’s a joyous occasion like a birth or a wedding, or a difficult time of loss. We give to each other’s children’s school fundraisers. We have taken up collections for craftspeople and farmers who have lost their ability to work due to illness, fire, or flood. We support the Pike Place Market Foundation in their many efforts to better the lives of people in the larger market community. We reached out to the victims of an unfortunate accident that occurred in the market at Christmastime a couple of years back. We have taken part in KIRO 7’s Toys for Tots Mobile Tweetup.

It’s like ripples in a pond; each one of us is only one small business, but we believe that each gesture we make, no matter how small, can help make the world a better place, one handcrafted item at a time.

Posted by Becky Boutch, Seattle Rainwater Soap Co.
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From Our Hands to Our Community

In the deep midwinter

January at Pike Place Market. The lights and crowds of Christmas are gone. The rain or snow is falling. It’s midwinter and the Pike Place Producers have been taking some downtime.

After the crazy holiday season weeks of long hours at our booths and in our studios, many artists and crafters take a very welcome break. It’s time to recharge and regroup.

Some go on vacation, many enjoy a staycation. We make up for time not spent with family, friends and pets. We revive our social lives, check out the Oscar-contending movies and finally get to that pile of books that’s been untouched since October.

After a bit of a break, we go back to our studios and work benches with enthusiasm: it’s the ideal time to work out fresh designs and get to grips with new techniques and skills, ready to debut our new products as the crowds begin to return in Spring.

It’s catch-up time. We update our websites and rejig our business cards, file some paperwork, update the books, start on taxes.

We took a break from the Pike Place Producers blog too. The time off was welcome, but now it’s February and we’re back.

by Emma Roscoe, Red Delicious Bags