How the Market Brings People Together

Alyssa and her mom Karla

Every day we get the opportunity to set up and sell in the Pike Place Market. The market is such a unique place, where we get access to so many people coming and going. Some of our customers live in Seattle and others are just passing through.  People come to Seattle for  business, family, medical treatment and some just on a whim. One thing most have in common is that they have to come to the worlds famous Pike Place Market.

We have sold jewelry for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and we have met some amazing people over the years.  But I never thought that making and selling our jewelry could have overwhelming impact on anyone’s life but I was wrong.

What is in a ring? A pretty gem stone some shiny silver put together in a way we think is unique.  But one day a beautiful lady walked up to our table and picked up a ring and tried it on. We had a pleasant conversation and she walked off with her daughter.  A little while later her husband came back and bought the ring for his wife telling us that she never buys any jewelry for herself and fell in love with the ring. He had thanked us for being nice to his wife because she was in town for cancer treatment . She looked frail but had such a light about her as she went about browsing.

The next day we got an email from her husband thanking us again for the beautiful ring and our interaction with his wife and family. We were touched by the email and thankful that we could make someone happy.  A few months passed and we received another email early in the AM from her daughter, letting us know that her mother had passed away. Before she died she gave the ring to her daughter to wear as a memento.  She thanked us again for the ring and our conversation.  Every time I think about this family I cry and think about the profound impact a ring and a simple kind conversation can have on people.

We are fortunate to meet so many people with happy and sad stories. They all have an impact on our life as we have an impact on there’s.

We think about that day all the time and I had asked Alyssa if I could tell you this story. She told me that today is the one year anniversary of her mom Karla’s funeral and she would like me to share our story with you. This is a beautiful family and we are fortunate to call them friends now!

By Kristeena and Ron Sabando: Sabando Design

Hello visitors!

We welcome about 10 million visitors a year at Pike Place Market, many of them from other cities, states and countries. The Market is world famous and a must-see for anyone coming to Seattle.

Most people have heard about the fish-throwers, the original Starbucks, and the gum wall. But there’s so much more to experience.

So we were thrilled to read the Market’s write-up in the 2012 Washington State Visitors’ Guide, in which writer Rebekah Denn gives great pointers to other highlights – and shout-outs to several Pike Place Producers member businesses and supporters, including our friends the buskers.

WA 2012 visitors' guide front

Check out page 51 for mentions of Seattle Rainwater Soap, Croshay Design and Red Delicious Bags, plus the popular Market Ghost Tour. We hope this helps to bring lots of shoppers for the whole of the crafts daystalls and the rest of the Market in 2012.

WA 2012 Visitors' Guide pg 51

The guide is a great resource for locals and visitors alike. You can see the whole guide online here, or go to the Experience Washington website to order copies.

by Emma Roscoe, Red Delicious Bags

Dog Friendly Pike Place Market

At Pike Place Market all dogs are welcome to bring their well mannered owners to come and shop.

We are all busy with work, friends and family so it is nice to be able to spend some time with our four-legged friends. With a limited number of hours in the day and so many tasks at hand with shopping for groceries and that special gift needed, our best friends tend to spend more time alone at home than with us. So it is nice to be able to have a place where you can do it all with your best friend at your side.

Along with shopping for everything you need the Market has some special things just for your four-legged companions.

Adventure Days Dog Treats, by Melody Price,  is your source for locally made, all natural, hand crafted dog treats and rope toys. They are most delicious dog treats made with human grade ingredients so you know you are giving your dog the best!

As a vendor on the craft line it is always nice to see the happy dog faces as they stroll along the North Arcade So the next time you need to get a special hand crafted gift for yourself or a friend or want to pick up some fresh produce don’t forget to bring along your very best friend.

Check out some of our four-legged market friends:

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by Kristeena and Ron Sabando, Sabando Design

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.

Where are you from?

If you are shopping at my booth at the Pike Place Market and I ask, “Where are you from?” I am not just making small talk, I would really love to know!

I am not asking because I can hear that you have an accent, or speak very little English at all, I ask the same question of everyone who buys a handmade hat from me! The Market gets over six million visitors a year from all over the world, and I love to know where my creations travel after they pass from my hands to yours.

I grew up in the Puget Sound area, graduating high school on the Kitsap Peninsula. When I am setting up my booth in the morning on the Joe Desimone Bridge, I can look out the windows and see the ferry boats heading from Elliot Bay to Bainbridge Island. I had that entire island and mapped out by the time I was 10, I rode every rural route and explored every dirt road on my black Schwinn 3-speed bike. My mom would say “Go outside and play!” which meant hours of bushwhacking trails through bracken fern and nettles to find the perfect spot to build a fort, or turning over barnicle covered rocks at the beach and trying to capture the tiny crabs as they scrambled to escape from the sun. The whitecapped water was always too cold to swim for very long, though.

My childhood memories are infused with the natural beauty of this place, the evergreen forests, the cold rocky beaches and the bluest skies you’ve ever seen (it’s really true!). I’ve grown up and moved on and I live in the city now, I am raising my own child among the bricks and terra cotta of Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square. The lasting influence of my childhood world is still reflected in my work, though, and can be seen in my use of color and texture and in the natural, sustainable materials I source locally to create crocheted accessories with a distinctive Northwest design sensibility.

When I ask, “Where are you from?” and I nod approvingly at the thought of one of my wool berets being worn on a journey up the inside passage to Alaska, or heading out to the Boston College campus in the fall, I am hoping my customers feel they are taking something special with them when they leave, something different than the mass produced hats you can find at any department store – after all, every city in the country has a mall! At Pike Place Market can you find something truly unique, handmade with care. At the Market you can take home a designer original that you bought directly from the designer herself!

Croshay hats at Pike Place Market

My hats have gone home with visitors from Chicago, New York, DC, LA and San Francisco. They have travelled to London, Moscow, Tokyo, Melbourne and Rio! What I love to hear most, though, is that a hat is going home with a local, someone from Seattle or a smaller surrounding city, maybe Bremerton, Bellevue, Tacoma or Olympia.

Locals might not think of Pike Place Market first as a destination for art, handmade gifts or boutique fashion from local designers, they might only think of the Market as “the place where they throw the fish”. That is, until they find themselves here while showing visitors from out of town all the usual tourist spots. They look around the Joe Desimone Bridge in the North Arcade with its huge windows overlooking the Puget Sound, showcasing the work of hundreds of local artists and they realize, “Wow, I forgot how cool the Market is – we should come down more often!”

Laura Killoran,