Three more days!

It’s 4am on December 22nd and the day begins for us at Sabando Design. We are a true mom and pop operation. My wife Kristeena and I design, fabricate and sell the jewelry we’ve been offering at the market for the past six years.

We generally follow a Monday through Friday schedule at the Market, but sell every day from Black Friday to Christmas Eve. I will give you a little insight on what it takes for us to keep a full selection of products at our booth on a continuous basis.

Our early rise enables us both to fabricate rings, pendants, bracelets and earrings in silver and gemstones daily before heading into the Market. Many of the products you find in the Market require a multiple-day process before they are able to be sold.

We are set up to make things from conception to finish in a continuous sequence. Many jewelers use various tumblers to get a finish on their shiny creations. We are set up to tumble chains in crushed walnut shell tumblers for a bright finish, but we usually use a sequence of motor buffers and compounds to get that alluring shine.

Throughout the year we purchase finished faceted stones and gemstone roughs for our designs. In the final weeks before Christmas we have no time to actually cut and polish the various cabochon gemstones used in our designs, so this generally happens when the weather is warmer, because grinding stones involves lots of water on diamond impregnated wheels and belts, and our hands get cold from the constant spraying while polishing. We try to ensure that we have enough raw materials to get us through the holiday season.

Throughout the year we offer custom design work for our customers and friends. This is great for people who plan a more personalized gift for their loved ones. We often set stones with sentimental meanings or etch specific designs into metal for our customers. Every year we stop taking custom orders by the 15th of December so we can just focus on balancing our product mix for the remaining days.

These final days before Christmas simply revolve around the two of us fabricating and selling. Our morning ritual is to caffeinate first, and crank the heater and tunes in our downstairs studio. We each make our own individual pieces, but agree on what we need to give a balanced color and size display at the Market. By 6:30am we usually try to have our polishing complete so we have enough time to shower and walk our dogs before we head downtown.

Around 8:20am we arrive in the Market and pull our cart from its locker location. At 9am the bell rings for roll call. We choose our selling locations by seniority.  Every vendor is assigned a number when they are accepted in the Market. We are number 153 out of a total of around 260. Once we have have picked our spot we need about an hour until we are properly displayed and ready to sell.

By 10 :15am you should find Kristeena and I ready to assist you. “Three more days!” is our mantra today. We hope to welcome you down to the Market among our friends and fellow crafters and artists.

by Ron Sabando, Sabando Design

Where are my elves?

At this time of year, the Pike Place Producers are thinking “lucky Santa” and wishing we had our own elves. Just like the famous North Pole workshop, our studios are a hive of activity as we busy ourselves making lovely gifts for under the tree.

But rather than magic and reindeer, it’s plain old elbow grease and people power that’s bringing our gifts to you. So I thought it would be fun to draw back the curtain and give you a peek behind the scenes at Red Delicious Handbags HQ.

A lot has happened before you see my products carefully arranged at my Pike Place Market booth, like this.

Red Delicious booth display

Here’s the Wall o’ Fabric! Not just mine, but also that of my studio partner Lynn Rosskamp of Pingihats. This is maybe half of the fabric stashed around our work space.

The Wall o' Fabric

I make all my own pattern pieces and then have to cut all the fabric before even starting to make a bag. Here are some Long & Lean bags in progress:

Bags in progress

It’s impossible to do everything myself (if I want to sleep and read a book occasionally, that is!). And in the Market rules we are allowed one production assistant. This is Lovely Assistant Nikki doing some cutting. She also assists PingiHats production.

Lovely Assistant Nikki

And finally, I sew up the pieces to make the bags you know and love! The studio has big windows which let in lots of light, and I can see all the great neighborhood dogs being walked by.

Emma at the sewing machine

I hope you receive lots of lovely hand-crafted gifts this year, and wish you all very Happy Holidays, with grateful thanks for your interest in, and support of, my business and all the Pike Place Producers.

by Emma Roscoe, Red Delicious Bags

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.