Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 6th, 2010 at 2:12 pm
I realize I'm slightly biased, but I think our sixth annual BikeCraft went extremely well. We had a steady flow of pleasant crowds all weekend, new vendors that raised eyebrows, lots of sales, and most importantly everyone seemed to have a great time (even if it they did so while wearing gloves, scarves, jackets and hats — it was cold!).
Before I get into some vendor and product highlights, I want to thank everyone that helped us make it possible:
- BikePortland sales and business manager Jonathan "JR" Reed (once again) did a stellar job putting it all together. (Seriously, I wasn't really much help at all.)
- The musicians/artists of Noiseum showed up impromptu and played their eerily awesome music.
- Pedal Bike Tours stepped up this year and became our first-ever sponsoring partner.
- Pedal Kettle kept things warm, fun, and smelling good with their kettle corn.
- SoupCycle shared free soup samples and signed up lots of "soupscribers".
- Whole Foods brought lots of nice munchies and activities for the little ones.
- Hopworks brought their beer bike and poured their excellent winter ale to a very appreciative crowd.
- In a pinch, SLICE Brick Oven Pizza from Vancouver rolled down and had hot slices on Sunday.
Since we all packed into a coffee shop in Northeast Portland on that icy night in December 2005, the focus has remained the same: This event is about showcasing people that make great things and connecting with people who want to buy it. I especially love to give new artisans a chance to introduce themselves to the community.
Here are some brief notes on just a few of the many memorable vendors and items from the show...
Sara Collins (find her on Etsy here) was a big bright spot this year. Her stained glass ornaments and other items sold briskly all weekend. In fact, she sold so much on Saturday, she rushed home that night to make more pieces for Sunday (and she sold many of those too!). My favorite things from Sara were her large chainrings with stained glass designs welded into them. Beautiful.
Another new vendor that got folks buzzing was Luke Mathers of Truce Designs (Facebook). Luke has spent the last year perfecting his bags and you can tell this guy knows what he's doing. Luke has sourced scraps of polyeurethane coated, recycled dry-suit fabric (used by sea divers), which he puts to expert use in his backpacks, tote bags, and waterproof shoe covers. Luke has a bright future and Truce is definitely a company to watch.
His backpack/pannier combo bags are super functional (full of pockets and straps) and he's got a great eye for combining colors (he also does custom orders). His prototype rear rack-top duffel bag got a lot of attention. It looks like a classic gym bag and it snaps easily and firmly to your rear rack via four buckles.
Another item that caught by eye was the Tricera Top Tube Pad by Domenika Radonich of Whip Stitch Wares. Domenika has created a top tube pad that doubles as an inner tube and patch kit holder. It's a great idea which she has executed well.
And then there's Debra Paterson of Fast Chicken Gear who came down from the hills above Scappoose (a small town north of Portland) to debut her Drumsticks Rain Chaps. She's put a lot of thinking into her chaps to make them easy to put on and take off and to make them durable and waterproof.
2010 was also the first year I relented on my stubbornness about making this a Portland-only affair; and I'm happy I did. Here's why...
Brooklyn-based artist Danielle Baskin shared her handpainted helmets. My favorite was a design based on M. C. Escher's famous fish-eye perspective drawing. Danielle flew all the way from New York City to be a part of BikeCraft.
One of her creations.
See others here.
I was also happy that Randi Jo Fabrications came up from Eugene to share all their wonderful items. They've got an impressive selection that includes everything from biking skirts to aprons, caps to tool rolls. Of particular note with their Multi-Use Tool (MUT) bag. A cylindrical, padded pouch with a roll-top closure, the MUT can be strapped under your seat as a tool bag, or it can be used as a beer cozy, or...
I could go on and on about all the fantastic things and people that I'll remember from BikeCraft 2010. Thanks to everyone that came out to enjoy it with us. We're already scheming about how to do it better next year so we hope you'll all stay in touch. Check out the full slideshow below...
And yes, in response to many reader requests, we will work on a vendor contact directory. Stay tuned for that, and in the mean time, check out the full vendor list for more info.