Over 180 vendors, artists and musicians convened in downtown Santa Ana Wednesday afternoon for the biannual Patchwork Show, a modern handmade festival.
The Santa Ana Patchwork show takes place twice a year on Memorial Day and Thanksgiving Day weekends.
The free festival showcases local handmade artists, crafters, designers and musicians. The free event returned in the fall with shows in Long Beach and Oakland in November.
Attendees enjoyed an eclectic mix of goods, ranging from handmade wooden iPod cases to miniature felt acorns. The event also featured various Orange County food trucks and handmade Popsicle stands.
Event co-founders Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell created the festival in 2007 with the aim of connecting “makers,” people who craft unique items, directly with consumers and educating the public on the art of making and creating, according to the festival’s website.
Stevenson said over 7,000 people attended the event, which was held on 2nd Street and Sycamore Street and the surrounding downtown area this year.
Snell is a master food preserver and owner of The Road Less Traveled Store, an “eco-boutique” in Santa Ana. Her niece, Stevenson, is owner and designer of Random Nicole, a website dedicated to one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories.
The native Orange County women began Patchwork with 25 vendors in their first shows in Santa Ana’s museum district, according to the website. The events now attract thousands of people with over 100 vendors at each location.
Dayna Melton, is co-founder and owner of Foxboxes, a company that specializes in hand-made vintage inspired flasks. Foxboxes feature one-of-a-kind collaged flasks covered in old atlas maps and recycled antique magazine clippings from the 1930s-1960s.
Melton and co-founder Bethany Putnam began the company in Atlanta and have just begun to make a name for themselves in California. Melton attended the Patchwork festivals in Long Beach last year. She said the Santa Ana crowd is different from other locations.
“The vibe of the downtown area is a little bit different because it’s downtown instead of in a parking lot,” Melton said.
The Sweet Pea Jewelry booth featured handmade accessories made of cork.
Owner Kathy Wright said she worked at a leather company in North Hollywood for 15 years. A dedicated vegan, she wanted to create a product that was animal-friendly. The cork coin purses and wrist cuffs are her biggest sellers.
“You can get them wet and they’re super durable,” Wright said.
The Patchwork Show will return in the spring with events in Santa Ana, Long Beach, Phoenix and Oakland.