DIY Seeking Artists and Musicians

DIY Seeking Artists and Musicians

(Crystal A. Proxmire, 7/1/2011)

Planning is under way for one of the most popular grassroots events in Ferndale, the DIY Street Fair.  The “DIY” stands for Do-It-Yourself, and the event brings together local artists, crafters, musicians, craft brewers and restauranteers for two days and three nights of fun Sept 16, 17, and 18, 2011.

The event is a collaborative effort by many volunteers, although the primary organizer is Chris Johnston, owner of the Woodward Avenue Brewers, The Emory and The Loving Touch. This is the fourth year for the event, and it appears it will be bigger and better than ever!

“We have room this year for approximately 135 vendors, up from 124 last year,” said Emory manager and event organizer Emily Husband. “We already have over 60 applications!”

Booths at the event feature the arts, crafts, and homemade products of local creative types.  In the past there have been jewelry designers, sculptors, painters, photographers, clothing designers, and creators of unique gifts and furnishing.  There have also been unusual inventions, including the Twinkie cannon.

Husband recalled some favorites from the past.  “Carey Gustafson, the gal behind Glass Action helped create the fair four years ago and always has an awesome selection of jewelry and super cool night lights!  Metro Devious offers amazing photos of Detroit. Four Chamber Forge has the most amazing wooden jewelry, much of which is created from fallen trees in the area, including his own backyard in Ferndale. Clay Lab Detroit makes really bright, eye-catching pottery, and of course Detroit GT will be on site selling t-shirts out of Leo the truck.

‘There are so many more vendors worth mentioning, I could go on forever. Muse Factory 6, Flossa, C. L. Schneider Jewelry, and Betulla, are all vendors I purchased items from in the past.  Two vendors in particular I know of were scouted at the DIY Street Fair by the DIA [Detroit Institute of Arts] gift shop and now sell there:  Village Weaver and Modern Made.”

Husband’s task is to organize the applications and make the tough decisions about which artists make the cut.  “Qualities that make an awesome DIY vendor are unique-ness and originality!  We want to showcase the independent spirit of entrepreneurs such as Detroit Comics or Lift Toys, two stores in the area that both sell non-handmade items yet are totally “doin’ it themselves,” Husband said. “Local artists do get preference, but I like to think of local as a pretty wide area.  The real key is product being proposed.  If there are two vendors that apply with a similar style of handmade jewelry, I will invite the local resident over the out-of-towner.  But if someone from Iowa wants to drive all this way and has an amazing product, I don’t know why they wouldn’t get accepted.  We did have a vendor from Chicago two years ago and a vendor from Traverse City last year that has applied again.  I think it is pretty cool that the fair is starting to reach wide enough to attract people from outside of the area!  Also, an ever-changing variety of goods for the public to check out each year can only make the fair better!  I really hope to have a major selection of goods that people can’t find anywhere else!”

The booth fee for vendors is $300 for those who apply before Aug. 15.  Then the price goes up to $350.  There is a $20 application fee that is deducted from the cost upon acceptance.  To apply go to their website at

Musicians and bands that would like to be considered can contact Chris Johnson at

Check out last The Ferndale 115 News coverage of last year’s event:

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