I remember going to Pop Cycle for the first time. It was in middle school, with my best friend Michaela.
I was amazed by the handmade items, the funky license plates hanging throughout the store, cut into pieces to spell out different words and Tucson sayings.
Into adulthood, she was the same person who introduced me to Creative Kind, a shop in La Encantada. It was where I bought my first pair of earrings crafted by a local maker.
Now, if you ask me what my favorite thing to do in Tucson is, I'll answer with no hesitation. It's the artisan markets. I love walking through aisles of handcrafted items, seeing the incredible talent and hard work put into a watercolor print of a saguaro or a colorful bar of soap that smells like the desert. I love Tucson's makers almost as much as I love Tucson.
Creating a market of our own, for #ThisIsTucson, was never the goal. I didn't spend hours wandering markets with the intent of creating one. But driving home from these markets, I always felt inspired. And now that we are hosting an artisan market of our own, it's a dream I never realized I had.
This market means so much to me, and to the rest of our Tucson-loving team. I hope you enjoy it as much as I know I will.
Here are the details.
Our mission is to foster a community that knows and loves Tucson. Our goal with this market is to show our love for Tucson's talented artists, and encourage the community to shop local. Elvia Verdugo, our features reporter, pitched the name Tucson Together — a name that embodies what we try to do everyday at #ThisIsTucson.
The Tucson Together artisan market, sponsored by Hotel McCoy and Dirty T Tamarindo, will take place outdoors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18. It's downtown, at 55 N. Fifth Ave., in the lot across from Hotel Congress. Street parking is free on weekends and the closest garages are Centro Garage, located at Congress Street and Toole Avenue, and Pennington Street Garage, located at Pennington Street and Scott Avenue. You can also park farther and ride the streetcar downtown, which is currently free to ride.
We plan to have 70 vendors selling handcrafted items including earrings shaped as saguaros, tasty banana pineapple bread, desert-scented candles, wood items for your home, compact mirrors featuring photos of your celebrity crush, plants grown right here in the Old Pueblo, recycled bicycle art from nonprofit BICAS, and more. Find the vendor list below!
If you get to the market early enough, you might even find a free book. Tucson Tome Gnome, a group of book-loving friends who hide free books around town, will hide 10 free books around the market space. The books, “Ain’t That a Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between” and “Black Love Matters: Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen and Happily Ever Afters,” are written or edited by local authors Adiba Nelson and Jessica P. Pryde, respectively.
This market will also act as a donation drive for local nonprofit Youth On Their Own, which supports high school graduation and the success of Tucson's youth who are experiencing homelessness. Donations will go toward their Mini Mall, in which students can "shop" for free. They are in need of cereal, tissue, ramen and menstrual products. You can find the full list of items here.
Who are the vendors?
- 3QuarterMoon Creative — ocean sculptures and original art, sci-fi prints and fantasy art
- Aall Forms of Life — scientific illustrations of Sonoran Desert fauna and flora
- Adela Artisan — leather purses
- Angela Hitt Designs — custom jewelry and art workshops for all ages
- Ārya Tārā — scented candles and candle gift sets
- AZ Baking Company — premium mesquite chocolate chip cookie mixes for anybody who wants a deliciously different, easy-to-finish baking mix that comes together in minutes
- Bolita Bakery — traditional panadería staples like cochitos and conchas, plus scones, blondies and cookies with Mexican flavors
- Ben's Bells — local nonprofit with kindness-themed ceramic wind chimes made in community art studios
- BICAS — nonprofit with recycled bike art
- Bloom Where You Are Planted — embroidered desert scenes on vintage postcards
- Catherine Eyde — find tea towels, greeting cards, journals, tote bags, enamel cups, pins and a selection of original art on paper
- Chez Peachy — colorful and delectable bento cakes
- CICADA — desert-inspired candles and other goods
- Coy Creative — polymer clay earrings, some made with acrylic, gemstones and beads, inspired by the desert, vintage styles and "I never say no to a little glitter"
- Crafts by Dani Nicole — hair bows, hair accessories, keychains, wristlet lanyards, customized sunglasses, purses, hair bow holders
- Crafty Carmencita — fiber crafts, mostly crochet, but also macrame sewing, and more
- Creative Kind — connection through creativity, Arizona's local and thoughtful gift shop
- Crystal Moon Creative — painted mushrooms, wood slice magnets, original art stickers, wood slice paintings, and curated ethical crystals and crystal products
- Cuteish Club — fan art, tote bags, stickers, custom compact mirrors, keychains, pop sockets, plushies
- Desert Dots Art Studio — hand-painted dot mandala art on flower pots, mugs, wine glasses, magnets and assorted home decor
- Desert Dreams XO — glass tumblers with designs, coasters, keychains and hats
- Di Luna Candles — 100% soy wax candles decorated with flower and dried fruit toppings
- Dirty T Tamarindo — chamoy-coated candies and other goodies
- Ducky's Pineapple Banana Bread — air-fried pineapple banana bread
- Earth Based Body — natural skincare powered by Sonoran Desert ingredients
- Earthsbones — handcrafted jewelry pieces made with wire-wrapped designs and gemstones
- Feliz & Funky Designs — hand-painted terracotta plant pots
- Fork Tailed Media — biologists, nature lovers and photographers selling their favorite prints
- The Glass Desert — modern stained glass inspired by the Sonoran Desert
- Handcrafted by Care — hand-painted upcycled fashion (using secondhand purses, wallets, hats, clothes) and home goods
- Happily Becoming — Pottery, functional pieces, inspirational art
- Harper & Honey — customized permanent jewelry
- Haul Leather — handmade leather bags and accessories
- Heidi Grande — botanical resin jewelry
- Herbs & Love Co. — loose-leaf herbal tea blends
- Hola Chingona — mugs, glass can cups, cutting boards/engraved items, jewelry, with the theme of Chicano, pop, desert culture and lots of American and Mexican humor
- Jameela Hill — acrylic and mixed media art on stretched canvas, cardboard or wood
- Jazmyn Roze Art — stickers, prints, sculptures and original paintings of overly exaggerated faces and bodies, sometimes on things that don’t have faces
- Jesse J. Media — prints, cards, magnets and stickers of photography of the desert Southwest
- Jos Par — digital art largely focused on Tucson and desert themes put onto shirts, hats, stickers and prints
- Juvelarto Designs — jewelry designs that reflect the maker's love for metal and appreciation for the desert
- Katherine Joyce Illustration — illustrations printed on fine art paper, plus stickers, patches and other items, many of which feature animals from the Sonoran Desert
- La Luna Coyote — concrete home decor
- La Vida. Taprut. — handcrafted functional wood pieces for your home
- Light of Mine Candle Supply — artisanal, luxury candles sourced from
sustainable and organic coconut wax
- Luna and Saya — handmade earrings, necklaces and hair accessories
- Luna Scrubs — CBD skin, body and pet products
- MagJo Designs — jewelry with whimsical designs
- Marie Welding — photography of the Southwest
- Melrose Macramé & Art — macramé wall hangings, plant hangers, accessories using recycled cotton, saguaro ribs, cholla wood and other materials found in Tucson
- Mi Casita Press — zines, prints, screen-printed apparel, totes and stickers
- The Neon Door — permanent jewelry, tooth gems, sweatshirts and merch
- Nomad Chainmaille — handmade chainmaille jewelry
- Old Pueblo Offerings — metalsmith jeweler with silver, brass and copper jewelry
- Paus Pan Dulce — art you can eat, specializing in custom cakes and ethnic pastries such as Mexican pan dulce, puff pastries and cake jars
- Pima County Justice For All — Justice For All is an initiative for the 2024 November ballot that gives Pima County residents who are facing deportation access to a public defender
- Plantney — the hottest, most exotic, illustrious and magical houseplants, pottery, art with an emphasis in all things pop culture
- Pure Poetry Cosmetics — whimsical vegan bath and body products
- Roby Riker — graphic designer specializing in fabric design
- Smells Like Dessert Candles — dessert-scented candles, wax melts, room sprays and hand soaps
- Sonoran Rain Soaps & Skincare — handmade cold process soaps
- Spring + Vine — natural soap and handmade pottery
- Superior Water Treatment — helping local families get great-tasting, healthy, soft water
- #ThisIsTucson — us!! We'll have adorable stickers, tote bags, dog bandanas and some fun prizes
- Tipsy Picassos — acrylic painting, resin art, resin jewelry, painting on hats
- Tucson Zine Fest — an annually organized event to bring together and showcase the local zine and small press community. They will feature self-published zines, comics and books
- Turtle's Soup — fun vinyl stickers and greeting cards
- United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona — United Way of Tucson is a nonprofit that responds to the community’s needs, transforms lives and brings long-lasting systemic change to our community by focusing on the underlying issues
- Why and Wiser — artful games and gifts for clever kiddos and their grownups
- Within Skin — natural skincare products that highlight the power of plants and herbs
- Yōlia Botánica — wrapped herbs and flowers for smoke cleansing, creosote bath salts and oils, crystal crafts like mini mushroom gardens, and much more
- Youth On Their Own — donation drive for their Mini Mall
Thanks for being part of #ThisIsTucson. Hope to see you at the market! 💕