One of our favorite holiday traditions is the I Made It! for the Holidays market events between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. We love this nomadic indie craft marketplace! This year, they have two holiday events set up and the possibility of more. We always find something magnificent at these markets. I’m really glad that they are back at The Waterfront this year.
- I Made It! for the Holidays will take place over two days, December 1 and 2, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm both days. Shoppers looking for locally handmade gifts will find 100+ artists in the former Macy’s department store building, located at 162 East Bridge Street, Homestead, PA 15120.
- Last Minute Shopping will take place on December 15 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Shoppers looking for locally handmade gifts will find 90+ artists in The Block Northway’s South Atrium, located at 8013 McKnight Rd, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15237.
To celebrate how much we love these events, we asked a few of the vendors to complete a special edition of our Quick Q&A. We will publish them from now through the wrapping up of these holiday events (see what I did there?) Please note that I did not edit responses. Also note that this is not a formal promotional post even though I may receive products to review in the future. Just being transparent …
First up is 1 Fly Chicken Creations …
Your Name: Meghan Tutolo
Your Age: 33
Your Pronouns: She
Your Affiliation (with IMIM & Your Biz): I’ve been vending at I Made It Market events for almost a year now, as my business 1flychicken creations. I guess I’m sort of a newbie, but I’ve been attending them for years.
How do you describe your identity? That’s an interesting question. I often refer to myself as a “crazy cat lady,” but I call myself a lot of things: chicken, the moon, a monkey. I don’t know!
How do you describe your creative enterprise? I think I’m a gift giver, under it all. I was driven to explore this maker side of my artist self because I love to find and give the perfect gift! So many times I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I would search and search, and so… I started to make my own. I create what inspires me—what I love and what people I love love. Is that strange? My super eclectic collection is quirky, colorful and modern, including prints of my cityscape paintings, lino block carvings, mid-century inspired art, greeting cards, pins, magnets, vinyl stickers, you name it. Oh! And a lot of cat things, of course!
Tell us three fun/unique/quirky facts about your creation(s)? Not so quirky, but I kicked off my making/Etsy business with the Build Bridges Not Walls t-shirt. What started as a design creation for my friends and I (post-election), turned into something much bigger. When I started selling them, I decided to donate all profits to Planned Parenthood. I donated the first $12,300 to Planned Parenthood of Southwestern PA! So proud of my city! (Also interesting to note, at the time, my friend Sloan and her partner Jenny opened up their own print shop in St. Louis, Tiny Monster. To help with the cause, they gave me a great discount.
My two smooshy-faced rescue cats inspire me daily.
I used to work at AAA, where I become a little obsessed with maps. I would go home with boxes of “expired” maps, because they would just throw them away. Since I have learned to use them as a lot of things: wrapping paper, catching my messes in the studio, and even as a part of some of my paintings. You never know where they will show up!
Please tell us about the first LGBTQ person that you knew and what impact they had on your life. There was a girl named Elisa that I met in high school. She was a few grades above me, but involved in all the same things: choir, musicals, etc. Coming from such a small town, it was inspiring to know that someone could be so confident and loud about who she was… and still be popular and end up as the star of the musical! I know that sounds crazy, but my world was so small. And I mean, she introduced me to Tori Amos, you know? Isn’t that a queer kid rite of passage or something? Haha. I’ve never been the same!
Are there any queer/LGBTQ creators our readers should know about/follow/support either in Pittsburgh or beyond? Well, if you don’t know of Etna Print Circus, you really need to. They make some colorful shirts that are incredibly funny and powerful. Their most popular is “YINZ IS A GENDER NEUTRAL PRONOUN,” but my favorite is “Fat, gay and in the way!” Al and her partner Joyce are really amazing people too. You really should check them out.
Please share one bit of advice you would offer to customers attending an IMIM event. Bring your wallet and be prepared to fall in love. I always found the events so inspiring, even before I sold my own work. Oh, and don’t be afraid to talk to artists! It’s a great time to connect and meet the local folks behind the art.
Where can readers find you on social media/online?
(my Instagram… that also includes my life and my cats, sorry!)
(my Etsy shop!)
(my FB business page)
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you, your creations, IMIM, or anything at all? Hm… well, I’m not sure if this is something you’d include, but this is for all of us. Like many of the makers and artists I know, we have one or two day jobs. For instance, I’m a copywriter and an adjunct instructor. It’s funny, but getting into this vending thing, I’ve come across the strange stereotype that artists are sort of bums. To be honest, the people I know from the IMIM community are some of the hardest working people I know. Some have gotten to the place where they can make their passion be their main source of income, but either way, I have such a profound respect for this community. Their hard work truly is inspiring. <3
Thank you, Megan.
Gifts available at both events are all handmade by local artists, including 2-D art, clothing and toys for infants and children, bath and body products, ceramics, fiber art, glass art, homewares, jewelry, leather goods, pop culture and fandom gifts, pet treats, and wooden wares. Ready to eat and packaged food and beverages will also be available.
These family-friendly events are free and open to the public. Children’s activities will be available for little ones to create holiday gifts of their own.
Check out the I Made It! Market Facebook page to stay connected and learn more.