Waterline Assistant Manager Summer Alvarado with a succulent arrangement at Shops@Waterline, in the Funk Zone
Holiday Shopping: Santa Barbara Gift Markets Have Arrived
So Many Pop-Ups, So Little Time
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
It’s been a long-running win-win in Santa Barbara: Not only is this town well-populated with truly talented and productive artisans, but it’s equally stocked with people who deliberately shop for locally made arts and crafts. While the symbiosis runs year-round, intensity peaks during the holidays, with working hands creating more inventory as discerning shoppers seek out gifts with regional flare. Looking for something special? Look local. For starters, the Indy staff has compiled this quick guide.
By Paul Wellman
This is the 12th season A Crimson Holiday (acrimsonholiday.com) has hosted its artisanal market on upper State Street, this year setting up shop at La Cumbre Plaza across from the Chico’s store. It opened early November and runs through the end of January, providing three solid months of a homey shopping experience for wares made by 42 local makers. There’s jewelry, wearable art, children’s gifts, pet items, personal beauty products, fabric arts, fine art, sea glass crafts, cards, and more. Santa Barbara-area authors are selling their books, too. It’s a free, fun, and easy thing, especially when the busy holiday season can feel just the opposite.
By Courtesy Photo
Last season’s inaugural Arlington Plaza Christmas Market
While the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show runs every Sunday all year, 10 a.m. to dusk, the Christmas season features an added day for pre-Christmas shopping. This year, that extra day is Saturday, December 22. For 53 years, the waterfront art show, which stretches along Chase Palm Park between Stearns Wharf and Calle César Chavéz, has been a go-to for local and visiting gift shoppers and art collectors drawn to one-of-a-kind wares. Every one of the show’s 150 vendors lives in Santa Barbara County and handcrafts each item. As required by the city, they also have to sell their goods in-person, giving the entire beachside stroll the personable feel of a farmers’ market. For steady updates, visit facebook.com/sbartsandcrafts.
By Paul Wellman
Yes, the Waterline has food, beer, and wine. And yes, it’s one of the hipper Funk Zone haunts, perfect for an afternoon hangout or some nighttime carousing. But it’s also an artisan collective of individual studios called Shops@Waterline (formerly The Guilded Table). Above all, it showcases the local craftsmanship that used to abound in that part of town. On hand are clothes by ADKTD Lifestyle, jewelry by Dancing Flame Glass, essential oils from The Grapeseed Company, artwork by Peter Horjus, and a lot more. The vendors are permanent fixtures, but pop-ups are hosted there too, along with workshops that recently taught metalwork and succulent arranging. For more information, visit waterlinesb.com.
Since 2015, the annual Homespun Craft Fair has been hosted in a greenhouse at Dos Pueblos Ranch. The events have gone so well ― almost too well, with lots of cars making their way across the bucolic property ― that organizers are moving it to Casa de la Guerra this year. On December 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., five dozen vendors will set up shop in the historic downtown space. While many are based here, some are coming from as far away as Texas. Ojai will be well-represented. No matter their home base, they’ll be selling only handmade and vintage items, including hats, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, art, and so on. Ojai band The Chillz will play live, and nearby El Paseo wine tasting rooms will offer discounts to shoppers.