SD Craft Monsters promote small, independent artists while giving back
By Cynthia Robertson | SDUN Reporter
On Thursday, June 20, a “monster of a crafts party” took place at Back from Tomboctou Gallery and Imports, located at 3564 Adams Ave. The event was a celebration of the fourth annual Global Party for Etsy, an online marketplace for crafters and artists. Back from Tomboctou hosted the local gathering of Etsy members, who are also SD Crafts Monsters.
“The Etsy Craft Party presents the perfect opportunity to flex your creative muscles,” said Marisol Apostol, founder of SD Craft Monsters and owner of Wink Artisans in North Park. Apostol spoke before June 20, and said she was heading up the Lost Earring Project at the event.
“The Monsters,” as SD Craft Monsters partners are called, began forming last December and include Christal Blu Creations, Gar-Mol Photography, My Lucky Dragon, Pina Art, Penny Sparkle Designs, Streetheart, Velapure and Vida Mia Boutique, as well as Back from Tomboctou and Apostol’s Wink Artisans.
The group consists of artists and artisans who create handcrafted items and teach fun Do It Yourself workshops while they hone their entrepreneurial skills. They said they work together for the power of peer-to-peer learning.
“[We] work with other creative people, community partners and leaders who are ready to make a cultural impact in communities they serve,” Apostol said. “The crafts party will celebrate two of the best things in our handmade lives: craft and community.”
For Maribel Siman-Delucca, co-owner with her husband of Back from Tomboctou, becoming a partner with Apostol in the crafts coalition provided the cohesion with other crafters that she needed.
“SD Craft Monsters believe in the power of unity,” Siman-Delucca said. “We want to work with other creative artists, community partners and leaders who are ready to make an impact in our culture and communities.”
Back to Tomboctou showcases hand-made traditional crafts and folklore items made by a selection of artisans that use traditional techniques from many regions of the world. It is a practice they are passionate about.
“We refuse to sell industrialized copies of traditional designs. Keeping artisan traditions alive is our mission,” Siman-Delucca said.
One way that San Diego Crafts Monsters helps keep alive the tradition of crafting is giving people a hands-on experience, and they also conducted a food drive to help gather donations for Feeding America San Diego, one of the region’s food banks. Participants were asked to donate canned foods and other nonperishables during the crafting event.
As artisans and entrepreneurs who support artisans internationally, SD Craft Monsters engage others in creating hand-made art, as well as supporting family and community efforts. They also help each other through utilizing social media and creating events like the June 20 party.
“We all believe that buying handmade is important. We believe that small businesses are a vital part of the economy which empowers artists who are creating articles with soul and love,” Siman-Delucca said. “And, maybe more importantly, we help each other as consultants.”
For those who missed the June 20 event, several SD Craft Monsters will be participating in the San Diego Indie Craft Market on Sunday, June 23 from 2 – 6 p.m. This event, which will include over 30 local artisans, will take place at Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center, 3925 Ohio St. in North Park.
For more information on the Monsters, visit sdcraftmonsters.com or call 619-282-8708.