Modesto’s Small Business Saturday: Happy independents’ day!

The Mod Shop: Indie Crafters Market debuted last year, and some of its sale items are shown above. The event succeeds the Hand Born Modern Craft Bazaar.
The Mod Shop: Indie Crafters Market debuted last year, and some of its sale items are shown above. The event succeeds the Hand Born Modern Craft Bazaar. Kate Trompetter

Local crafters invite you to go Mod in Modesto as you do your holiday shopping this year.

The Mod Shop: Indie Crafters Market features all local artists and crafters who will show off and sell their wares on Nov. 29 – part of the Small Business Saturday movement that encourages people to shop at independent retailers the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Mod Shop is a rebirth of sorts of the popular Hand Born Modern Craft Bazaar. Hand Born vendors sold an assortment of one-of-a-kind items from clothing to accessories and artwork from area artists. When its founders both moved out of the region, a collection of artists and crafters picked up the torch to present the new Indie Crafters Market, which debuted in 2013.

Most of the organizers have been involved in Hand Born in the past and decided to turn the new event into a similar annual tradition to show off area artisans and their wares. The event also will include food vendors and live local music.

“In 2004, Julie Edwards and Tawny Holt started Hand Born, which became an annual shopping event showcasing independent designers, artisans and alternative crafters,” one of the Mod Shop organizers, Kate Trompetter, said in an email interview. “Each year, on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, this event allowed creative people to sell their wares and promote their small businesses in a great atmosphere. When Julie and Tawny moved out of the area, a group of us felt strongly that the spirit of Hand Born should not go away. So, a group of eight of us took it on and, with Julie and Tawny’s blessing, created Mod Shop.”

To create a “hip, inclusive and entertaining atmosphere” and attract a variety of people, Trompetter said organizers included elements such as music and poetry. The event also has partnered with several downtown businesses to house its local, handcrafting vendors.

Music will include Crush Congregation inside Deva Cafe; Cottonwood Creek, Francesca Bavaro, LoveCore Singing Telegrams and Joe Barretta will play at the corner of 11th and J streets. More music will be provided by several local musicians busking the streets, Trompetter said.

New this year will be Teen Mod Shop, located inside the Mistlin Gallery, which opens the event to young crafters “with an entrepreneurship spirit,” Trompetter said. “... we realized this was a young community that should be part of what we’re doing.”

Also new will be a community art component. “We have a Community Mural Project hosted by the Visual Arts Club at (Modesto Junior College) and sponsored by Angi Cicarelli in memory of her daughter,” Trompetter said. “There will also be chalkboard art throughout the event. (We are) very excited about this.”

About 60 vendors will be sprinkled through businesses on J street between 10th and 13th streets, including Peer Recovery Art Project and its extension into the former Camera Center, Deva, Concetta, Mira’s Bridal, Modesto Chamber of Commerce, Preservation Coffee and Tea and the Mistlin Gallery.

Anything from sewn and knitted items, handmade furniture, cosmetics, jewelry, art and more will be sold, with items for girls and boys, men, women and babies.

Having the event on Small Business Saturday is part of the Mod Shop theme, Trompetter said.

“We are embracing that day and encouraging people to support local business,” she said. “It’s not just about our vendors. We want people to come downtown. Support all the businesses, the restaurants, the shops. That’s our vision. Everything should be open. Like many places, downtown should come alive on Small Business Saturday.”


WHEN: 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 29

WHERE: J Street between 10th and 13th streets