A look inside the magic of Concord Handmade
Are you one of the devotees of Concord Handmade, the annual seasonal pop-up shop that carries handmade gifts and goodies?! I know I am. Every year I look forward to going through the new crop of amazing and well selected goods brought to us by local entrepreneur and owner Alison Murphy.
Concord Handmade first made an appearance in 2011, when they took over a vacant space on Main Street during the months of November and December. It’s been an annual addition to our local holiday shopping ever since and is such a great idea. People look forward to it every year!
If you’re not familiar, here’s a bit about them from their website, www.concordhandmade.com: “Concord Handmade is a pop-up shop located in downtown Concord, NH. We premiered in Concord during the holiday season of 2011. The shop features juried handmade goods from artist all over the country, but with a strong focus on New England-based artists. The shop is at a different location every year in the heart of downtown Concord. It is operated by Alison Murphy, the artist behind Sunshine Derby and drawnonward designs. Having been an independent jewelry and clothing maker since 2005, Alison chose to open a store that supports the community of which she is a part.”
Suddenly wondering how you could have missed something like this? It’s ok, because you can still find Concord Handmade all year long! Did you know they also have a mobile pop-up shop?! They do! Since 2014 Concord Handmade has been taking their show on the road all over the state for arts and crafts fairs and special events! All contained within one super cute 1974 Coachman Cadet camper.I even hosted Concord Handmade in front of my shop (Lilise Designer Resale) once, and I know Bonafide Green Goods has done the same in the past! Such an innovative way to shop local, don’t you think?
While the pop-up shop is closed for the season, never fear! I wrote this post so folks who might be new fans would know that you can find the Concord Handmade mobile shop at the Concord Arts Market and Market Days downtown for certain, but you should stay plugged into their social media @concordhandmade for more details and info on where to find them in Concord and beyond!
I asked Alison to answer a few questions for me, read on:
- One of the best parts of your annual pop-up shop is the new location every year! What goes into the decision making when you choose your spot each year?
A lot is what’s open :) It’s a good problem for Concord (but not me) that there’s not a lot to choose from lately. I also need a landlord who is open to a short-term lease. This year, I knew I wanted to have classes at the shop, so I needed a space large enough to accommodate them.
- If I forced you to pick a favorite location from all the years... what would it be?
It’s hard because every spot is so different, and they have very unique pros and cons. One of my favorites was the old Gibson’s space (now it’s Vibes). The location was great, and it was the first year that we felt like we really knew what we were doing and how we wanted the store to function.
- Current tenant aside, what is your dream location for next year?
That’s tough because this year’s store is the best - the location is great, the size is great, having classes has been so fun for us and our customers, and being next to a coffee shop is a huge plus :) Next year I want the shop to be able to have classes again, and be somewhere that’s easy for our regulars to find us. The farthest North we have ever been is 2 North Main, so it might be fun to be up that way and see what that side of Main Street is like.
Elyssa Alfieri is a freelance stylist, social media maven, vintage lover, and all-around Concord super fan. You can usually find her at her consignment shop, Lilise Designer Resale (or LDR), on Storrs St downtown. She also really wants you to know LDR is dog-friendly.