Artisphere’s grumpy take on holiday shopping

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Holiday shoppers who want something one-of-a-kind, local, and don’t feel like schlepping to a dozen boutiques can cheer up.

Grump is coming.

“It’s a holiday show — ironically to make you feel not grumpy — and it features about 40 local artists and crafters,” says Grump co-organizer Beth Baldwin.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Artisphere in Arlington, shoppers can find locally produced items including jewelry and bags, t-shirts, stuffed animals, greeting cards, even baked goods.

Many of the artists sell their works online on independent sites including Etsy.

“You’ve probably seen our stuff before, but this is going to be your one chance for the holidays to find it all in one room,” says Baldwin.

Gift-buyers who purchase locally get extra value added, Baldwin says.

“When you go to the mall and buy a scarf for your aunt, you’re not going to be able to tell her who made the scarf. But you will be able to tell her you met the artist behind the scarf, if you bought that scarf at Grump.”

The benefits of buying locally isn’t limited to art or gifts.

“What you’re buying to eat, or buying to wear, or buying to decorate your home with, I think you tend to take more pride of ownership with those pieces, because it’s not just some disposable piece that you bought at Target,” Baldwin says.

Baldwin says a person who buys a handmade craft from a local artist often is a repeat customer.

“If your other friends saw what you gave that one friend, you’ll probably return to that artist because all those other friends are going to want it as well,” said Baldwin.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)