Shopping local goods at Baltimore’s Holiday Heap

Holiday Heap, seen here in 2015, features more than 50 local vendors selling hand-made arts and crafts, apparel, ceramics, fine art, home goods, jewelry and stationary. This year's event will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2640 St. Paul Street in Baltimore. | Photo courtesy of Emma Weiss Photography

BALTIMORE, Md. — For those looking for a unique-to-Maryland or can’t-find-it-anywhere-else gift for that special someone this holiday season, one of Baltimore’s largest winter craft festivals, known as Holiday Heap, is a must-see and a must-shop.

Organized by the city’s own Charm City Craft Mafia, a small group independently-owned craft business owners dedicated to encouraging and promoting handmade craft in Baltimore, Heap is now in its 10th year. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 10 at Saint John’s Church in Baltimore’s Charles Village neighborhood.

Shoppers browse jewelry made by local crafts-maker at the 2015 Holiday Heap held at Saint John's Church in Baltimore's Charles Village neighborhood.
Shoppers browse jewelry made by local crafts-maker at the 2015 Holiday Heap held at Saint John’s Church in Baltimore’s Charles Village neighborhood. | Photo courtesy of Emma Weiss Photography

More than 50 vendors from across the region will offer the area’s finest hand-made arts and crafts; apparel, ceramics, fine art, home goods, jewelry and stationary.

The type of vendors set to attend Heap are varied and include: Mafia member The Broken Plate, who upcycles broken china into jewelry and art; local hot sauce connoisseur Huckle’s Sauce; doll and puppet maker Cotton Monster; seller of City Paper’s voted best chocolate in the city, Pure Chocolate by Jinji; and stationary by Gingerly Press. For those looking to browse the vendors and make a shopping list in advance, a full list can be found at http://www.charmcitycraftmafia.com/holiday-heap.

A testament to Holiday Heap’s popularity, its ticketed Early Bird pre-entry for the first 150 guests is already sold out. Offered each year, Early Birds receive coffee and snacks from a local café and a swag bag with goodies and discounts from local businesses.

Entrance for Holiday Heap shoppers is free 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids are welcome, and a few vendors even sell merchandise geared specifically toward kids. However, the Mafia’s website reminds shoppers that the space inside the church is tight and strollers may be difficult to navigate with the crowd of other shoppers.

Holiday Heap is located at 2640 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD. Free street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhood, as well as metered parking.

Last Stop Hops & Shop

Those who can’t make it to the Heap have another opportunity to see a host of the area’s best local goods. Also hosted by Charm City Craft Mafia, in partnership with the Peabody Heights Brewery, Last Stop Hops & Shop on Thursday, Dec. 15 will offer more than 20 local vendors and regional artists in the brewery’s tasting room. Last Stop will be held at the Peabody Heights Brewery, 401 E. 30th St. Baltimore, MD 21218.

Story by Amanda Rominiecki, APG News