It was a gorgeous day at the Fremont Sunday Market, and Seattle natives were out in full force. I was there on my first mission: to seek out new creatives, new frontiers of crafting, and new life being breathed into the age-old tradition of making things by hand to inspire and encourage community. In a world of digital data and online sales, I was seeking a community experience I was not sure still existed.
As I walked around the corner to the entrance to the market, I was devoid of all preconcieved notions on how my first journalistic endeavor would proceed. Would I be greeted coldly, suspiciously, or indifferently by the local artists and crafters who were regulars at the market? Would people be willing to talk with me, to share their stories of who they are and why they craft? Would I come away empty handed? As I approached the first vender, I was nervous and unsure of myself, but boldly I proceeded… And boy howdy! I’m so glad I did. Perhaps it was the cheery fabrics or the kindness of her smile, but whatever it was that drew me to Laarni, I am so grateful I wandered past her stand, for now I have the privileged of sharing with YOU a bit of her story…
A charming woman who has made a career of crafting beautifully hand-made bags, Laarni has lived in the Seattle area with her family for over 6 years. The creativity that she displays in her crafts is shared, she tells me, by several of her children. Over the years they have come together, forming a family community around the crafts that they create. She enjoys the work, and the people she meets through the experience, and looks forward to seeing her dream grow.
More than just meeting a new face today, I jumped head-first into the world of Seattle crafters, and I am so excited to report the wonderful world of creativity and community that I have found. I was greeted with excitement and mutual respect, and I am eager to share with you the open, welcoming community that I have found alive and well on the streets of Seattle. Thank you, Laarni for sharing your story, and I look forward to catching you next time.
Want to see more? I’d swing by the Fremont Street Market next Sunday, or visit Laarni’s shop online: laarniandtita.com. She’s also hip as can be on Facebook.com/LaarniAndTita, or Twitter.com/laarniandtita.