After Tara Heilman, owner of Robot Inside
, and Chris Breeden, manager of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, teamed up for Local Night, a one evening celebration of five local artisans and crafters, they decided to take it a step further and create the Craft Menagerie.
The menagerie will be held at Arnold’s on Saturday afternoon during Bockfest, March 3. The event, open from 11 am-4 pm, will feature more than 15 local entrepreneurs selling handcrafted items. Heilman is working with Hilary Nauman, of Ceci & Cela, to plan the event.
“It’s just grown naturally so far,” Heilman says. “I don’t usually stick with things if they don’t feel right. I haven’t felt like that for a second while planning this.”
The products will range from Heilman’s hand-sewn stuffed owls, monsters and robots, to Ovenfried Beads' handmade beads and jewelry to Paper Acorn’s handcrafted paper luminaries, dolls and gift boxes. After Bockfest, Heilman plans on working to make the Craft Menagerie a quarterly event at Arnold’s. In the spirit of Bockfest, the event will even have its own beer, Bell’s Consecrator Dopplebock.
“Arnold’s is such a great place,” Heilman says. “People can bring their families, enjoy the crafts, beer and food all in one place.”
The event will feature a soundtrack of local music and a photo booth on the stage in the courtyard. Most importantly, though, it gives local vendors a way to get their products seen by new potential customers. Heilman knows this is a necessity for crafty entrepreneurs. She has attended craft shows around the region, including the popular City Flea, and wants to give local vendors an outlet in their hometown.
“So many people have great ideas and businesses,” Heilman says. “It would be great if they didn’t have to travel around to craft fairs, but instead could sell their products and make a living in Cincinnati.”
By Evan Wallis