Tulsans have more than one option when it comes to holiday shopping. There's Wal-Mart. There's Tar-jay. And, of course, there's the mall.
Or, you could opt out of the whole made-for-the-masses scene. As the natty girls at Tulsa Craft Mafia said, don't battle it out - shop with a mug of something tasty in one hand.
Grab your reusable shopping bags, folks, and head to Fresh Roast Coffee House, at 8122 S. Harvard Ave., and check out the first shop of its kind in Tulsa, Fresh Blend Handmade Boutique, feature No. 4 in the 2009 TDT Holiday Gift Guide. Available at this most indie of indie Tulsa stores is a variety of handmade items by members and friends of the TCM.
The Tulsa Craft Mafia, part of a national family of Craft Mafias, is a group of independent artists and crafters who aim to push the boundaries of creativity and self-promotion. Their goal? To learn and to empower each other as creative individuals and indie-entrepreneurs - and to provide us, the consumers, with lots of cute, uber-fashionable stuff, of course.
Normally, someone set on buying handmade would have to purchase from each seller individually, even on a site like Etsy.com, a sort of collective storefront for businesses that sell handmade goods.
Thanks to the boutique-style set-up of this show, though, Tulsans can load up on scads of drool-worthy crafty goodness, all in one fell swoop.
"Every craft show we attend, people always ask if there is a Tulsa Craft Mafia store, and it's always disappointing to say no," said Brigid Vance, group member and owner of Grey Eye Designs. "We are happy to partner with Fresh Roast this winter to create a mini boutique for everyone's shopping needs."
"Buying handmade is something you can feel good about," said Holly Casey, Tulsa Craft Mafia member and owner of HollyRocks. "You end up with an item that someone put their heart and soul into, rather than something that may have reached you by questionable means."
Here are a few samplings of what these TCM girls are capable. Make sure you're sitting down, and feel free to click on the photos to learn more about the product and who made it:
Get it? Seasonings Greetings? With salt and pepper? Ha! Food humor - gets me every time.
Any of these gifts are sure to please your loved, and even your just-sorta-liked, ones. However, for those of you who prefer to make your own one-of-a-kind gifts, over the course of the next six weeks, TCM will offer a variety of classes for DIYers. Here are the offerings:
The Fresh Blend boutique is open any time the espresso machine at Fresh Roast is cranking out tasty beverages for java-jonesing T-Towners (see below for hours). However, for those of you whose mental state borders on insanity and who thus prefer to leave the worries of holiday shopping until the week of Christmas, TCM will host a last-minute shopping party at Fresh Roast.
Get to the boutique between 6-8pm on Dec. 22 to not only bag some sweet handmade loot, but to also save 10 percent on your purchase. Plus, Fresh Roast will offer a coffee special to shoppers that night. I guess they figure that with all the fast-paced gift wrapping that lies ahead, you'll need it.
Save your friends and family the embarrassment of wearing what you got them for Christmas, only to find everyone else wearing the same thing. The solution is simple: Shop local. Buy handmade. The Tulsa Craft Mafia and its Fresh Blend Handmade Boutique makes it easy.
Fresh Blend Handmade BoutiqueFresh Roast Coffee House
8122 S. Harvard Ave.
Monday-Friday, 7am-8pm; Saturday, 8am-8pm