Small creative businesses enrich our lives, stimulate our economy, nurture local makers, support small business enterprises and bring us all together on a regular basis. Each shop showcased in our blog below has been featured at Handmade Arcade as a vendor, sponsor or both!
While we cannot shop in their physical spaces at this time, we can help these vital businesses remain operational. Now is a great time to buy a gift card and/or shop online from their e-commerce websites. Find the perfect Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or birthday gift while supporting these amazing community spaces and Pittsburgh’s creative economy today!
ARTSMITHS OF PITTSBURGH
LIGHTNING BUG GIFT CO.
Lightning Bug Gift Co. in Hollidaysburg, PA holds a special place in our hearts. The brainchild of Chris Bencivenga and Becki Hollen — who have been featured at Handmade Arcade for many years selling their Everyday Balloons Print Shop goods — the sweet gift company and retail shop focuses on small-batch, locally made goods that ooze with Pennsylvania pride. Their products are created in-house or in collaboration with other Pennsylvania makers. For all of your 412 and 814 needs — like t-shirts, tote bags, coolies, cards, candles and lots more — shop their fantastic online collection now and pick up some gift cards!
Kelly Sanders and Monica Yope love Pittsburgh so much that they decided to turn their passion into a shop. Make that two shops — one located in the heart of Mount Washington and one in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Dedicated to supporting local artists and makers — and to sharing their stories and products — love, Pittsburgh is here to help you create meaningful memories of our city. Selling a curated collection of gifts representing the talents of 100-plus regional artists, the warm shop also serves thousands of visitors who travel to Downtown and Mount Washington annually. Shop their online store now, where you’ll find candles, cards, t-shirts, notebooks, jewelry, art, home decor, Pittsburgh merch, and limited-edition gifts made exclusively for love, Pittsburgh.
Want to share the love? Participate in love, Pittsburgh’s new SENDING LOVE Postcard Campaign to help uplift others during this difficult time. Whether you send a caring note to a friend, colleague or family member, or a message of gratitude to front line workers who are helping to keep us all safe, your small act of kindness will make a huge impact. Learn more about the campaign and send your own postcards. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the PGH Artists Emergency Fund.
MAKE + MATTER
Make + Matter is a collaborative studio, storefront and design collective located at 3711 Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Founded by Pittsburgh-based designers Rona Chang (Otto Finn) Kelly Simpson-Scupelli (Kelly Lane Design) and Rebekah Joy (Flux Bene) — who you’ve likely met and shopped from at Handmade Arcade — Make + Matter is dedicated to ethically produced crafts and fashion. Supported by Kiva and Bridgeway Capital’s Craft Business Accelerator, the trio launched Make + Matter in August of 2018. The gorgeous studio storefront sells everything from one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories, handcrafted home decor and organic wares for kids, to mixed-media artwork and paper goods. The shop also hosts maker events, guest designers and workshops. Missing your Make + Matter fix? You’re in luck because Make + Matter has gift cards available for purchase right now online.
Small Mall is the concept store run by Casey Droege Cultural Productions, an artist-run, woman-owned business whose mission is to strengthen the arts economy in Pittsburgh. Small Mall sells work by more than 30 of the region’s most talented artists, designers and makers. Every season, Small Mall rotates its artist roster to keep things fresh in the shop. You can do your part to support local, living artists by purchasing a Small Mall electronic gift card today! And shop their online boutique now to find a cool new conversation piece for your empty living room wall, an eclectic gift for a friend or contemporary art for that mom in your life.
Una Biologicals is currently offering free local delivery in the Pittsburgh area, so check out their website today for their complete inventory! They have the perfect products made with love to soothe your dry hands. Founded by Jessica Wilson Graves, Una Biologicals creates “skin food luxury that nourishes your body and soul.” Sounds like exactly what we all need right now. All Una Biologicals products are gluten-free and vegetarian friendly — and many are vegan. In addition to using organic ingredients — that means no chemicals, additives, unnecessary preservatives and artificial fragrances — Una also packages its products in recyclable or compostable materials. Let Una help you feel happy and healthy.
Handmade Arcade’s most recent blog feature highlights the OCs (Original Crafters) who have been with us since our earliest days at Construction Junction to the Hunt Armory and remain a vital part of our crafty community today at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. If there’s one brick-and-mortar version of a Handmade Arcade OC (Original Crafters), it would definitely be Wildcard! Located in the heart of Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh’s beloved gift and card shop is dedicated to selling high-quality, innovative handmade products. With a special focus on local artists and crafters, the beautiful and inviting shop carries cards — make that an entire wall of fabulous cards — stunning paper and stationery, bags, wallets, buttons, jewelry, t-shirts, craft supplies, original artwork, vintage wares, books and more! Owned and operated by Handmade Arcade Board Member Rebecca Morris, Wildcard celebrated its 10th anniversary in Pittsburgh in October of 2019. Wildcard is currently upgrading its website offerings. Follow them on Instagram for news and announcements.
Dubbed a “lo-fi, fun adult DIY school,” this crafty destination along the Penn Avenue arts district offers classes in everything from woodworking to sewing to fiber arts and more. The inclusive space also hosts events and art exhibits, and houses a quirky retail shop selling handmade goods, DIY kits, eclectic clothing, plants, gifts, cards and jewelry. While closed during COVID-19, Workshop PGH has been offering free craft supplies available outside its storefront. Now is great time to support their mission by purchasing a gift card!Now more than ever, it is crucial that we continue to support the creative economy in alternative ways, from home and virtually.