renegade fair chicago

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago with my little buddy Laura from Avery Street Design. Minus a minor diversion by the navigation lady who lives in the speakers of my car and a parking delay (not to mention almost getting crashed by a white van…that might or might not have been my fault…whoopsies), we had SOOOOOOOO much fun!

Now, when I think of craft fairs, I normally think of doilies, crocheted what-nots, odd garden trinkets and old ladies, but this craft fair was anything but! This well-curated event showcased the best and brightest of the indie craft and design world. Over 300 DIY-ers featured products ranging from leather goods (my favorite was the buttery, Italian leather handmade totes that were found at the FOUNT Leather Goods booth, helloooooo Santa!), jewelry design, ceramics, paper goods and more.

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

Laura and I enjoying our walk around the Renegade Craft Fair

After making our way through some crazy traffic on the Kennedy Expressway and an excursion through Logan Square, we arrived on Division Street in Wicker Park! Hooray for finally getting out of the car (not to mention the waffle fries)!

Renegade Craft Fair

One of our first stops was at this cute air plant booth by Kelso Doesn’t Dance. Kelsey Cooper was seriously, one of the sweetest girls we met at the fair. She apparently lugged 3 suitcases, a backpack and purse on a plane by herself to attend. Not to mention all the boxes she shipped in. This gal was well stocked…she also wore the cutest apron. That’s her bending down to string more air plant hangers. I should have waited for her to sit up because she had the cutest pink sunglasses on.

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

Kelso Doesn’t Dance booth at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

The air plant hangers are made of brass or aluminum tubing, wire, fishing line and crimp beads and are inspired by the Finnish tradition of Himmeli, Christmas decorations made of straw. She also makes these cute air plant pods. I wanted everything! So hard to pick just one. To buy one of your own, you can find her on Etsy.

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

The White Nest booth at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

I am so kicking myself for not bringing my DSLR camera because this booth was so cute (and packed with people…literally swarming)! This was the booth of White Nest. They had some super cute cut out art prints and beautiful pillows. Ya, so get this, that’s not ink printed on paper. Those are die cut with a color backer. So cool! I was so torn between geometric diamond, “YOU ARE WONDERFUL”, and the “You Are My Greatest Adventure” prints. I finally settled on “YOU ARE WONDERFUL” in neon pink…yes, each come in a variety of colors and yes, I’m going bonkers for splashes of neon pink lately. I think I’m going to frame and hang it in Little Maus’ room. Everything in their booth can be found here on Etsy. Be sure to take a peek at the pillows. There was this blue ombré dip dye number that made my heart sing.

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

BDJ Craft Works booth at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

BDJ Craft Works booth stopped us in our tracks. Each piece was unique and sooooooo amazingly gorgeous! Brian David Johnson (BDJ) lives in Austin, TX (only like the coolest city in the States, right?). He has been building furniture and fine cabinetry since opening his own studio in 2002, but in 2009, he establish BDJ Craft Works which is a line of small hand crafted pieces. My favorites were the wall hanger vases with inlays and the planters (with what else, air plants!)

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

Air plant booth at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

Speaking of air plants, let me tell you, this place was the air plant mecca! If you don’t own one already, you need to. And Kesley from Kelso Doesn’t Dance was kind enough to tell us how to care for one…and I tell ya what, I’ll share with you what I learned. It’s super easy peasy! You just pop that little guy in a bowl of water for 10 mins once every 10 days. Yep, that’s it! I told ya it was easy! Now to see if he lives. I felt him shudder when I picked him up. IF you know nothing of me and plants, read this post.

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

FOUNT Leather Goods booth at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

Okay, so this may have been our favorite booth! FOUNT Leather Goods. OMG, where to even start with these guys! First and foremost, we deemed them the most beautiful couple at the craft fair. How dorky are we?Based out of Cleveland, Ohio, these two cuties patooties focus on high quality leather goods. I”m pleased to introduce to you Phillip and Jackie Wachter. I swear, you talk to Jackie for like 2 minutes and it feels like you have been BFFs for years. This creative husband and wife team hand sew beautiful totes (and more) made of this buttery Italian leather.

My favorite was The Bellfield Tote and Jackie was kind enough to take the time to give us a quick run down on the bag. Each tote has two spacious leather interior pockets with brass snap closures to keep valuables secure. There’s an internal and external brass key ring holder that includes one FOUNT Kestrel Keychain. But here is the best part. They hand sewn these heavyweight veggie tanned leather straps and reinforce them on the inside and the outside. So, if you are someone like me who by the end of the week seems to have everything and their mother inside their bag, well, it’s probably not going to rip out. I can’t even begin to count how many tote bags I’ve ruined because of this.

FOUNT is also featured in October’s Country Living Magazine AND they are one of Martha Stewarts finalists! These guys are ones to watch. They are going to be big and you can sya, you heard it first at House of Hipsters! You guys, this bag is on my Santa list this year. Oh, and a quick story about the flag…because it was so purdy, we had to ask. It’s vintage and has only 48 stars (and each one was hand sewn). Ya, it was A-MAZING, so I had to take a picture.

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

vintage filly pin that I’m in love with!

I snagged this cute vintage FILLY pin for $2…can you believe it! $2!

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

Air plant from the Kelso Doesn’t Dance booth

This air plant and hanger was a steal at $24 from Kelso Doesn’t Dance.

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

Pink polka dot rug from Territory Design booth

I so wish I would have snapped a picture of the Territory Design booth. Hopefully Laura did. I spied this rug hanging in the back of the booth and told Laura I really thought I might need it. Ya, I said “need it”. Once I found out it was a one-of-a-kind piece from Mexico that couldn’t be found online, well, that was it, that sucka was mine. I snatched it up in two point five seconds. Before my credit card was swiped, two more women asked if it was sold. Yep, it was, back off ladies. HA. They also sell some really beautiful vintage textiles on their website….hmmm…hey Santa! You still reading this? Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

So here is one last look at everything I bought at Renegade. If you missed it this year, don’t worry, they come back to Chicago December 6-7. And if you don’t live in the Chicagoland area, you can find them in New York, Portland, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, and London. You can also search #renegadecraftfair or #renegaedcraftfairchicago on Instagram for more eye candy. Or stop over at Laura’s Instagram for more pictures of goodies from our adventure. I’m still waiting for the picture of “the wall” and my polka dot phone. Seriously, that shot is drool worthy.

Some of the other booths we were head over heels in love with were:
The Object Enthusiast
Ryan Kapp
Rococo Salvage Threads
Earth Cadets
Red-Belly Studio
ZeroBird Studio

Next craft fair we will be attending is the Show of Hands presented by Orange Beautiful November 22-23. Who’s coming with us? Hey Laura, maybe we should make this a fun outing with our readers? What do you think! And you guys, if you haven’t already, be sure to enter my giveaway. It closes this Friday! Times a tickin’!



  1. laura irion September 8, 2014

    i have literally been stalking your site every half hour this morning waiting for your round-up to post! so fun to see it caught from your polka dot phone, and YES i totally got pictures of the territory booth on my site. (and still so jealous of your awesome rug). i am ALL in for the next one. show of hands- who’s with us??

    • kyla September 8, 2014

      i’m heading over now to read yours!

  2. Michelle James September 8, 2014

    This looks like a one of a kind craft fair! I am going to see when the New York one is! I am obsessed with air plants. Thank you for linking up to Merry Monday & hope to see you again!

  3. Grace September 15, 2014

    Kyla, I am so glad you and Laura had such a good time. I have now started a Renegade Craft Fair penny jar, because I’m making the road trip next year for sure! (You may want to search my bags before I leave, because that rug might go missing…)

    • kyla September 15, 2014

      Well, if it goes missing, it went to a cool kid’s house…besides, by that time, I’ll be wanting to redesign anyway…LOL! And YES! Come down! It was mad fun!

  4. […] yummy item. That tea towel WAAAAAY at the bottom. Laura found it while we were shopping over at the Renegade Fair in Chicago a couple weeks ago. She reluctantly walked away from it, since she was only living room shopping […]

  5. […] about feeding or watering…only killing. I dragged my feet until last August when I attended The Renegade Craft Fair with Laura from Avery Street Design. Hence forth, I’ve become slightly obsessed with how […]

  6. […] started out as one tiny air plant. Purchased at The Renegade Craft Fair. Just one. One that I knew I would probably kill. One that let out a tiny scream of fear when it […]


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