Bazaar Bizarre began in 2001 in the Boston-area as a hodge-podge of friends and acquaintances cobbling together their handcrafted DIY wares to sell while staging an offbeat entertainment extravaganza.
In 2004 the Bazaar Bizarre spread to Los Angeles and Cleveland, and in 2006 Make brought us in to include the Bazaar Bizarre as part of the Maker Faire in the San Francisco area each spring. The Bazaars in Boston, Cleveland, and San Francisco continue to take place every year during the peak holiday shopping season in December.
None of the Bazaars could happen without the help and support from numerous organizers and volunteers -- too many to mention. Check out each city’s page to learn more about how they operate.
A quote from Bazaar Bizarre founder, Greg Der Ananian:
I was but a wee flaming homosexual when my mother wisely took me under her wing and taught me the ladylike skills of knitting and cross-stitch... and so began my love affair with crafts. Working with my hands made me feel good in a Marxist sort of way, and I learned at an early age that being able to make something from nothing was extremely rewarding. As I got older, my interest in crafts waned because the spectrum of traditional craft imagery didn't represent me.
Dissatisfied with stencils of country ducks and painted wooden slices of watermelon, I decided to use what I'd learned as a child to express my own interests. To my surprise and delight, a lot of my friends were experiencing the same kind of personal renaissance. How exactly to share these objets de craft was a project upon which we embarked. The result? Bazaar Bizarre.
Crafts have long been denigrated as a feminized form of expression, but Bazaar Bizarre represents an impulse to re-value the abilities our mothers and grandmothers taught us, while making them our own. It's as much about tradition as it is about change.