Black Friday. Just writing the words makes me shudder. Getting up too early, waiting on long lines with angry people trying to push their way into better savings, contending with the overwhelming feeling that life is just one big shopping cart full of slashed prices and then coming home to realize that all you did was buy a bunch of junk you really didn't need. If all of this sounds awful to you, then maybe you want to skip this year's corporate American shopping day and head over to Houston's annual Pop Shop Holiday on November 29 and 30 at the Spring Street Studios.
Pop Shop is a twice-annual craft, art and musical festival that brings local crafters, artists and sellers together for a weekend of shopping, music and activities. Now in its second year, the holiday Pop Shop is the DIY community's answer to the typical Black Friday scenario. This year's event will have almost twice the amount of vendors and designers as last year's and will feature an assortment of handmade and vintage clothing, jewelry, house wares and much more.
The Pop Shop is a curated marketplace, organized by Brittany Bly and her team. The team accepts applications from crafters, artists and other vendors, all of which are local to the Texas area. Some of this year's highlights include jewelry artist Liliana Olmos and Nom Nom Friends, a new addition to Pop Shop, who create felt pillows of food items, as well as Houston's newest mobile boutique, Park Boutique, which is following in the footprints of The Shoe Bar and Urban Izzy, two Houston mobile boutiques that will also be on hand.
Brittany Bly has been working diligently to make this year's Pop Shop one for the record books. In addition to the DIY-shopping experience, Bly has arranged the book release of Houston Rap, a new title by Peter Beste and Lance Scott Walker. Beste will be signing copies of the book on Friday in addition to a performance by Macc Grace and L.O.S. from the original Screwed Up Click - DJ Screw's group. DJ Dmd will also be stopping by to sign editions of the book as well.
Additionally, Bly hosts Mini Pops, a monthly pop up marketplace on Westheimer by Poison Girl. Bly owes some of Pop Shop's success to the rise in DIY culture in Houston.
"I think that Pop Shop is both a contributor and a product of DIY being on the rise," says Bly. "Pop Shop is a place where lots of styles and different types of artistic media come together. It's a melting pot of puppets, children's authors, hip hop, DIY and maker workshops, fine art. This type of style convergence is so uniquely Houston."
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In addition to all the other goings-on throughout the weekend-long event, there will be activities all day, including workshops offered by Houston Makerspace, Reverberation and Here Come the Girls, as well as children's craft activities. DJs will be spinning, cocktails will be flowing and there will be no pulling out anyone's hair over the last Playstation 4s.
While Bly is excited for the growth of Pop Shop Houston, she doesn't see the progression ending anytime soon. She plans on expanding it in the new year with art shows, a teen council for young crafters and a fashion show, among other things.
"I see Pop Shop branching out from being strictly a market place and hosting a wide variety of events," Bly states.
The Pop Shop Holiday event takes place Friday, November 29 and Saturday November 30 at the Spring Street Studios. Admission is free with VIP tickets available. For more information visit popshophouston.com