Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market showcases local artisans

Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market showcases local artisans
Dan Kelley

Philly-based artisans are hoping a craft fair on Dilworth Plaza will give their businesses the visibility they need, and boost the bottom line.

“This is two fold. It’s sales and marketing,” said Samantha Slade, the operations manager for Tradestone Confections, which is selling its luxe chocolates at the park in front of City Hall. “With chocolate, people have to taste it,” Slade said.

Dozens of vendors selling handcrafted soaps, cutting boards, scarves, sweets and more are lining the plaza on the west side of City Hall for the first year of the Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market.

They said the foot traffic from SEPTA and Rothman Ice Rink have given them high hopes.

Tanisha Rankin, a 34-year-old computer scientist by day and handmade soap entreprenuer at all other times, said she quadrupled production to gear up for the fair. She usually sells her line of soaps and lotions, called Mahogany Essentials, over the Internet and at other craft fairs.

“We make them in 45-pound blocks,” Rankin said. “It takes about six weeks to cure.”

Photographer John Andrulis, of East Falls, is selling books of Philadelphia and Jersey Shore photographs he’s made over the past nine years.

He’s hoping a few city officials might notice his work, a hefty tome selling for $65. Fans of the Jersey shore might enjoy the photos of pre-Sandy shore towns.

He’s hoping his sales will be hot despite the cold.

“We’re all bringing in blankets and dressing warm,” Andrulis said.

The market is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.