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Encouraging creativity

Shipwreck Beads holds its bi-annual Artisan Market

Local artisans will be selling their handcrafted wares Saturday in Lacey. Photo courtesy Shipwreck Beads

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Thurston County is all about "handcrafted" experiences and a DIY approach to ... well, just about everything. Shipwreck Beads knows all about that "handcrafted" approach, and the family-owned business will embrace it in all its glory at their upcoming, bi-annual Artisan Market Saturday.

"This is a community-based event," said Kelsy Vincent, the events coordinator at Shipwreck Beads. "It's a good way for us to give back, to recognize how far we've come as a company and to do our part in the community to encourage people to ‘buy handmade' and ‘make handmade.' Encouraging that creativity and giving people an opportunity is a big part of what we do."

Shipwreck Beads' Artisan Market will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Shipwreck Beads parking area in Lacey. Over 80 local artisans will sell handcrafted wares including clothing, home décor, jewelry, leather, metal and wood arts and more. If it can be made by hand, chances are it'll be sold at the Artisan Market. In keeping with the event's tradition, admission will be free.

The Artisan Market will also include a live radio remote from 94.5 ROXY, followed by live music and a DJ. All the while, local food vendors will be on-site as part of a Street Food Festival. Deans Kitchen, Warthog BBQ and Hawks Prairie Casino are just a few of the participating food vendors. And let's not forget the inflatable beer garden that'll be stocked with local beer from Top Rung Brewing Company, Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs, Titled Tree Cidery and Wingman Brewers hosted by Peaks & Pints.

Families don't need to worry, either, as the Artisan Market will be kid-friendly with over 20 games and activity booths for children, a bounce house and activities hosted by the Hands On Children's Museum of Olympia. In addition, the Asia Pacific Cultural Center will hold performances from 2-4 p.m., followed by Rhythm Fire School of Music performances from 4-5:30 p.m.

The Artisan Market will also feature a food drive fundraiser for the Thurston County Food Bank. Marketgoers only need to donate two nonperishable food items to the food drive to be entered in an ongoing, day-long raffle. Marketgoers who can't bring in food items can still purchase raffle tickets at the event. Proceeds from the food drive will go directly to the Thurston County Food Bank.

"A local food drive, especially one like the Shipwreck Beads Artisan Market, is the epitome of who we are, what we do and how we get work done," said Judy Jones, the operations manager at Thurston County Food Bank's Client Services Center. "A food drive like this really helps feed and support about twenty percent of Thurston County's population ... and it's so vital to what we do and to working towards our goal of eliminating hunger."

Since Shipwreck Beads began holding the bi-annual Artisan Market in 2013, over 200 local artisans have participated in the event. This year, market attendance is expected to double in size. And because of the increase in participating craftsman, marketgoers and vendors, on-site parking will be unavailable during the event. Instead, a shuttle bus (hosted by Red Wind Casino) will run from the Hawks Prairie Park and Ride to Shipwreck Beads approximately every 15 minutes.

Artisan Market, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 26, free, Shipwreck Beads, 8560 Commerce Place Dr. NE, Lacey, 800.950.4232,

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