You can always shop Downtown: I Made It! for the Holidays market

Ahead of Small Business Saturday, The Incline is featuring small, local businesses Downtown.

Lazypeas cashmere lined mittens for sale at the I Made It! Market.

Lazypeas cashmere lined mittens for sale at the I Made It! Market.

I Made It! Market / Facebook
MJ Slaby

With custom-made gifts from 100 vendors, the I Made It! for the Holidays market has the potential to be your one-stop shop for the holidays.

So not only will you find gifts you can’t find in other stores, but you’ll be supporting small businesses, founder Carrie Nardini said. 

In addition to shopping, the market includes kids’ activities and a raffle of handmade items.  

Plus, there’s food including sweet treats and coffee from Zeke’s, as well as food trucks. Onion Maiden, Franktuary and the Mac & Gold Truck will be there Friday, and on Saturday expect visits from the South Side BBQ Company and Pittsburgh Sandwich Society.

And take your time, Nardini said. She said shoppers can snack and eat lunch while they are there.

Pro tip: Nardini said later in the afternoon will likely be less busy.

Go Downtown

The holiday market — in its 10th year — isn’t in the same place every year, but it’s returning to the same Downtown location it had in 2014.

Every year, Nardini said she searches for a space that will be large enough for the holiday market.

Being Downtown means there will be people who find the market just walking by, she said. Plus, it’s easily accessible from most neighborhoods, with public transportation and free parking, Nardini said.

And it’s fun to have the artists in the center of the city, enjoying what Pittsburgh has to offer at the holidays, she said.

Holiday gift recommendations

The market features “handmade work with a modern edge,” Nardini said, adding that that means the items have a cozy, at-home feeling but with a modern design.

The artists always joke about people taking a first lap at the market, Nardini said. But, she said it’s good advice. “Peruse the show, and then on your second turn, dig in.”

And there quite a few options, she said: Items with a Pittsburgh theme, handmade drums, planters made from driftwood, knit and crochet items, items made at TechShop. 

Nardini said people love getting gifts with a Pittsburgh-theme for friends and family who have moved away. And gift sets are popular at the holidays, too, she said.

She said it’s hard to pick from the long list of vendors.

“People put their heart and soul (into their items) and that can speak to you more than something from Bed Bath and Beyond,” she said.

The I Made It! for the Holidays market will be at 623 Smithfield St. and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. I Made It! markets happen throughout the year, and there’s a last minute shopping market from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 10 at McCandless Crossing.

P.S. Parking in all Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages is free on Black Friday and every Saturday until Christmas.