Meet the Author: Trophy Cupcakes and Parties! by Jennifer Shea

Can you give our readers a bit of background about how you got into making cupcakes and hosting parties?

I started baking with my mom when I was really young and was instantly hooked! I became the official family baker and later, the go-to treat maker for all of my friends. I just love how sugar, flour and butter can make people so happy. Party planning is something I’ve always gravitated to as well. It’s second nature now – I’m always planning parties in my head!

What inspired you to wJennifer Shea - Over Chalkboard Bkgdrite a book on hosting parties with your delicious cupcakes?

I was actually inspired by the many, many people who would always ask me, “How did you do this?! I could never…” I realized by sharing my recipes, techniques and tips/tricks, other people would be able to plan amazing parties, too, and see the pure joy that comes from celebrating with others. I also wanted to encourage everyone to celebrate the little things in life. It’s easy to celebrate birthdays and holidays, but it’s the small celebrations that make everyday life so special. As we say at Trophy, make every day a party!

Where do you find inspiration to help you plan parties for various occasions?

I find inspiration all around me every day. I love planning parties based on the various things that people love – things you wouldn’t normally think of as a party theme. Nature, books, cities, food and music are great places to find inspiration. For example, if you or someone you know loves lemons, Palm Springs or even vintage stamps, why not create a totally unique theme around that love?

The recipes in your book taste JUST like the cakes in your store. Are you afraid of the homemade competition?

You know, I’m not. Most people just don’t have the time to bake cupcakes and will still come to Trophy when they’re in need of a decadent treat for themselves or for a party. With that said, we encourage everyone to give them a try! On the other side, for anyone who wants to “steal” our recipes to start a business and thinks they’ll succeed, they won’t. Successful businesses start with passion, creative ideas and hard work. If you start out by copying someone else’s recipes, crafts, designs or ideas in general, you’re bound to fail because you’re not starting with a solid foundation that you yourself created.

Your book includes lots of helpful party tips, detailed recipes and instruc
tions, not to mention the beautiful pictures. Is there any one element you are most proud of in this book?TrophyBookImage1 (1)

Thank you! I’m proud of the whole book, but I really love the Truly Terrific Theme Generator. It’s a handy questionnaire that helps anyone create a unique theme based on personal loves. I’m also so proud of my Crème Brulee cupcake recipe. I worked for months to figure out how to bake a cupcake with crème brulee on top. It’s totally original and super delicious!

Do you have a favorite cupcake/party combination?

I’m a sucker for anything and everything tropical, so I’d have to say Pina Colada cupcakes and a beautiful Hawaiian themed party. Fresh flower leis, tropical drinks with paper umbrellas, lush tropical greenery, maybe even a little sand between your toes. Now that’s my idea of a party!

Check out Trophy on their website  and come try one of these delicious cupcakes at their sponsor booth at our summer show! 

Meet the Author: “S” is for Salmon by Hannah Viano

Hannah Viano by Jess Thomson

Photo by Jess Thomson 

Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what inspires you? 
I grew up on the rocky coast of Maine playing in boats and on islands. Now I’ve been in the region for many years and through a bunch of outdoor educator type work and adventures, I have come to know and love the Northwest environments as my own. Art seems to me like a bit of the natural world that you can take home with you, keep in your pocket, and hold onto when you are in the city or at your office building.

What motivated you to write “S is for Salmon?”
It started as a grant project to make display size sets for children’s programs around the Seattle area. I was inspired by an alphabet Mary Azarian made for her Vermont schools, and when looking at the current sets up in my area, I thought that they could be more Northwest-focused and add a sense of place and environmental awareness to this common learning tool. The publishers found out about the grant project and approached me later on.

How did you choose which piece of the Northwest would make the cut for each letter in the Northwest alphabet?  
Mostly I chose whichever one I was most excited to make a picture of, and I factored in characters that the majority of the population would recognize.  Some really great ones had to get cut though. For example, there were lots of Os: Otter, Oregon grape, oyster, etc.


Do you have a personal favorite letter? 
“A” for anemone has become my favorite, and maybe jellyfish. Lichen was one I kept putting off until last.

How did you come to using the medium of paper?
I first tried it in a class with Northwest artist Nikki McLure. I think it was 2010, and I had recently become a mother. In the wake of that change I was re-evaluating my interests, as some of the art and work I had been doing didn’t resonate with me anymore. So I was putting myself out in new directions, trying new things, and had loved Nikki’s work for years. I mostly went to see her process, not really because of much interest in paper-cut, but I was surprised to find I loved doing it.

Can you tell us what projects you are working on next?
I am working now on a children’s story where a small boy gets to go on an adventurous journey up to Alaska to meet his crusty old grandpa and encounters sea planes, whales, floating houses, etc. What could be better for a young  naturalist/ninja/superhero wannabe? It will be called “Through the Locks” for the Ballard locks where the journey begins.

You can learn more about “‘S’ is for Salmon” here, check out Hannah’s website, and follow Hannah on her blog, Devil Purse Diary 

Meet the Author: Wise Craft by Blair Stocker

profphotome (1)

Can you give our readers a little background about who you are and how you got started crafting?
I’ve been creative my entire life. My grandmother taught me to knit and sew when I was 4 years old and, although I didn’t pick it back up again until I was older, I caught on quickly to the idea that I enjoyed making things with my hands. From there, I went through the usual trendy crafts during my school years… cross stitching, friendship bracelets, etc. I studied Apparel Design and Costume History in college, and for about 10 years after graduation, worked as a clothing merchandiser and fabric designer. During that period of time, my creativity happened at work. When I had my daughter in 1998, I left the work force to be at home with her, and I felt a huge creative void in my life. I started creating projects here and there for our home and our family, first during quiet moments when my daughter napped, then later on with her and her brother. These days, everyone in our family has their own creative pursuits, it’s fun to see. I’d like to think I had a little something to do with giving them the urge to create. 

What is your favorite thing about making things by hand?
Because of the time, energy, and thought going into hand making something, it makes the end product more special. I’m less likely to throw out something that is hand made, and usually the process of making it creates a nice or funny story (at least in our house). It makes me think about what I want to be surrounded by. I enjoy pulling out potholders I’ve made from scrap fabric in an afternoon just as much as a handmade quilt.

6a00d8341c589653ef01a3fbf3bccf970b-500wiWhat inspired you to share your passion for crafting with the world through this book?
I did not see a lot of craft books that included a variety of mediums. I found this curious because I know many people like myself, who like to do all sorts of creative things… sewing, crocheting, knitting, painting. Most books I was seeing on the market tended to go deep in one type of skill, like sewing, or quilting, etc. While I love my share of those, I wanted to create a book that I myself would pull off the shelf when the seasons change and I want to get inspiration to wake up our house, give it a new look. Wise Craft is meant to inspire the reader with it’s strong seasonal color palettes as well as with the projects themselves. I wanted this book to be the one you sit with when you’re feeling crafty and aren’t sure where to start.  

How did you choose which projects would make the cut for your book?
That was hard. I always wanted 60 projects/15 per season, but I had many more! Through discussions with the publishers, we honed in on the strongest grouping of crafts for each season, but it was tough to pull some of those.

Do you have any tips for how to thrift shop for craft purposes?
I am very inspired by off beat color combinations, and sometimes the strangest colors can appear at the thrift store. I would say don’t rule these out, often they can be combined with another color- off-beat fabric color combinations can become a beautiful quilt, or a not-so-pretty painting can be “repainted” with brighter colors and 3D ephemera to create a whole new piece. Because you never know what you might find, it’s important to have an “anything goes”, open mind when you walk through the doors.

Your book emphasizes family.  Can you tell us a little about your family and how they inspire your crafts?
I have a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. They made little projects with me when they were younger, and now, on their own. My daughter is obsessed with cos-playing and is learning how to make her own costumes and accessories. My husband is always coming up with crazy ideas for me to make. Our house is filled with art from extended family. Being creative is a way of life for us.

This first book seems to be gaining a lot of traction already! Any ideas about a second?
I would love to do another book! Stay tuned!

Blair also recently explained the creative thought behind her book on her blog Wise Craft Handmade, which you can find here. You can also find her at her website

Check out the “If You Build It” film release

Hi everyone! Are you looking for more inspiring, Build-It-Yourself action before our summer show? Looking for something awesome to do next weekend? Check out this this new award-winning documentary about influential designer-activists Matthew Miller and Emily Pilloton and their endeavor to transform a group of students’ and their community through shop class.  From Long Shot Factory/O’Malley Creadon Productions, the film IF YOU BUILD IT will be released next Friday, March 14, 2014 at SIFF Cinema

From Patrick Creadon, director of WORDPLAY and I.O.U.S.A., comes a captivating look at a radically innovative approach to education. IF YOU BUILD IT follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie county, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to transform both their community and their lives. Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design-thinking to help re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what’s possible.


You can watch the official trailer here. For more information, you can connect with the film through the project’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Website.

Introducing the Urban Craft Market at the Seattle Street Food Festival

Hello Friends!

We are VERY excited to announce our new partnership with the Seattle Street Food Festival (SSFF) this summer!

In August 2013, SSFF debuted with over 25,000 people attending (along 11th Ave on the corner of Pine along Cal Anderson Park), with over 55 local food vendors and over 30 crafters. This new partnership will expand the craft section to about 110 vendors!

The festival features an all-star palette of foodie programming like Pop-Up Picnic in the Park, supporting local charities, with an impressive list of culinary talents like Top Chef’s Carrie Mashaney (Spinasse/Aragona) followed by our industry party by James Beard nominees Ethan Stowell and Jason Franey (Canlis).

Inspired by the Brooklyn night market, this event will be held on August 8th and 9th, opening up to the public that Friday at 5:00 pm.

2014 Festival Highlights

  • 35,000+ People forecasted to attend the festival over two days
  • Free Admission to the general public over two days
  • Seattle’s largest street food showcase, with 75 unique food vendors in 2014
  • Customized programming inside the park like our 2013 Pop-Up Picnic and Industry Closing Night Party hosted by Ethan Stowell & Canlis’ Jason Franey
  • Hugo House Summer Performance House
  • Three Beer Gardens | Craft Cocktails, Beer and Wine
  • VIF Express Pass | Skip the Lines & Enjoy the Best of Seattle

urban craft market

Urban Craft’s Involvement:

  • UCU will be curating the handmade market portion of this event.  Applications will be vetted through UCU just as they are for our own shows, the only difference being that NO photos will be needed for the jury; we will instead be requesting websites, Etsy shops, or other online venues where your work is pictured.
  • This event will be PNW-focused so anyone in states outside of the Pacific Northwest should not apply.
  • In addition to the booth fee, each vendor is required to give 10% of their sales to the park.  This is mandatory for all vendors — food and craft alike — and is non negotiable.
  • Food vendors may apply to vend in the UCU Marketplace ONLY if you are not serving cooked items.  (For those who want to apply in that category, please do so through theSSFF application form.)  However, any pre-packaged goods such as jams, candy, baked goods, etc. are welcome at the UCU Marketplace.

Applications are open now for this event!

We really are so excited to be teaming up with this great event, and hope that this is another fun way for you to be involved in the community and make some extra summer money!

If you have any questions about this event, feel free to contact Kristen at

Important Information About This Summer’s Wholesale Show

Last year we had our first wholesaling event the day before the summer show started (on Friday afternoon, after load-in).  For a first crack at a totally new side of UCU, we felt like it went really well and we look forward to trying it again for year #2!  However, after hearing feedback from both the wholesale buyers and the vendors who took part in the event, we have decide to make some changes.

This year the wholesaling event will be held on MONDAY, the day after the weekend show.  Why?
  • Some of our vendors chose not to participate in the wholesale portion, which left empty spaces in the floor plan on Friday afternoon, resulting in some sad buyers.  Monday wholesaling leaves the option for vendors who do not want to participate in the wholesaling event will be allowed to leave Sunday after the show and we will bring in new vendors who DO want to participate.
  • Many buyers thought a cash and carry possibility would have been nice.  This way, you could perhaps make that available, as you won’t have to worry about holding back your inventory for weekend retail shoppers.
  • Some vendors did not seem ready for the wholesaling portion of the show, but did it because they were there and already set up.  For this second run, we want EVERYONE who participates to be ready and knowledgeable about wholesaling, and well equipped to handle questions and orders.
  • Seattle traffic tends to be horrible on Fridays which made it really hard for many of the buyers to make it last year (which resulted in unhappy vendors, who noticed that some of their favorite buyers never showed up, even though they had registered!).  Monday traffic, on the other hand, tends to be your “normal” Seattle traffic and since you’ll already have your booth all set up, we can start the event earlier in the day.
Does this mean you HAVE to stay and do the wholesale show on Monday?  Nope, not at all!  This gives everyone the flexibility to choose whether they want to apply for the regular weekend show only, both the weekend and Monday wholesale shows, or even just the wholesale show only (based on availability).
Be sure to read over the application very carefully as you apply, to ensure you are applying for the portion of the show you are intending.

Shop Local

shop localWe can’t describe enough our love for Seattle.  UCU is so lucky to be in a city that really supports the show and our vendors; with everything going on in the world, this support is truly important.
We all know the benefits of shopping local abound: you’re keeping your money circulating in the local economy, you’re directly supporting others and their families, and you get to interact with the producer of whatever you’re purchasing — which is a bonus whether your biggest concern is the quality of the product, the sourcing of the materials, the creative process, or just making a connection with someone in your community.
By shopping at UCU, you have the chance to shop local, on a huge scale!  We’ve done all the legwork of getting all these incredible local crafters and designers under one roof, so you can have the one-stop-shop experience, without the big box store.
Tell all your friends, your family, your baristas, your favorite bartenders, everyone you know, that you are attending UCU and encourage them to do so as well.  You can’t even truly imagine the awesomeness until you’ve been there yourself, so get on FacebookYelpTwitter, or your blog and tell your people where you’ll be keepin’ it local December 7th and 8th!

$1 Suggested Donation

suggested donationAs always, attending UCU is free to the public!  However, you will see a donation box as you enter the Ex Hall, and we appreciate any amount that you are able to give.
Your donation helps offset the cost of the show, and enables us to keep this event free for the public, so that everyone can attend (and so that you have more money to spend on our amazing vendors)!
Thanks so much!


Hourly Book Signings

We have some GREAT authors lined up for this year’s show!
From pie to mushrooms to children’s books to crochet kits…to things you want to punch in the face!
Book Signings

It’s an outstanding lineup, and even if you don’t make it in time for your favorite author’s book signing (see website for the schedule), ALL of these books will be available for purchase all weekend, and make fabulous gifts, too!

Join the Facebook Event

facebook eventAnother great way you can help us spread the word about the show?
Hop on and join our Facebook Event.  Even though it may be obvious to you that you’re coming, this lets all your friends know too, and helps us spread the word far and wide.  And if you can share the event on your own timeline — even better!

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