DIY Factory in the news

DIY Factory in the CURRENT+210SA

In this week's CURRENT, is an article about the DIY Factory event this Saturday by Jennifer Herrera. Here is a link:

DIY Factory promotes independent artists

By Jennifer Herrera

The ladies from Alamo City Craft Union and Alamo City Craft Mafia have brought the do-it-yourself mentality to a whole new level with the DIY Factory, an event spotlighting more than 40 vendors selling handmade items ranging from jewelry and ceramics, to accessories, original art, and more.

"It is your traditional crafts but it does have kind of a modern, alternative feel," says DIY Factory organizer Missy Ozuna, who is also head of the Alamo City Craft Union.

Acknowledging the fact that everyone likes a little something for free, Ozuna and the gang are giving away, to the first 75 people through the door, hand-sewn goody bags with vendor samples, stickers, magnets, and more. Also offered will be a Day of the Dead themed make-'n'-take table where guests can create their own Mexican sugar skulls. The DIY Factory will also feature a fashion show with emerging to established artists including works by Paris Ann, Agosto Cuellar, and Kate Colgan, to name a few.

The idea behind the event came to Ozuna while on a trip to Austin for last year's annual Stitch fashion show and guerilla craft bazaar. She was with her mother and two fellow Alamo City Craft Union members when the idea hit. "We were driving back thinking, 'We don't have anything like that in town — let's do it,'" says Ozuna. And in less than a year, the DIY Factory was born. "We're doing this as a community project with an emphasis on local artists."

Myriam Lanau, a member of the San Antonio Craft Mafia, jokes that they talked about organizing an event such as the DIY Factory within their group, but scheduled it four years down the road. Katherine Brown, president of SA's Craft Mafia added that when Missy and the Craft Union came to her, the Craft Mafia instantly offered their support and help.

The DIY Factory is being tagged as a "celebration of creativity that will bring together a diverse group of cutting-edge independent craftsters, artisans, designers, and musicians." Ozuna and her crew intend to hold the event every year but are sure to plan months ahead the next time around. "It's been a learning experience, definitely," says Ozuna. "Next year will go a lot smoother."

The 12-member DIY Factory organizing crew is visibly excited to be working on the event. They bring to the table a vast knowledge of the local craft scene and know exactly what their event has that others may lack.

"This is really a first of it's kind [in San Antonio]. I mean, we have Hecho a Mano and the Peace Market, but we don't have anything like this," says Ozuna. The difference with the DIY Factory is its focus on local independent artists, from the vendors to the seven bands lined up (ranging from free-form jazz to acoustic to Tejano-punk).

When it came to choosing the vendors, the crew was faced with quite a dilemma. Some 80 applicants entered and only half were chosen. Ozuna stressed that she wanted to maintain a balance in the work made available at the event, with a fair amount of each handmade item present. They received a lot of applications from vendors selling jewelry and had to cut more jewelry vendors than anyone else. "I don't think there was one applicant that we did not like their work, "says Brown. "There was not one person that submitted crap."

Their goals for the future of DIY Factory is to tap into the South Texas craft scenes, expand in size of venue space and vendors, and bring in the next generation of DIYers. Annele Spector, member of the organizing crew, said it best when describing the basis of the event present and future: "It's about being different, unique — having a voice." •
And also in this week's 210SA, Jessica Belasco wrote a blip for the event:

Wednesday, 17 October 2007
If you're looking for a craft market selling afghans and paintings of the Alamo, you might want to head to a church fair in the Hill Country.
WHEN: 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. All ages until 10 p.m. After 10 p.m., you must be 18 or older; after midnight, you must be 21 or older
WHERE: The Venue, 800 Lexington Ave.
HOW MUCH: $5; free for kids younger than 10
INFO: thediyfactorysa.com

If you're looking for knit skulls, bottle-cap jewelry, beanies with devil's horns and handsewn bags, then the DIY Factory is your kind of event.

"This is kind of geared to a different crowd. These are handmade and traditional crafts but they have a modern twist on them," said Missy Ozuna, general organizer and member of the Alamo City Craft Union.

The group teamed up with the San Antonio Craft Mafia, the Alamo City Knitters Society and some other artists to hold an event similar to those in Austin and Dallas.

"There's nothing like this in San Antonio so far. We've gone to Austin; we've traveled out of town. There's a handmade revolution kind of sweeping across the country, and we're not seeing much of it in San Antonio," Ozuna said.

Most of the crafters range in age from 18 to the mid-30s.

Besides more than 40 vendors selling their wares (most items are priced at $20 or less), there will be a fashion show at 9 p.m. featuring handmade clothes. Music will be provided by Ledaswan, Psychics, ElectroChemists and five other bands.

Jessica Belasco 210SA Contributor