The Hip Handmade Market

I’m a pinner.


I love scrolling through Pinterest, my eyes feasting on the buffet of mindblowingly creative ideas for practically every area of my life.


I pin inspirational ideas onto my boards hoping that someday I’ll handcraft my daughter’s birthday party invitations, I’ll make that beaded necklace, and I’ll refinish that wooden dresser that was damaged in the tornado.


But I never do.


At this point in my life, I lack the time, patience, and skills for these super hip DIY projects


Alas, I never move beyond pinning.


Except for the dresser – I did do that project and, by golly, it actually turned out well.


Yet I yearn to surround myself with one-of-a-kind, handmade items; I want a DIY lifestyle without doing it myself.


A bit problematic, right?


Luckily, there’s an event in Joplin that provides a solution to my Pinterest conundrum: the Hip Handmade Market (or HHM, as the chic people say).


hhm info

With booth after booth filled with contemporary arts and crafts, walking through the HHM is like seeing Pinterest boards come to life.


Therefore, in my mind, when I buy something unique from one of the craftspeople at the HHM, it’s like I’ve virtually completed a project on Pinterest.


I know, I know – I’m stretching it. But the HHM really is the next best thing to “doing it yourself.”

 What is the HHM?

The HHM is the brainchild of Emma Ball. A few years ago, this creative and vivacious ball of energy (pun intended) wanted to introduce a new kind of arts and crafts show to Joplin.


And we are ever so grateful that she did.


hhm e and cThe amazing Miss Emma 


Held twice each year, the HHM’s popularity has skyrocketed since it debuted in spring 2014. But a successful market doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a huge number of vendors. Emma’s goal is to provide an ample number of vendors without compromising the quality of the products, so competition to participate in the HHM is pretty fierce.


Vendor applications are carefully reviewed by a selection committee. While some vendors travel from other states, the committee’s goal is to choose as many local artisans as possible.


Thanks for supporting our local talent, Emma!


At the spring 2015 HHM, there were 52 booths (including one that I’ve been obsessed with since the first HHM: Kristin’s Laboratory).


Here’s a glimpse of some of the items I saw (including vendor names and where they’re from).


hhm charlie 7 bagsFun fabric handbags (Charlie 7 – Joplin)


hhm old books lightLanterns made from recycled book pages (Old Books, New Stories – Joplin)


hhm sweet peaArtwork made from dried flowers (Sweet Pea Paintings – Joplin)


hhm hookedNail and string art (Hooked – Webb City)


hhm little landscapesNaturescapes (Little Landscapes – Carthage/Webb City)


hhm odd duckYummy toast? Nope! Handmade soap (Odd Duck Soaps – Webb City)


hhm lady threadShark pillow (The Lady in Thread – Ozark, MO)


hhm needle feltAdorable felt collectibles (Needle & Felt – Kasson, MN, formerly of Joplin)

It was difficult trying to limit my shopping at the HHM because I wanted to buy most everything. Here are some goodies that did make it home with me:


hhm joy elizabethLooks like a wooden spoon, but it’s actually ceramic. (Joy Elizabeth Ceramics – Rogers, AR)


hhm elegant ammoRepurposed ammunition is the centerpiece of this bracelet (Elegant Ammo – Carthage)

These are just a few of the uncommon finds at the HHM. Browse the complete list of super hip vendors right here.


So how did Emma manage to attract so much talent to Joplin? Because she’s a natural magnet for creativity. Check out these decorations that she made for the HHM – by hand, I might add.


hhm cascadeEmma’s color cascade


hhm backdropMy daughter hams it up in front of Emma’s whimsical backdrop.

Art Feeds Joplin, the HHM’s partner, highlighted Emma’s good-naturedness with a playful craft at the HHM: the Flat Emma. Kids of all ages were invited to decorate a likeness of the lady in charge.


hhm flat emma


hhm flat emma doneHere’s a decorated Flat Emma.

Are you itching to shop at the HHM? Then click on this link to get info on upcoming markets.


 To read more about my adventures in the area, visit