Guest Blog: Indie Craft Shows: Rainy Chicago Renegade 2008!


Jessica Gonacha & Renee Garner shared a tent at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago last weekend and they are going to  share a little of their experience with you. Spoiler….it rained….it always rains at Renegade!

by guest contributors Jessica Gonacha & Renee Garner


RENEE: Hey Jess—remember that time we took a 14 hour car ride up to Chicago?

JESS: Oh Renee, do I EVER. Remember when Charlie played video games for 2 hours at 3:30 in the morning while we waited for the highway to be cleared of all the broken furniture from that truck that busted open? That was crazy.

RENEE: It was crazy, too bad being an artist means sometimes you gotta figure out the affordable way to get to do all these shows. Flying would’ve been awesome, but I guess we would’ve missed some serious side-of-the-highway-America sight seeing.  But getting there and hanging out with our Renegade apartment mates was so much fun.

JESS: Yeah, it’s just too bad it rained the whole time. Remember how much it RAINED? I’ve never seen so much rain!


RENEE: Yeah, but our booth looked CUTE…. until the wind got so strong we were worried it would fly away. And the rain.  Ugh, the rain, I wish I had extra money to get one of the hoodies from Jo Clothing they looked so soft, stretchy and comfy.

JESS: Hmm, should we tell the Indie Fixx readers a little bit about dealing with customers?  Remember the guy who decided he could price the work we made better than we could? That was NOT flattering. Geez, that takes some nerve.

RENEE: Aren’t you always really kind-of proud of all the artists/crafters like us? I mean, we all showed up and ROCKED IT despite all that torrential rain!  It’s not FUN, you know, dealing with unexpected weather like that– remember how wet our shoes were within the first 5 minutes? But everyone was so psyched to be there! I love Renegade.


JESS: I love Renegade, too. I just wish we could’ve met more of the other vendors. We should’ve brought an umbrella. Why didn’t we bring an umbrella?? And it would’ve made my weekend to have a pair of those cute rubber wellies that everyone was wearing! I love Chicago. Did you get to see Squirrelly Girl Creations—those cute stuffies and her Batter Buddies? They have recipes sewn on the back, how cute is that?

RENEE: I must’ve missed her booth, maybe the rain was in my eyes.  I did get to see Up in the Air Somewhere.  I’ve been drooling over their work since I first saw it on Etsy. They were so nice, and I have to say, their work is even more beautiful in person.   And remember Totally Tubular? They are definitely winners of the retro rad category! Did you get to see Megan Lee Designs?  Her neon green ostrich tote was perfect.  I think the ostrich should be the next trend.


JESS: Yeah, and I got a peek at Red Prairie Press—I was so excited to meet Rachel, because her wedding animation DVD totally inspired me to make one for my own wedding! And her screen-printed clothes are even lovelier in person. It was sad to see them pack up early, but our area of the fair was destroyed. Remember those collapsed tents? SO SAD.

RENEE: Ugh, yeah, it was a ghost town at the beginning on Sunday. And that WIND! That was even more stressful than the rain. Thank goodness it settled down a bit towards the end of the day and people seemed to do well despite the weather.


JESS: And we got to see Califone!  Weren’t they amazing? They’re totally my new favorite band.

RENEE: Oh yeah.  So, after all that and the long ride home. . . you ready to try again next year?

About the contributors:

Jessica Gonacha is an artist from Atlanta, Georgia who is endlessly creating. Her work includes paintings, drawings, illustrations, and paper goods and is vibrant, colorful, and charming. Her work can be found on her site, in her Etsy shop and in the Indie Fixx Shop. You can also read more about Jessica and her work on her blog.

Renee Garner is the draw-er in the pair known as Wolfie and the Sneak. She is an artist from Matthews, North Carolina with a university background in 2-dimensional art. Her work assimilates immaterial and unassuming objects with symbols of importance, status, and beauty resulting in an invaluable art object. Through layered symbolism and detail, each piece represents a saturated beauty and an attempt to compensate for the mundane. See and read more:  Wolfie and the Sneak’s Shop & Blog & at the Indie Fixx Shop.

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