Hampton Creates to participate in Handmade Arcade

Friday, November 22, 2019 | 3:36 PM

Students in the Hampton Creates business will be participating in the Handmade Arcade event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

Handmade Arcade celebrates the cutting edge of craft by connecting creators and consumers through making, sharing and learning. The organization produces the Handmade Arcade craft fair each year.

Hampton Creates, launched in 2017, is a Hampton Middle School student-run business. Hampton Creates makes various hand-made products throughout the year, donating proceeds to select nonprofits and charitable organizations in the region.

This year, students have designated Wounded Warrior Project and Angels’ Place as the recipients of the proceeds from product sales. For the Dec. 7 Handmade Arcade, students have produced four kinds of products:

  • Framed watercolor paintings;
  • Screen-printed T-shirts and tote bags with the “Yinzers” design and “Merry Christmas” design;
  • Hand-beaded necklaces and hand-painted earrings;
  • Upcycled hand-made dog toys.

Eighth grader Mackenzie Reese was part of a group making the hand-beaded necklaces. She said the students plan to have several varieties available at Handmade Arcade. Each necklace can take up to two hours to create, depending on the size of the beads being used. “The ones with the smaller beads can take up to two class periods to complete,” she said.

Eighth grader Kaylyn Champion, who was working on organizing the framed watercolor paintings, said the Handmade Arcade is not only an opportunity to sell their products to raise money for charity, but to also help students in the club to hone their communication skills as they interact with customers. “It’s a good learning experience,” she said.

Kendall Kozer, one of the 8th grade students who helped to design the Yinzers T-shirt, said the inspiration for the product came from the people of Pittsburgh. “We knew that people love Pittsburgh and being a part of it, and that a lot of people use that word to describe themselves, so we wanted to do something that represented that.” The shirts include the moniker “Yinzers,” with the scene of a bridge and other Pittsburgh symbols.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students because they are learning and seeing that they already have the ability to make a difference in the world,” said HMS Art teacher Lisa Woods.  “They are makers of things people want to buy.  They are communicators about their artistic products and about the causes they are raising money for. They are giving to those in need.  They are contributing members of society.”

Mrs. Woods said it was an incredible experience to see students step into the role of businessperson at Hampton Creates’ last sale.  “I am very excited to see this new group in action at Handmade Arcade.  They have worked hard, gained confidence, and I am so proud.”