Last night was the third night of Yelp’s PASSPORT to downtown St. Pete, but it was just my second night since I didn’t get into the Bella Brava event on Monday (sniff, sniff). The Wednesday night event was held at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery on Central Avenue.
My friend Lily (of Lily on the Lam) agreed to be my date for the event.
It was exciting to be going to what felt like my first holiday party of the year. The Florida Craftsmen Gallery had their windows beautifully decorated for the season.
Going to Yelp events makes you feel special…
but anybody could do it. My brand was recognized (CaroFine)!
Lily and I checked in…
and wandered around the showroom, trying to take in all the beauty and unique items that surrounded us.
The variety of items in the Florida Craftsmen Gallery is endless. Everything from jewelry to fashion to furniture is on display, all created by Florida artisans.
I especially loved all the holiday items.
Florida Craftsmen Gallery recently opened their Holiday Boutique which will run through December 31st. Check out that link for special holiday hours.
Also, Florida Craftsmen’s premier event, CraftArt, is coming up the weekend before Thanksgiving. CraftArt is a two day outdoor fine craft festival. Central Avenue and 5th Street are closed to traffic as 130 artists offer their finest work. This event is attended annually by over 10,000 people. I definitely need to make it to CraftArt this year!
As we wandered around the galley we came to tables laden with delicious looking food.
The food was catered by Eat This!
I managed to avoid the above sweet items (with some difficulty), but did indulge in the savory items on display. Not that Figs In Blankets weren’t sweet (yes, I ate some honey, but only had one):
Everything was yummy.
We were given small group tours of the Florida Craftsmen-owned building which is the historic Rutland Department Store location.
There is only one studio housed on the ground level:
Next we went inside…
and rode one of the oldest elevators in St. Pete up to the second floor.
This building houses 18 artists studios and classroom space known collectively as ArtLofts.
Many of the artists were there last night and it was really neat to get to chat with them in their studio spaces. First we visited Marie Gagne Organic…
and tried on some of her amazing hats.
The artist in her studio:
Then we wandered all over the building meeting artists and admiring their works in process.
The studio space is a gallery unto itself, but eventually Lily and I headed back down to the showroom.
I was so inspired by so many things at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery. I was decorating my house in my head. I’m definitely on the hunt for a “can’t live without” piece for our living room (above the mantle), and I want it to be by a local artist. Thank goodness there is no shortage of talent in Florida. I can’t wait for CraftArt!
Thanks for another great PASSPORT to downtown St. Pete event Yelp Tampa Bay and Florida Craftsmen Gallery!
See my Yelping friends tonight at the next event! Otherwise…