Supporting Local, Shopping Local: An event that combines crafts, bands & local businesses to showcase the rad people that make Milwaukee.

10 August 2015

Our application period is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who applied!  We are so excited to have received more applications than ever before.  We will announce our 2015 vendor line up on September 14th.  


Due to the amount of applications we will not be notifying applicants who were not accepted. 



Now in our 6th season, the main goal of Hover Craft is still to offer an opportunity for Milwaukee-based artists, crafters, makers and performers to connect with their own community through showcasing and selling to their admirers directly.

[Click here to see photos from our last event!]

Vendors range from seasoned artisans to amateur crafters and because of the amount of interest and the limited space, this is a juried event.  We carefully choose participants not based on experience, but based on originality, execution and creativity.  We are very interested in sourcing creatives from all backgrounds, whether from an established business or hobby crafters.  Hover Craft wants to encourage creative people to create.  We want to continuously strive to mine the depths of our community to foster a rotation of many individuals and continue to keep this event fresh for our attendants.

Basic information:

Date:  Sunday, December 13th, 2015
Time: 12 - 6 PM
LOCATION:  We are very excited to announce this event will be located at the Pritzlaff Building, 333 N. Plankinton Ave in the heart of Milwaukee.
Vendor Fee:  $75

How to apply:

Please send the following to

Your name
Your business name
Your email address
Your phone number

Please send us one link to a URL that will show us images of work representative of the work you would like to sell at Hover Craft.

Don't have a link?  Send us 3 - 5 images (please, make them formatted for the web so they are easy to open)

Don't have photos?  Send us a description of what you've always wanted to make.

All Applications need to be received by September 4th at Midnight.

How do we pick who gets to vend at Hover Craft? 

We tally.  How many jewelers do we have?  How many people selling home goods?  We try our best to have a balanced list, which makes the show interesting but it also ensures that if you fall into a popular category you won't be competing against 30 people selling in your category.  It will be much less than that.  If you make something that falls into a popular category it is much harder to get in.  If you make something that falls into a less popular category, it is much easier to get in.

Then, all the organizers vote on it.  We do a blind vote where we only look at the images or ideas.

We expect to receive more applications than we can accommodate.  If you are accepted, you will be notified by email on September 14th and your name and business will be listed that same day on Hover Craft's blog.  We do not notify applicants who are not accepted.

We love it when people come up with new ideas.  If you sent us photos of your work and were accepted to vend last year -- try to take new photos of what's new in your line this year.  It helps a lot.

We encourage everyone to apply.  Makers located outside the city of Milwaukee are not eligible.

Before you ask why I will tell you:  It would be amazing to have the space to accommodate makers outside of the city of Milwaukee, but because our focus is to create a buy local fair it makes sense that our vendors are also local.  The organizers know there are a ton of amazing shows that do not have this limitation.  We apologize in advance for anyone who is upset by this.

That's it!  Thank you for taking the time to read our in-depth call for vendors.  We are so excited to catch up with everyone and see what you've been making!

The ladies of Hover Craft - Ashley, Cortney + Vanessa

11 December 2014

Thank you to everyone who came out on Sunday to make Hover Craft possible.  This was by far the best year yet and we are all so excited to be able to continue to connect the makers and shakers of Milwaukee to your fans.  We will be back again next year and we can't wait!

If you are interested in vending, we usually send out our call for applications in August.  We do not accept early applications.  We announce this call through our Instagram account, Facebook and Twitter.  If you would like to receive an email notification, you can sign up to receive a newsletter with information on vending opportunities in the Milwaukee area through

If you are interested in shopping again, mark your calendar!  Hover Craft will be on Sunday, December 6th, 2015 location TBD.

Happy Holidays everyone!  Thank you again.  Seriously.  Best year yet!

06 December 2014

Vendor Spotlight: Jess Goehner of Directive!

These gorgeous bags are the handiwork of Jess Goehner, the mastermind behind the label Directive, a line of bags and accessories for men and women - each made with unique, hand painted canvas and faux leather.  

Jess has been sewing since she was a little girl and she had always thought she would go to school for fashion design.  In high school, she changed directions and headed toward fine art.  A few years later, her black army surplus messenger bag was on its last legs and Hover Craft's deadline for call for vendors was nearing -- she became inspired, bought fabric and made the two samples she submitted to Hover Craft. 

Hover Craft, of course, accepted her.  Those bags were amazing.  This was in 2012.

Jess is one of the artists we are insanely happy to have back consecutive years.  Her ability to diversify her product line, while acquiring new skills in order to consistently offer a higher quality item is pretty great.  She is one of the makers in Milwaukee Hover Craft was able to witness the birth of her line and then watch it as she continues to develop it. 

Jess explains, "From the beginning Directive was fully hands-on for me.  I draft all of my bag designs by hand and I hand paint all of the canvas as well.  My hope is for Directive goods to be special to someone because of the personal, wabi-sabi of each item.  In a dream world I would make all my own hardware - though I am currently talking to some local metal smiths about producing custom hardware designs with them.  Directive is also constantly moving forward, as a self-taught maker I've had a lot of mistakes, but the feedback I get from customers and the pep-talks I get from other makers and friends really keep me going."

Lately Directive has been expanding into furniture as a collaboration with Hounds Tooth Wood Werk, who will also be at Hover Craft tomorrow. 

"I see mass consumption slowly dwindling - anyone can find a candle, some earrings, a scarf, or a bag from a chain store.  But the originality and quality of these items is also dwindling.  I think the world is growing keener on durable, handmade goods again especially if we know the source of these items.  To me this means that all of the makers in Hover Craft are in a perfect situation to appeal to the public and help us move away from mass produced items and get involved in our community again," says Jess.

The four ladies who put on Hover Craft couldn't agree more.  See you all tomorrow for the 5th annual Hover Craft.  Thank you for following along these past few weeks - we are excited to show you all what we have in store.

05 December 2014

Vendor Spotlight: Christina Ward of Kick out the Jams

I met up with Chris this fall during apple season.  I called to see if I could follow her around and take her photo while she harvested apples.  I was picturing hauling off to the country, picturesque images of an apple orchard, my fingers were crossed for horses -- but when the call came the apple tree was just a couple blocks from my house behind a church.

The apple tree was beautiful and hanging heavy with fruit.  Chris was visibly excited.  She had come across the tree on a dog walk through the neighborhood and went through all of the proper channels of asking permission to pick the fruit.  After calls to the parish and finding out who exactly to talk to and waiting to see -- finally she had been granted permission and the apples were perfectly ready.  Then as she picked, she talked about the way the tree had been espaliered and how someone must have really loved it.  She filled her baskets up with apples, skillfully inspecting them as she pulled them down and giggled and made jokes as she did it. 

I loved that she found that tree.  Being able to utilize what goes unacknowledged is a great skill many people lack.  Or are completely skeptical about it - If the apples sit and rot every year, there must be something wrong with them, right?  Actually, the answer is probably not. 

"I'm making a direct statement as to how we prepare and consume foods.  When I pick a neglected apple tree that looks 'pretty' and make apple butter, apple pie jam, etc; I've given that tree a value where the owners find no value at all. Hopefully, these small acts of making and teaching will help people connect with their own place, history, and sense of what their neighborhood is," explains Chris.

I find constant inspiration from Chris Ward.  I find that her experience is deep in aspects of the creative community where I am just scratching the surface.  She is a source of information, encouragement and I love that she shares her knowledge with others.  Basically, I could write a book on all that she has taught me and if she wrote a book on everything she knows, I would be first in line to buy it.

Her business, Kick Out the Jams, is an extension of all of this.  When you see her at Hover Craft, you will find a woman up on her feet offering samples of her jams and jellies while explaining exactly what you are tasting, how she made it, where she found the fruit and any other little interesting tidbit she encountered while finding, harvesting, cleaning, cooking and finally putting up the preserves she makes.  You might think that she is talkative, but more than that she is conscious of her craft and the story of her food is much different than what you will find on your supermarket shelf.  The best way for Chris to communicate this, is to tell you why it is all so unique.

Kick Out the Jams is Chris' full time business and her market season is more diversified than anyone else I know.  I asked her what her answer was to being able to make money through her craft - the main reason why many makers hesitate before leaving their full time jobs, and sometimes never do - and she candidly answered:
"Making money is totally separate from my thinking.  Money becomes a currency of criticism; if people get value from what I make...they'll pay for it.  My goal is to create real and tangible value. To create something that either they can't conceive/execute themselves or something so unique as to be a product of my own self. I think as a maker, we all struggle on the 'getting paid' portion of the program.  I do think that accessibility is critically important.  How can we ask people to support creative works with their hard earned money if we put up barriers? Those barriers can be simple access to viewing art/craft/handmade to high prices. Its my job to communicate the value, more importantly, its my job to create the value."
It is in that value I am in awe of her business.  You really won't be able to find what she makes anywhere else.

Chris was originally taught to put up food by her grandmother on a farm outside of Black River Falls, Wisconsin.  She went on to further her knowledge through training at the UW-Agriculture Extension.  She uses a combination of American and European techniques.  "Because I've studied the chemistry and food biology of preservation, I can take these historic techniques and update them for modern food safety practices.  I work with local and seasonal fruits and vegetables.  This often means that if I make a jam and it produces 12 jars; that's it.  I can't make more until next year's harvest." 


Featured Vendor: Anja Notanja Sieger

Anja Notanja Sieger is a performance writer who composes letters and poetry for people, sometimes with drawings and other art. She comes to it by asking people what they want and promises to fulfill their dreams.

Growing up in Milwaukee, Anja moved to Kansas City in 2005 for college. She says that by 2010 she was broke, ill and missed the world's only freshwater inland sea. So she came back and have been here ever since.

As a writer, she has found success here in Milwaukee. Most notably, she was chosen as the 7th Pfister narrator where records the story of the hotel, the workers and its clientele. Anja is more than a writer. She straddles the line between writing and art and is interested in exploring even more.

"I'm not interested in being one thing and I am also not interested in only making stuff in isolation. I want to serve as many people as possible. Collaboration always strengthens the artist by introcuding them to other people' imagination. Also, you can see where people's imagination is stopped up. I am an imagination doctor, people pay me to get an adjustment. When healing live on the spot, I let people name their own price because I'm one of those nice doctors."

Come and find Anja at Hover Craft this Sunday. Fill out a form, answer any extra questions Anja may have for you and come back after a few minutes to receive your personal request granted. Inspired by the customer first and then also other writers like Roald Dahl, David Sedaris, Dr. Suess and Maira Kalman, Anja will come up with something so special and so unique you'll be paying her again to try to top it. And then again. And she will. Because she is really, very good at what she does.