What is the Renegade Craft Fair?
The Renegade Craft Fair (RCF) is a curated indie-craft marketplace showcasing the brightest talents in contemporary craft and design. Our fairs bring hundreds of makers out of their studios and workshops and into the spotlight for a festive weekend celebration of all things handmade. Each individual event is juried from hundreds of applications, then curated to highlight an eclectic array of both experienced and emergent designers producing one-of-a-kind and limited edition goods in a wide variety of media.
Renegade is the first, largest, and most well respected event of its kind and has been a major force in pioneering the way for the booming DIY craft movement since it’s inception. Following our Chicago debut in 2003, RCF quickly spread across the US (and “the pond”) and presently hosts events in Austin, Brooklyn, Chicago, London (UK), Los Angeles, and San Francisco. RCF events attract tens of thousands of people per fair and over 250,000 visitors annually.
What kinds of things does Renegade have to offer?
At Renegade you’ll find all manner of handmade goods. Our diverse roster of artists combine new and traditional craft techniques with modern design aesthetics to produce fresh, innovative work you won’t find anywhere else. Expect to be wowed by cutting-edge fashion and jewelry designs, sophisticated ceramics and housewares, delicious artisanal food and drink, contemporary furniture and lighting, bath and body products, screen-printed art, and papergoods – just to name a handful.
Savvy shoppers, arts and crafts enthusiasts, retail + media scouts, bloggers, and tastemakers of all stripes make a point of turning out to see what’s new and to stock up on unique artist created goods. We strive to create an atmosphere as festive, fun and inspiring as can be with decorative art installations, hands on workshops, DJ’s from local indie music outlets, a photobooth, local artisanal food and drink, and much much more.
If you are an artist/maker interested in having a booth at one of our fairs, welcome! We are always on the watch for new talent. Click on any city icon above for more information about each specific event, then go to the ‘Apply’ page for the city you’re interested in. You can view our calendar for all of this year’s important dates, including application periods and fair dates.
If you are interested in volunteering, hosting a hands-on workshop, having a non-profit booth, creating an interactive experience, providing entertainment, offering a service, or sponsorship opportunities at the fair – please email us with an idea for how you’d like to work together.
Who are the Folks behind RCF?
Each Renegade Craft Fair is juried and coordinated by our Chicago-based staff. We’re a friendly and creative group who have a love for all things handcrafted and independently designed.
Susie Daly // Co-Founder + Director // Susie oversees the big picture of the Renegade Craft Fair, and constantly strives to make each fair as awesome as can be. Combining her love of art, craft, and design, along with her knack for small business makes her one happy camper. When she’s not traveling for the fairs, you can find her hiking in the woods, swimming in the lake, hanging out by the fire, and relaxing at her log cabin in Michigan.
Mat Daly // Sponsor Relations // Mat works closely with Sponsors to form creative partnerships that make our events more dynamic and fun. In addition he designs and prints all of our screen-printed, limited edition posters to commemorate each fair. Check out our Shop to browse all of the RCF posters, or see all of his work at matdaly.com. In his spare time, Mat enjoys cat + dog spoiling, guitar picking, and world exploration with Susie Daly.
Sarah Christensen // Artist Relations // Sarah spends her days at Renegade keeping tabs on the hundreds of handmade artists who participate in the fairs. Outside of RCF, Sarah knits tiny things, entertains her perpetual black thumb, and consumes as much hoppy beer and tator tots as she can. She’s pretty sure that she can tackle any home improvement DIY project, but has yet to actually try any.
Justin Rathell // Production Logistics // Justin is responsible for most of the fair’s logistical needs – food & beverage, rentals, security, venue layout, etc. He enjoys taking pictures of mushrooms in the forest and playing music as loudly as possible. He’s not a strong swimmer and is prone to seasickness. His favorite scene in a movie: The Downhill Slide in the Bones Brigade Video Show.
Madelon Juliano // Creative Endeavors // Madelon is in charge of bringing the creative forces inside each unique RCF to life. During the fairs you will find Madelon photographing artist’s booths, setting up decorations, and hunting for jewelry. Outside of RCF, she enjoys painting, large scale embroidering, overpriced dinner, driving other people’s cars, bringing her mutt to the office, and living paycheck to paycheck.
Libby Alexander // Marketing + Operations // Libby lives to create databases, organize stuff, and share the Renegade adventures with everyone. She also produces The Vintage Bazaar, which (among other places) pops up inside of RCF from time to time. To relax she likes to make up soup concoctions on the fly, but never remembers to write down the recipe.
What is the History of RCF?
The inspiration for Renegade came about in 2003 when the RCF founders wanted to take their crafting hobbies to the next level and start exhibiting in art and crafts shows. After looking into joining several events, it quickly became apparent that no event existed which specifically represented the burgeoning DIY community of craftspeople and independent makers they saw emerging online at that time. Traditional shows were much more geared towards ‘fine art and craft’, and seemed to be seeking only established artists to the exclusion of any emerging young talent. The RCF founders imagined an alternative showcase for this new community of artisans which would feature more accessibly priced goods and attract a younger demographic interested in more contemporary designs.
With that, the Renegade Craft Fair debuted in Chicago’s Wicker Park in the fall of 2003. The Fair was an overnight success and has spread like wildfire ever since – adding Brooklyn in 2005, San Francisco in 2008, Los Angeles in 2009, Austin in 2010, and London, UK in 2011. Now in its 11th year, RCF is widely regarded as a marquee event for discovering new talent, building one’s independent craft business, reaching thousands of attendees, and has been heralded by many as the biggest and best event of its kind. Read some of our press highlights here.
The first ever RCF in Chicago in 2003!