For now, though, the shoppers keep rolling in, looking for gifts. (The Harvard Square craft fair continued through Sunday.)
“We come here every year,” said Karen Chio, an Arlington resident at the Harvard Square fair. “Mainly, the crafts are beautiful. But it’s really neat that they’re handmade. They’re personal, and you get that feeling when you browse them, since the people who made the crafts are the ones selling them to you.
“It’s just different than something mass-produced from a large retailer,” she said. “And it never hurts to buy local.”
If there’s a final piece to the craft fair puzzle, it’s a commitment to the local economy and the distinctive goods shoppers discover.
“Take my cards and prints,” said Connie Barbour, a co-organizer of the Harvard Square fair who draws and paints greeting cards and other works in her Jamaica Plain studio. “Local. And if you look around here, you have a vendor whose intricately carved candle holders are made completely out of recycled cans. And there’s a potter whose work is all original . . . It’s not that you won’t find crafts like these anywhere — that’s a cliche. What fuels our success is that you won’t find this stuff everywhere.”