Creatives who design, sew, paint, cook, perform and more will gather in yards and driveways in Morningside for the fourth Craft Crawl on Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

“The original impulse was a front yard show – by neighbors for neighbors – to get people talking and sharing their talents”, said Suzy Lee, Craft Crawl co-founder and lifelong seamstress.

Susan Doyle, a retired nurse midwife, had the exact same idea. After meeting on Nextdoor, the two joined forces last year.

“People are crafting like crazy during the pandemic but there was no place to sell their amassing stuff,” Doyle said. 

Doyle is also a participating creator. She and her sister started Bledsoe Bags 10 years ago as an homage to their maternal grandmother, handmaking zippered purses, tote bags, and gadget cases out of new and recycled fabrics. 

“You have to see things and try them on,” Doyle said. “The interaction with people looking at the bags has been so important.” 

Started in October 2020, sellers and performers set up in their own front yards or in matched donated yards. This November, they are expecting more than 40 creatives, including a few bands. The only requirement is that the artists are from metro Atlanta.

“We had people on the waiting list in March 2021, but we expect we’ll have more yards this time,” Doyle said.  

It’s easy to donate your yard or driveway, assuming you are close to the route. Artists are required to stay outside and a band just needs access to an external outlet.  

“We view Amsterdam Avenue as our manifest destiny,” Lee said. “It would make a really nice loop – Amsterdam to Courtenay then N. Highland. We focus on the adjacent streets because that makes more sense for walking and shopping.”

Creators are grateful.

“At a time when so many festivals were being canceled, I really appreciated Suzy Lee and Susan Doyle’s effort to organize the Craft Crawl that give local crafters like me an opportunity to showcase my work,” said jewelry artist Suzanne Ledoux. “I hope to see it continue to expand with every year to come.” 

“As COVID has taken its toll, I think people recognize how important it is to support local artists and the small business community,” said painter Evelyn Edmeades. “As a long-time resident of the neighborhood, I’m always excited to see opportunities for the community to come together.”

Doyle and Lee are also trying to help others start their own Craft Crawls. 

“You don’t have to pay $400 to be in a show, you can make your own,” Lee said. Craft Crawl creators participate for free.

The starter kit includes a step-by-step guide, online forms, templates, checklists and more. 

“Our original idea was to do it all over the city,” Doyle said. “Maybe there’s an entrepreneur out there who will take this on.”

Scan the QR Code for details about the Nov. 20 show and the starter kit. 

Clare S. Richie

Clare S. Richie is a freelance writer and public policy specialist based in Atlanta.