Monday, July 13, 2015

Renegade Craft Fair LA: Pricey, For Hipsters, Still Fun

Small dogs to the left of me, mustaches to the right and me stuck in the middle of the anti-Comic-Con, Renegade Craft Fair LA. The annual indie scene of vendors up at Grand Park selling all manner of hipster accessories. As the adult man skated past you on his scooter and the tiny dogs belted out a few whimpers you knew you were in the Nirvana of wearing sunglasses inside and wearing clothes so off that it be better if you were just naked.

Really anyone could waltz in as it was a free two-day event and just enjoy the extravagance of filet mignon jerky, oh, and it's gluten free ... some how. Three Jerks Jerky, that's the name of the company that makes filet mignon jerky, which started with a Kickstarter in 2013 out of Venice, California and had little samples left to try by the closing of the fair Sunday. Shane Mershon, who was working the Three Jerks booth, said, "..started by three buddies who were all jerks." He was kidding around, but the name does stick with you, and though it was $12 a pouch it did taste good. You might call them jerks over the price, if it wasn't for the fact everything cost more than it does at the supermarket. Filet mignon usually does.

Not far from the Three Jerks was someone saying, "My husband is actually a comic book artist, so he helped me with the technicality of it." That was Hattie of Pickled by Hattie, who then said in the end she designed all the pickle labels that look straight out of a comic book. Her favorite pickle she sells? "Hattie's Hotties, that's kind of the reason I started the company, I was missing some spicy pickles from back home, " she said. Where is back home? "Topeka, Kansas, it was an old Russian deli that was down there and they made spicy pickles," she perked up to say. Her tasty pickled gherkins are available at many stores around LA and online. The garlicy Vampire Killers were our favorites. They're not a steal at $10 a jar, they're a luxury pickle and that ain't splitting dills.

Need more energy for the fair, go see the owl, the Knight Owl. "We sold out two days in a row, " said Amy Tang, the owner of Knight Owl Coffee. "I'm a third generation coffee roaster and I just took over from my Dad's company and re-branded, "she said. The coffee still smelled fresh though the day had lingered on. They launched at Artisanal LA a few months back, expect to see the brand pop up more throughout the city. "Most people taste it and there like,  'Oooow ok, ' and that's the reaction we always see from people," she continued.

Further down past the Schwinn bikes booth and past the playground, DKNG was back from last year selling prints. They are a duo of artists, DKNG, which was represented only by the DK portion, Dan Kuhlken. "It's been good, this weekend has been surprisingly's nice to talk to people for once (laughs) I work out of the home, " Dan said to me. His prints captured inconic scenes from films and his own work was a stylish sort of minimalist approach.

Renegade Craft Fair LA might have been high in hipster content and in price for food and accessories, however anyone could spend their day looking over the booths for free  outside in the sun in Grand Park.