News and updates about Market Day events in Des Moines, IA.


Black Friday Gift Guide: For the One that Glitters.

We're back with another Black Friday Gift Guide. Laura, Market Day's Director of Making Friends, is here to help you stuff your stockings with local, handmade and vintage goods. Put down the Black Friday sale ads. Sleep in a little bit. Join us at Market Day. ON FRIDAY!

A Gift Guide for the One that Glitters.

A little sparkle is never enough during the holidays. At holiday time we should shower in sequins. Or at least step up our shimmer game. Help that special someone where their shine on the outside with these sparkling gifts from our Market Day vendors.

For the gal who wants to stand out from the flock:

Dani is Awesome. Ladies looking to spruce up their holiday look need this feathered headpiece. Flaunt it at your next holiday party. 

For that girl who wants to Bee-jewel her neckline:

Christine finds the best of the gems. Unique and whimsical, this sparkling stinger jazzes up an everyday look or creates a little buzz at your holiday cookie exchange. Don't bee the one to miss out on this. Too much word play for just one gift item.

Nicole's fun, lively personality comes out in her Nicole and Dime designs. She put together a luxurious holiday line that will sell out quickly at Market Day, for sure. This ribbon and jewel combo will jazz up a white tee or be the finishing touch for your office party ensemble. (Gifts for ourselves are ok too. Right?)

For the vintage glitter girl:

Market Day offers the best in Vintage wares. Our vendors are bringing the best of their spangled get-ups so you can be sure your holiday look stands out in the sea of holiday sweaters and little black dresses. You never know what these folks are bringing-- so stop by Market Day, try on that perfect swath of sequins, leave happy. [I'm looking at you Vintage Salvation. This year I'm leaving with a glittered getup.]

For the one into the classics:

These dainty silver studs are perfect for everyday wear. Jennifer Lawler Designs makes one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry that would delight any glitter loving gal this holiday season. 

To top it all off:

A red lip glams up any holiday look and your glitter girl will want all of Aromi's lipsticks. All of them.

Happy Thanksgiving, Market Day friends. The team at Market Day is thankful for all our talented, dedicated vendors pursuing their craft and being excellent. We're also thankful for you-- thank you for supporting us, for supporting our vendors and believing in the gift of #hohohandmade.

Now relax, eat some turkey and we'll see you Friday!




Black Friday Gift Guide: For the Kiddos.

Another gift guide from Market Day's Director of Making Friends, Laura. So what if she threw in a little self-promoting gift wrap... she's here to help you find that special, handmade gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Our makers are crafting their socks off (or crafting socks for you to put on) as Black Friday sneaks up on us. Let's get ready to shop, shall we?

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A Gift Guide For the Kiddos:

The kiddos need some #hohohandmade gifts too and this year Market Day has makers with kid friendly wares for all ages (including grown ups who still like crayons.) 

For the well-dressed little one:

Leo and Lola want the kids looking adorable, all the time. A sweet little pullover with pockets? I want one too. This top is made of sweatshirt material, stretchy, cozy and warm for the upcoming chilly months. Pick up one, or three, for the chic little one on your gift list.

For the arty kid:

All the coolest kid rooms have great, meaningful art. Cat Rocketship creates beautiful bitty talismans, perfect for a spirited piece of incredible art to hang on the wall of a baby room. True Love? Come on. It's perfect. 

For the kid (or grown up) who loves crayons:

Full disclosure, I made this, so this is basically self-promoting, but after you pick up all these great gifts at Market Day, you'll need to wrap them. XO-LP offers color-your-own gift wrap for the kids (and the kid in all of us) to customize. It's a personal touch for all the wrappin' needs of the season.

For the snuggly babies:

The little ones are going to love the adorable (and huggable) stuffed elephants from Amos the Famous. These hand stitched cuddle buddies are made with love and based on a depression era pattern from Amos the Famous' great-grandmother. 

Jazz up the baby's room with a fluffy pillow from the Sara Initiative. All little girls should be reminded that "We can do it." Find a throw pillow for the rocking chair and the living room, she'll have plenty to choose from.

There will be so much more to see on Friday, November 28th at the Kirkwood in Downtown Des Moines. Black Friday Market Day is a family event with a little something for everyone, even Santa's little helpers.

See you there,




Black Friday Gift Guide: For the Hometowners.

Laura (Market Day's Director of Making Friends) is back with another gift guide to help you be the best at Black Friday. Gift giving doesn't have to be hard. At Black Friday we'll be slinging drinks at the Gramercy Tap and boppin' to holiday tunes. Don't get caught fighting over that 28 inch flat screen, meet us at Market Day. 

A gift guide for the Hometowner:

I love Iowa. I love all the things about it. As Kevin says "Des Moines Loves Des Moines." Oh man we sure do. If you've got someone on your list who is crushing hard on our city and state (you know, a hometowner), Market Day has a big list of vendors who can hook you up with some IA pride. 

For the Hometowner Gallery Wall:

New to Market Day is Bozz Illustration. If you've been searching for a fresh screen printed homage to Des Moines, he's got it. (and you'll want two, one for you and one for the hometowner)

"Our liberties we prize. Our rights we shall maintain." Well said, Iowans. Give the gift of the state motto to your favorite hometowner. Cicada Grove illustrated this beautiful print that features those wise words and our state bird, the goldfinch. (We should also send one to Rob Lowe)

For the Hometowner Heart:

Help that Iowa lover on your list wear her hometown pride right over her heart. Decadence breathes new life into old Iowa artifacts creating wearables (including these delicate brass charms) honoring all things Iowa. 

For the Hometowner Kitchen:

Kate Brennan Hall screen prints tea towels that make a perfect stocking stuffer. Buy them as a set or solo, your hometowner will be thanking you (and thinking of home) every time it's their turn to dry.

Too much Iowa love for just one gift guide, I'd say. Want more Iowa products made by Iowa makers? Stop by the Kirkwood on Friday, November 28th (9am to 5pm). Sip a mimosa and shop calmly. You'll be happy you did.

Until Friday,




Black Friday Gift Guide: For the Bro-mantic.

It's like Santa's workshop up in here. But we like to think Santa's Elves got nothin' on us. 

All our talented Market Day vendors are hustling to prep their wares for the big day: Black Friday Market Day on November 28th, 9am to 5pm at the Kirkwood Hotel in Downtown Des Moines. The ladies of Market Day (that's Laura and Dani and Cat) are hard at work too prepping our own holiday goods and getting you, lovers of Market Day, pumped up for the most exciting shopping day of the year: Black Friday.

Because shopping local shouldn't be scary, it should be FUN, our Director of Making Friends, Laura, is offering up a few gift guides to help you find the perfect handmade or vintage gift for all those on your list this year.

Hello Market Day Shopper! We're just 10 (ah!) days away from our favorite day of shopping. As Market Day's Director of Making Friends, I'm here to help you (you know as your friend) to navigate your holiday shopping list and make the most of your Black Friday experience. 

A gift guide for the Bro-mantic.

You want a thoughtful gift for the bro in your life, I get it. I have a new brother (sup Uncle Nick) and am always looking for the right kind of gift for that cool kind of guy. Whether your bro is a Dad, a cousin or your super cute neighbor guy, Market Day has got all the bro's covered for anyone trying to be a little sentimental and pick up a Bro-mantic gift this holiday season.

For the Bearded Bros:

Keep your bro's beard silky and hydrated with Bird & Bear's relaxing beard oil. Not only does that lavender scent calm your temperament, it also can also be used on your bro's winter dried face. Pre-beard or post-beard or mid-beard, Bird & Bear has the bro's face covered.

For the Dog Loving Bros:

That coworking-bro's schnauzer is looking a like it went a little too far into Movember? Help your bro keep man's best friend smelling fresh and looking so clean. Siberian Soap Co. offers manly scented soaps for bros and dogs alike. These plant based soaps are a great gift for the Earth Loving Bro as well. Keep your bro AND the planet clean: win win.

For the Comic Bro:

Even a hero in a half shell needs somewhere to write out his grocery list. Trekkies still need to do lists. Doctor Who bros need a place to store their dentist's phone number. For these bros: Iron Swallow is a booth you must hit at Black Friday. 

For the Party Throwing Bro:

This bro loves a great party, but doesn't like coffee table rings. Functional and cool, these limited edition coaster sets are etched with lasers (bros love lasers, seriously.) Jake Haselman knows bros. And lasers. 

More gift guides to come in the ten days before BLACK FRIDAY MARKET DAY. Mark your calendar and check back soon. 

Your friend,




5 locally-sourced treats in our VIP's bags

It's the last business day before the sale, so I only have time for a quick, ugly text post. But we're finishing up VIP bags and they are GREAT. 5 things:

  1. Gift cards to Proof restaurant
  2. Gift cards to Cache Bake Shoppe
  3. MASSAGES (not in the bag, but part of the package) and COFFEE from Mars Cafe
  4. ART by XOLP
  5. $50 off coupons for Badowers

The point is, we want Market Day to help us keep our money in the community. Get a VIP pass and you can start with us, and you'll be on your way to a locally-sourced Christmas. 


5 years of Market Day and 5 ways you can help us


5 years of Market Day and 5 ways you can help us


This is the end of our 5th year of Market Day! This Black Friday is our 31st event! We have compiled a scrapbook of photos from these five years. Review. Reminisce.

This week I mailed invitations to people who've helped Market Day happen, and it was a very nice way to spend an hour: feeling connected and grateful for all the people who've supported us these five years. You, reading this, are one of those people. Thank you. We enjoy running Market Day, and we're proud to bring it to you.

Part of the fun of Market Day is creating an experience together, with a community of people who care and support it. Here are ways you can be in on the fun:

1: Invite your friends to like us on Facebook

2: Invite your friends to the event.

3: Invite your friends to be your date. 

Theres no link for this. Just gotta pick up the phone. 

4: Tweet about @marketdayiowa. 

And post about going to Market Day on your Facebook wall.

5: Pick up a VIP pass

This one's good for you, too. If you haven't already heard, VIPs get chair massages, coffee, coat check, snacks, and a gift bag. 


Really and seriously and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the support you've given us already. Even just stopping by the info desk to say hi means a lot and reminds us what a good town we live in. 


5 gifts for the Laura Palmer in your life


5 gifts for the Laura Palmer in your life

It's hard to shop when you sit behind your own booth, but this Market Day, this 5th Anniversary Black FridayShopping Extravaganza Market Day, I did some early scouting to find my must haves. 

For that Laura Palmer in your life, not the Twin Peaks one, but that someone who loves puns, highlighters, whiskey, cooking (while dancing) and things that warm your heart, here's a quick guide to your must-buys at Market Day.

Kate Brennan knows the way to my heart and into my kitchen. I'll buy anything Iowa. Anything. I have some serious IA pride and this sweet tea towel is cute and IA patriotic. (Iowa-triotic? Is that a thing?)


I've given makexdo's warm, knitted creations as gifts for several years now, but never snagged one for myself. This year is my year, Jen. 

Florence Oliver is my favorite. Every little coin purse, lip gloss pouch, or really any bag with a zipper that floats in and out of my handbag-- Danelle made it. I can't wait to get one of these hand painted leather ones.

Not only does Nicole and Dime have a punny name (a woman after my own heart) she also makes wearable, colorful necklaces. These triangle pendants would be the perfect addition to my everyday wardrobe.


Oh. And I want a Market Day VIP pass. Coupons to local businesses, a limited edition MD print, a super cool shopping bag and access to coffee and treats? That sounds like a holiday treat I can't be without.

Merry Market Day, my friends. Can't wait to see you on the 29th.



5 reasons to be a VIP at Market Day


5 reasons to be a VIP at Market Day


Five reason you need to be VIP for Market Day's 5th anniversary shopping extravaganza:

1. Chair Massage. Nothing feels better after shopping 70 handmade vendors' booths than a relaxing massage from Jenny of Ocean Breeze Massage in Beaverdale. Jenny will be offering blissful chair massages in the VIP area from 2pm to 5pm
[Does JC Penny offer this on Thanksgiving night at 10pm? I don't believe they do.]

2. You're entered to win that incredible Des Moines bag of amazing-- read more here!

3. You get a button shouting to the world that you support Market Day and thus are VIP. (Very Important Peeps at Market Day and Beyond) You'll also get a custom shopping bag emblazoned with the Market Day logo. Classy swag.

4. You'll get coupons, information and promotional items from some of our favorite local businesses in Des Moines so you can continue to shop local and support our fair city throughout your holiday weekend! (Thank you Eden, Badowers, Cache Bake Shoppe, Le Jardin, Greater Des Moines Community FoundationGreater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and more!)

5. You love Market Day. I know you do. And fellow lover of Market Day, this is a great way to support what we do here in Des Moines. You're supporting Market Day's mission of promoting Very Small Business, lady entrepreneurs, man craft, and keeping Des Moines surprising. (and who doesn't want to support that)

Join me. Be VIP.




5 gifts for the fashion forward, glitter obsessed, techy in your life

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5 gifts for the fashion forward, glitter obsessed, techy in your life

That is to say, five things to buy for Dani Awesome.

If you know a quirky, fashion ­forward, glitter­-obsessed, techy, workaholic woman between the ages of, say, 25 and 34, this list is an excellent reference point for her Christmas present. Or, if you are my friend, relative, or husband, take note.

Statement Necklace, Plants + Planets

Statement Necklace, Plants + Planets

I love a statement necklace. This one hits me on all cylinders. It's huge.

It's shiny. It's original. I love that it's leather on the back side, as it would be WAY more comfortable to wear. I need this in my life.

iPad sleeve, Ingrained

iPad sleeve, Ingrained

I just got my iPad last month, and I am OBSESSED with it. Why should it not have a

beautiful home? This handmade, solid wood case by Ingrained is the perfect environment for my new favorite toy.

tiny sloth by Animalito

tiny sloth by Animalito

Why, you might ask, does a 31-year-old woman need a teeny, tiny sloth? WHY NOT, I SAY. This just makes me happy. I just want to look at it once every hour, see its sweet yet mischievous expression, and breathe a deep sigh of relief and happiness. So there. It's a tiny sloth by Animalito.

collar by bean & the sprout

collar by bean & the sprout

Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot deal with being cold. Not even a little. I'm the biggest baby ever. Now, if one needs to be warm, there is no reason that one cannot be warm and fabulous. Why has this not already happened for me? I need one of these collars from bean & the sprout

metallic clutch by Vintage Salvation

metallic clutch by Vintage Salvation

These are just so shiny I can't even think. This may actually end up saving me money. I will reach for my purse to retrieve my wallet, and get so distracted its beauty that I forget why I'm even holding it. This is an unlikely scenario, but it doesn't make me want this purse any less. These metallic clutches are by Vintage Salvation.

This is just the short list, of course. I could go on and on and on. I think that the point is that Market Day Black Friday is a perfect place to shop for a daniAWESOME, so what are you waiting for? Those gifts aren't going to buy themselves. You know what to do. Get to Black Friday this week. 

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5 pieces of craft you can win at Market Day (and how to win them)


5 pieces of craft you can win at Market Day (and how to win them)

First, let's be clear: the giveaway packages we're talking about contain WAY MORE than 5 items. We're giving away two bags of great stuff from our vendors:

  • When you sign up to receive our newsletter, you're entered to win a gift package. (If you already subscribe, you can still drop your name!) 
  • VIP shoppers are entered to win their own prize package, so if you have a VIP pass, you have two chances to win more than $250 in giftable, lovable art and crafts.

These giveaways are LOADED -- you win one, and you'll have a bunch of creative gifts to give this Christmas. Or self-gift. 

Okay, let's see. 

What you can win: 

This beautiful market bag, produced by Apolis, sold exclusively at Badowers, and sure to be part of your Market Day/Farmer's Market/Arts Festival/80/35 experience for years to come. 

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A big blue chunky knit cowl (similar to this one) by makexdo, aka Jen Geigley. Once you squeeze Jen's knitwork, you know the luxury that a good knitted piece can bring. Cozy, cute, and comfortable...this could be a big prize in and of itself. 

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Format Analog is giving away three retired cameras. They don't capture images, but they make a shelf look pretty classy. 

We're got a hand-stamped IOWA bracelet made by Decadence. How great is this?

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If you're lucky, you'll win this painted plaque made by Rocket Assembly. Hang it on a wall. Give it to a teen. Cherish yourself or share it with a friend. Once you get the goods, what you do with them is up to you. 

Items not pictured: 

We're still collecting work from our vendors, so this list will get even longer. But right now, a suitcase full of prizes sits next to me, eagerly anticipating finding a new home on Black Friday. 

Anyway, here's the list of what we've got: 

  • Two sparklysaurs from Tara's Dinos (as featured here)
  • Four feather globe ornaments by DaniAWESOME
  • $10 gift card to KimB Kreatures (and a reusable card cozy!) 
  • Another $10 gift card in a card cozy...which I have temporarily misplaced and cannot put a vendor to at the moment. -_-
  • 2 catnip fish toys from The Sara Initiative
  • 1 onesie and assorted cards by Kate Brennan Hall
  • 1 bracelet by Fashion Funward
  • Forever Gold photo book by Michael Watson
  • A soft gray cowl by Clara Ruth Scarves
  • A bracelet from Big Button Archive
  • A tee from Vintage Salvation
  • Earrings and a set of coasters from Gardenia Gifts
  • A pack of posters, prints, and stickers by Dead Clown Art

How you can win:

  1. Buy a VIP pass: you'll have a chance to win two bags of craft. 
  2. Black Friday shoppers can drop their name on our newsletter signup. You'll only be in the drawing for one giveaway...unless you buy a VIP pass

We will draw for both prizes at 3:30 on Friday. You need not be present to win (but you might as well be there to spend your gift cards!) 


5 reasons to get a Market Day VIP pass


5 reasons to get a Market Day VIP pass


Market Day will always be a free show, but that doesn't mean we won't take tips. Buying a VIP pass lets you contribute to Market Day and lets us scheme bigger schemes in 2014. It also grants you:  

  1. 8:30 AM check in (optional) -- Talk to our muscle at the door and they'll let you in a half hour before we open. You can grab a cuppa coffee (or a mimosa), take off your jacket, and stay a while in our
  2. lounge, just for vendors and VIPs. Might be the only good seats in the place.
  3. Coat and bag check at the front desk
  4. Coffee all day, $3 mimosas and bloody marys (this could almost be two reasons)
  5. A swag bag containing a Market Day 5th Anniversary commemorative card from XO-LP, deals and flyers from local shops also doing Black Friday sales, and a few surprises. 

Treat yourself (and us) with a VIP pass to Market Day's Black Friday sale