This past weekend we embarked on a journey to the American Field Boston craftsman show! If you have not yet heard of American Field, it is a pop-up market of upcoming craftsmen maker brands to showcase a meeting of goods, makers, and consumers. They hold events in a few large cities throughout the east coast of the U.S.A. in Washington DC, Brooklyn New York, and Boston Massachusetts. Often they hold shows twice a year in each location.
Traffic was light into Boston on a slightly overcast and rainy Saturday morning. Luckily the event started later in the day – at 11:00 AM – and it runs till 6:00. The American Field Boston event goes for two days – Saturday and Sunday.
Parking was just as easy in a garage across the street from Boston Seaport’s Innovation and Design Building. While likely not the cheapest parking in the area, it was directly next to the event. We were also very fortunate to happen upon the closest open parking spot directly next to the handicap spot. Onward to the event!
Innovation and Design Building
There were signs on the ground in the building leading us to the event.
The event ended up being on the 5th floor. We traveled up the elevator and got into one of the two lines. Which were labeled, one of those were for those who preregistered and the other for day-of sign-ins. Do note – you don’t need tickets or need to preregister. But you could preregister and also they had the steps listed to do so on the wall next to the line. The other way was to just wait and you could use their i-Pads they had setup there for day of registrations. We got our wristbands after giving information for your name, email, age, and how you heard about the event. Once you have done that you’re in free to roam as you see fit!
We started going booth to booth. There were other vendors of all sorts. Some traveling rather far to sell their wares.
What to Expect – Vendors
There was a surprising variety of vendors at the American Field Boston event. We wound our way around the show from booth to booth, seeing a myriad of vendors of various crafts and skills. All sorts of items were for sale, some vendors even having overlap of the same genre (and smelling some very interesting manly candle smells along the way).
– Watch makers
– Beef jerky
– Custom re-purposed lighting
– Knife makers
– Paint/digital artists
– Pennant/Banner makers
– Ball and Buck Retail
– Honey and tea
– Custom Polo’s
– Beard oil/ lip balm
– Even a Barber! (from Ball and Buck)
The longest of the lines were of course for the beer. For beer vendors there was Lord Hobo, Makers Mark, and Jägermeister.
The Coolest Vendors
Our list of the most unique and interesting vendors at the show:
– “Live-Edge” Carpenter
– Vintage Watch Re-purposer: Vortic Watches. One of my favorite booths of the day and such an amazing idea! He took vintage pocket watches from back in the day and converted them with new housings into wrist watches. So cool! Some inventory that he had were over 100 years old! Imagine that piece of history as your own personal time-keeper on your wrist!
– Re-Purposed Lighting: Everything re-wired into modern lights with Edison bulbs made from musical instruments, old radios, fans, you name it!
– Custom Knife Maker
We were getting hungry and saw some vendors with food and kindly asked where they got it. They pointed us in the appropriate direction and we found the booth. They had choice of two types of sandwiches – pork or meatloaf. We opted for the meatloaf and also ordered a side of the chips. Oh and how the chips were good!!! Best ever, we asked how they were made and they mentioned truffle salt was used on them for flavoring. Must be the secret ingredient!
We also ended up buying some jerky from a vendor who marketed their product as “air-dried beef.” Quite tasty! Thinking ahead, we bought a ‘print’ card for an upcoming family members birthday from an artist who had traveled all the way up from DC.
How They Could Make American Field Boston Even Better!
We would have loved to eat at more local specialized food vendors in the main vendor floor area while we walked around checking out the goods. (Though apparently the Boston Pickle Fair was happening that same day just outside the building in the massive amounts of food trucks. Next time!) Also if it was held closer to downtown or near other businesses in Boston as we would have walked around afterwards without having to find another parking lot.
As far as the vendors, we would enjoy seeing more re-purposed and interesting craft-makers like the lighting vendor who had created very unique and fun items, or the vintage re-purposed watch maker. Perusing through additional clothing brands – potentially some local fashion brands as style start-ups are common would help showcase local talent and would be fun!
There was an overly positive upbeat atmosphere at the event, with support from their own DJ! Though, I had seen some vendors having to work a bit extra to drown out the music to help attract and communicate to their prospective customers and clients as they passed by.
- It was definitely a “makers market” and not a vintage resale or flea-market show.
- Entrance is FREE – no tickets are required.
- It is best to preregister ahead of time (as they had two lines).
- Bring your ID if you plan on drinking.
- Most vendors were able to take credit cards for purchases (using square card and similar services).
- It is relatively small and quick to go through the show (it will not be an all day thing).
- Come early or late – there was plenty of goods available at all times so you won’t miss out if you aren’t the “early bird.” In fact, it is probably faster to get in not being part of the first crowd rush.
If you want to go – the next American Field Boston event is in the fall: September 29-30, 2018.
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