Long Beach Makers

Long Beach has a long tradition of talented do-it-yourselfers – from acclaimed artists to musicians, chefs to artisans. It’s a tradition that continues to this day, as the city is a hub for makers of all disciplines – clothing, jewelry, art, beauty – their wares displayed in some of the city’s most fashionable boutiques and most popular gatherings. If you’re looking for unique, one-of-a-kind creations, check out these places and events to increase your comprehension of Long Beach’s handmade tale.

Credit: The Patchwork Festival


This eclectic shop, which bills itself as “a collective of small businesses, operating inside a small business,” has quickly become one of the can’t-miss boutiques on Fourth Street’s Retro Row. Inside The Hangout’s (2122 E. Fourth St.) 4,000-square-foot building that used to be a grocery store, you’ll find a coming together of books, plants, handcrafted textiles and ceramics, as well as a wide range of self-care items ranging from hand lotion to sage wands. All of this in a space that recently added The Hangout Market, an outdoor garden where you can enjoy beer, wine, and even appetizers from next door neighbor La Tarantella Osteria, as well as snacks and baked goods.



This is what happens when a collection of makers are brought together not only with the idea of displaying their creations but doing it in an atmosphere of equitable purpose. Fair Trade Long Beach (4105 N. Bellflower Blvd.) features a perpetually refreshed supply of one-of-a-kind items. There is jewelry and clothing, as well as so much artwork that the shop could just as easily be considered a gallery. Since the collective also sells unique products from all over the globe–Ecuadorian nut jewelry, for instance–its inventory has been called “Glocal,” i.e. Global+Local.



This monthly event at oceanside retail center, 2ND & PCH, blocks off Seaport Way, the main road that runs through the shopping center, allowing guests to roam freely and check out the wares of more than 30 local and regional makers and artists. The Creative Communal Makers Market normally begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. This free, open-air event has live music and is very kid-friendly. In fact, don’t be surprised if some character, say, a Disney princess or Easter Bunny, show up to say hello and pose for photos.



Over the years, this event has grown from cozy parking lot craft fair to a multi-event, handmade phenomenon with Patchwork events occurring all over California–Oakland, Orange County, Santa Rosa, Ventura. But it is their twice-a-year, Long Beach event that is by far their largest. Held near the water’s edge at Marine Stadium (5255 Paoli Way), the show features more than 200 makers as well as DIY crafting and a large Patchwork Junior section. There’s also live music, artisan food vendors and food trucks.

Credit: The Patchwork Festival



Just blocks away from the beach, in the heart of the East Village Arts District has a rich and diverse art history and community. That’s on full display during Second Saturdays which celebrate the community by bringing together and spotlighting artists, creatives and small businesses to build connection between art, business and residents, not only through a display of their wares, but some terrific live music performances. The neighborhood is rich in hip shops, galleries and restaurants, many located in architecturally significant and restored buildings. And it’s free!

Credit: Candice Wong
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Steve Lowery