Crab Apple Takes Over SoCo

Melissa Booth

Selling my work at SXSW this year was a new experience for me. In fact, it was my first time to be  in town at all during SXSW after living in Austin for 24 years. Usually I’m in the group of Austinites who  leave town during the madness.

I primarily sell handmade stationery through my web store Crab Apple Designs and only sell directly at 2-3 shows a year, so I was a bit hesitant to try selling during South By. But I dove in anyway hoping that SXSW would bring the kind of geek (which I say with love) that shares my passion for retro paper goods. My craft emphasizes notebooks and sketchbooks made from old books and games, but my focus during SXSW was recycled comic books. I thought that a product that appeals to guys would be a good item to showcase.

I’m sure glad I took a chance.  What a great time! I participated in a “pop-up shop” on South Congress with local live music within earshot and a flow of foot traffic from morning until night. This was my kind of crowd: friendly, happy, and genuinely excited about the products I make. Evidently, comic books aren’t just for guys! I was thrilled to meet girls and guys of ALL ages who found something to love about vintage comics.

The happy energy that the festival brings to downtown is addictive and I will surely plan on participating again next year! – Melissa Stewart

Austin-Center of Festival Universe.


A quick but important review of my favorite festivals in Austin in the next couple months.

Stage dive hip(ster) deep into SXSW. As a native Austinite I usually cringe at the thought, but this year with a good mate to entertain from the UK, I am embracing the city and all it’s foreigners (bloody, I may even put on an English accent and pretend to be one).

Running through April 3rd is ye olde Sherwood Faire. Just outside Austin you can scarf a turkey leg, watch a jousting match and go back in time. I go to see wonderful Armadillo Christmas Bazaar Artists like Gaila Designs & Face Painting, Two Sisters Henna & Face Painting, and Mark Cooper with Signs of Spirit. I also cannot refuse any opportunity to dress up. I love costumes!!

In mid-April, the Old Settlers Festival is held nearby in Driftwood, TX. Their lineup is right up our alley at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. They even have Armadillos crawling around on their website. Cute! The headliners, The Avett Brothers are AMAZING and I am super excited to see them live.  A few Armadillo artists are also featured at the festival like The Gourds, Band of Heathens, Suzanne Choffel, Warren Hood and our very own Sahara Smith.

Finally, my most favoritest, fun festival to frolic frantically in Austin is Eeyores Birthday Party. This is the place to see Austin at its weirdest. I’m a sucker for birthday parties, and the underdog, so Eeyore’s is dear to my heart (you get to wear costumes at this one too)!

Let’s hope I make it out of the Austin festival season alive.