Craneway Pavilion Crafts Fair fundraiser for KPFA Radio Celebrates 50th Anniversary for the Thanksgiving weekend Holiday shopping season

Craneway Pavilion Crafts Fair, Richmond, CA. Photo by Johnathon DeSoto.

Now that Thanksgiving is done, the official shopping for Christmas gifts has begun. And as more COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, venues are bouncing back encouraging people theses days to shop local when they get the chance.

A crafts fair like the one this weekend at The Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California is ideal for those seeking original and specialty items.

Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, California. Photo courtesy of Craneway Pavilion office and management staff.
Among the artisan vendors this Nov. 27 and 28 will be Caryl Brandes of Caryl B personal care products. She is honored to have the opportunity to participate in the annual KPFA Radio holiday crafts fair which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
 A fundraiser benefit for KPFA 94.1 Public Radio, for half a century, the Craneway Craft Fair has helped sustain the Berkeley, CA based listener-funded public radio decade after decade.
 Even as technology has changed radio broadcasting, and the “Vigilant as Always” station has faced many obstacles, KPFA listenership has remained strong.
The Craneway is situated along the waterfront on Harbor Way in the ‘Iron Triangle’ area of Richmond. Visitors to what once was formerly a Ford motors assembly plant can now enjoy 45,000 square-feet of a venue with panoramic views of the bay and of San Francisco in the distance. Year after year, as director of business development at Craneway, Nathaniel Cornejo is pleased to point out, “the crafts fair showcases more than 200 diverse exhibitors. Exhibitors include both master artisans of many years and emerging newcomers.”
While this is Brandes’ first time at Craneway, she is not a novice or newcomer to selling direct to customers at venues. For almost 10 years, her one-of-a-kind product line has been at local artisan market venues like the Markers Market in Mill Valley and Petaluma Gap Marketplace in Petaluma. 
“It’s difficult to get sales without exposure,” said Brandes. She is confident that the Craneway will be to her advantage. “My big push is offering gift boxes and

sets for the Holidays,” she added.

Photo by Hal Brandes
Another reason for her confidence in success along with the quality and originality of her products is the help of her lifetime partnership of husband Hal Brandes. “For as long as I can remember, she said, both Hal and myself have had a love affair with art and product design. It started years ago when we met in New York and then followed us to California.”
Since moving to Marin County (often referred to as ‘the backyard of San Francisco’) as reported by the Marin Independent Journal, they have continued to collaborate with one another in a variety of ways.
When embarking upon the development of Caryl B personal care products, she turned to Hal and his talents. “I was inspired to adapt Hal’s fine art photography into the packaging,” said Brandes.
She believes smart and thoughtful packaging is part of making a high quality product.  “We source our materials in the USA, she said and craft each product here in our California facility. We take pride in what we make, and look forward to customer interest in our unique products.”
This fall Brandes introduced ‘Warm Amber,’ as one of several item sets in her product line. Like all of her products, it is original. Caryl B products have been well received as Geri, one customer noted…”when I lavishly cream up with your Gardenia butter, always a compliment follows. Your natural, marvelously rich skin care products are exquisite.”
One of the reasons Brandes will be in good company amid the hundreds of experienced artisans is because of the commitment the staff at the Craneway Pavilion. And in addition to their commitment, civic leaders hold the Craneway and the annual holiday crafts fair in high regard. Months ahead of time, as reported by The Richmond Standard, the Richmond City Manager’s Office, Economic Development, and the Richmond Environmental and Health Initiatives Division, all encouraged qualified artisans and craftsmen to apply as exhibitors.
They consider the crafts fair as a both a highlight and a mainstay for community building and economic viability.
“Buy from a small business. Give a gift that comes with a story. Meet a maker. Take home an original work unlike any other. Come browse and have fun! Whether you are coming out to show your support for KPFA, shopping for the holidays, or just looking for a reason to stretch your legs – you  are welcome, said Cornejo, speaking on behalf of ‘The Fellowship of Craft Team’ he added; we look forward to you joining us for this historic 50th anniversary moment in the story of the Craneway Craft Fair.
In the interest of public safety, and according to California State and Contra Costa County mandates, visitors are required to share proof of  full vaccination or proof of negative COVID test before entering the holiday crafts fair. Face masks are required for everyone in attendance. Craneway Craft Fair is Saturday & Sunday, November 27 and 28 from 10:AM to 5:PM. Located at 1414 Harbor Way, South at Ford Point, Admission is $12 ages 18-64, $10 Seniors & People with disabilities, Youth under age 18 Admission is Free.
For tickets and details, visit the Craneway Crafts Fair website.