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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sabino Canyon Sunset Bazaar: A bounty of local handmade goods

Maritza Cruz

Clothing on display from LuLaRoe, which sells women’s skirts and dresses, during the Sabino Canyon Sunset Bazaar at Three Canyons Beer and Wine Garden on Wednesday, June 28 in Tucson, Ariz. The event was organized by Art Lounge Productions to showcase the creations of local businesses.

Sabino Canyon’s first ever “Sunset Bazaar” had local artists, craftspeople and members of the community all gathered under tents this past Wednesday night.

A wild summer wind carried the scent of fresh churros and kettle corn through the intimate open marketplace. The crunch of gravel beneath feet, the sound of live music and the familiar hum of humans lingered in the air.

As patrons weaved through the white tents displaying handmade goods, vendors eagerly waited for new faces to approach, glancing from behind their creations at each passerby.

RELATED: Students should take advantage of Tucson’s many farmers markets where the food is affordable, local and always in season

Art Lounge Productions organized this special event at Three Canyon Beer and Wine Garden. Owner Janna Cerna, a filmmaker turned event planner, puts together events like the “Sunset Bazaar” to draw public attention to local businesses.

Heal with Tea

Donna Cheeseman peered behind a table stacked high with jars of tea leaves. A sign on her display read “Keep Calm and Kettle On.” She greeted customers with a smile and distinct English accent. Cheeseman was born in Florida but moved to Manchester, England with her mother when she was young.

As owner of Heal with Tea, Cheeseman blends her own teas from different parts of the world with health in mind, using herbs with specific healing properties. Her teas are even given a blessing from a Reiki master, a specialist in the Japanese practice of stress reduction and relaxation.

At first, Cheeseman was mostly known for her tea-leaf readings. She organized tea parties for about five or six years before selling her own blended teas.

“I’ve been reading tea leaves since I was knee-high to a grasshopper,” Cheeseman said. “The other ladies used to sit around, drink their tea, do their knitting and crocheting  – and they used to read the tea leaves. So, one day of course I’m interested in it, and I said, ‘Oh let me have a go,’ and they loved it.”

Cheeseman said she decided to sell her blended teas after people started asking what brews could help ailments like arthritis or an upset stomach.

Her most popular tea is the rooibos chai ginger cardamom blend. For more information about Cheeseman’s special tea creations, contact

Squooshy Designs

Squooshy Designs was created by another Tucson resident from across the pond. Anna Bounds is from the United Kingdom, but moved to Tucson three years ago with her husband who is in the Air Force. One day Bounds bought fabric for a quilting project, but discovered her passion for handmade vintage coin purses instead. She loves using quirky fabrics for her creations.

“I take different fabrics, and I mix-and-match, and do a lot of hand sewing so they are all unique pieces,” Bounds said.

Purses are either $15 or $17.50 depending on the fabric. Customers can order custom printing or lettering through her Etsy page.

Ancestral Herbals

Julee Davis created Ancestral Herbals, a homemade and all-natural beauty product line. Her daughter Kate Davis said her mom learned how to make lye soap as teenager. As an adult, she wanted to sell soaps that didn’t contain harsh chemicals.

RELATED: Veg out at Tucson’s first annual vegan food festival

The company sells handmade soaps, lotion, toners and creams. Their best seller is the “Lump of Coal,” an activated charcoal soap for oily and acne prone skin. In addition to participating in the “Sunset Bazaar,” Ancestral Herbals sells their products every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the St. Philip’s Plaza Farmers’ Market.

These three local businesses were just a few of the many colorful Tucson vendors that the “Sunset Bazaar” showcased.

“I think it’s the best thing to support our artists because I know how much time goes into making something – hours and a lot of creativity,” said Anette Fair, a former jewelry maker who attended the bazaar as a customer.

Art Lounge Productions is always looking for new vendors to add to their next special event. Visit their Facebook page for more information on upcoming events.

Follow Maritza Cruz on Twitter.

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