Arts & Events » Arts and Culture

The Anti-Bazaar Holiday Market

Wool Factory to host second-annual holiday market this Sunday in Charlottesville.


Note: Style is putting together a series with suggestions of day trips and staycation ideas for the season that are more budget-friendly than extensive travel. Next up is The Wool Factory’s second annual holiday market, which includes a curated collection of Charlottesville-area vendors as well as food and drinks.

For some, a holiday bazaar can be overwhelming, oversaturated and, quite frankly, bizarre. The holiday market at The Wool Factory, a 12,000-square-foot venue in Charlottesville, will offer a much more curated collection of local vendors without a lot of the fuss that comes along with major markets like the Bizarre Bazaar hosted at the Richmond Raceway each year.

“People who would avoid that might really be into what we have,” says Emmie Mathes, director of professional development at The Wool Factory. “It's specially curated.”

The original Wool Factory building was constructed in 1868, and now operates as an event space that includes a microbrewery, Selvedge Brewing, a restaurant, Broadcloth, and a boutique wine and coffee shop, The Workshop. Previously named The Woolen Mills, the factory once supplied uniform cloth during World War II, according to property history.

Now, The Wool Factory, which is located about a mile from Charlottesville’s original downtown area, serves as an event and entertainment space. This Sunday, Dec. 11 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., The Wool Factory’s second annual holiday market will be hosted in the Selvedge Brewing and Workshop space, offering a shopping experience with local vendors as well as food and drinks.

Keeping in line with the idea of keeping things smaller and more curated, just seven local vendors will host the market: Verde Natural Florals, Holdingforth, Albemarle Cannabis Company, Baewolf Earrings, SculpTD Pottery, Botanical Dwellings and Louise Shop. The idea for the market was to offer a variety of products from vendors, including plants, “upscale, hip” clothing, wreathes, rugs, pottery—and even CBD products.

“We have selected seven unique, but quality vendors that all offer a little something different,” Mathes says. “The quality is there over the quantity in this sense.”

At Selvedge Brewing, guests can grab “elevated pub food,” as Mathes calls it, including burgers, fries, wings and salads. At the Workshop across the courtyard from Selvedge, Grit Coffee (a staple in both Richmond and Charlottesville), Cou Cou Rachou Pastries and a variety of wines will also be available. There will also be live music from alt-soul artist Tre Charles and the Charlottesville Jazz Congregation.

A look inside the Workshop. - COURTESY OF THE WOOD FACTORY
  • Courtesy of The Wood Factory
  • A look inside the Workshop.

“It's casual and approachable because you're coming to a brewery, so you have that kind of vibe,” Mathes adds. “We’ll have live music playing, so the energy is up and it creates that bustle.”

While there is a vast outdoor courtyard space at The Wool Factory that is dog-friendly, the indoor spaces where the Holiday Market will take place are not. Outside in the courtyard, there are fire pits, lounge seating and heaters for guests to enjoy their food and drinks outside.

Also unlike other mainstream holiday events or markets, there won’t be kid-centered activities like visits with Santa.

“We are a kid-friendly establishment, but I would not necessarily gear this particular event towards kids,” Mathes explains. “We do other [events] during the year that are more of a free-for-all. But this I would gear more towards adults.”

There’s no admission fee for the event; guests pay for food, drinks and any gifts they’d like to take home from vendors. If you’re coming from the city of Richmond, it will take little more than an hour to get to The Wool Factory, which is roughly 70 miles away. There’s also ample parking at the venue.

Since it’s just a one-day event, Mathes suggests getting there early for the best selection. “It's a first-come, first-serve, come eat, drink, be merry situation,” she says.

If you’re looking to lengthen your stay in Charlottesville, you can also check out some of the popular local breweries on the Charlottesville Ale Trail, including Starr Hill and Three Notch’d, both of which are also Richmond favorites.

The Wool Factory's second annual holiday market will be held this Sunday, Dec. 11 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 1837 Broadway St. in Charlottesville.