Have you ever been blown away by something you thought you knew so well? Well, I was left in the dust by… the craft show.
I was raised by a full time craftswoman. My mother sold her Rag Rugs exclusively at craft shows- no wholesale, no consignment, no home sales and no online sales. A handful of Craft shows each year- you either brought home the cash or… you didn’t. Here’s how it went..
You leave home before dawn; your less than reliable vehicle is packed solid, you lug everything you need to construct a “shop” on uneven ground in a space the length of my arm [ok, a wee bit bigger], you work feverishly to create a magnetizing display, you guzzle some coffee and wait nervously. You hope the people come rushing in thru the gates, you hope they have money, you hope they like your kind of stuff and you hope it doesn’t rain or the wind doesn’t rip down your cattywompus tent.
Wait, what’s that? What? It’s not the 80’s anymore. Ordinary people care about handmade stuff? What? I don’t have to dress up like a colonial servant at your craft show. What are you talking about?
All this to say, there is a new craft show in town. Let’s give it up for the craft show. The new guy [gal] is hip, fresh and very savvy. I have been put in my place; I never thought a craft show would be considered even remotely, “cool.”
It may be the same dance- you are probably still working like mad to create an amazing, display within a few hours and your booth might get blown away in gale storm winds- but the whole thing has a new, fresh vibe. It’s got a catchy and a little edgy name like Art Star Craft Bazaar or Renegade Craft Fair or Meet Your Maker.
You may still be praying that the next person to walk by stops in and gets the cash out- but you know you’ve got options. You can check your email, maybe something sold in your Etsy shop [a “place” that really knocks my socks off] or you can brainstorm for your next blog post. If they do stop in, you can tell them about your website or let them know you would happy to add them to your email mailing list.
I’m sure you’ll have your share of snide comments by the end of the weekend- but I’m guessing there’s going to be bucket loads of wow, “this stuff is really cool,” “that is so awesome that you make this,” and on and on. Handmade is definitely catching on.
After ALOT of time in my younger years wandering aimlessly thru endless earthtone craftiness – I confess I’ve always been a bit skeptical. I guess that’s how it is when you grow up in something- you become blind to it’s beauty. I’m coming around.
Its dawning on me that the craft show is a legacy. It’s the ye olde medieval market, evolved. The craft show is our filling a deep need to buy our stuff from real people with real hands.
Long live the craft show!