Monday, April 06, 2009

Craft Show Experience

On Saturday my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece and I set up a couple of tables at the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette craft show, which benefits educating students in journalism. This past week was an absolute bear trying to get everything I wanted completed and organized not to mention the logistics of the entire weekend. (Packing for all of us for an overnight at my in-laws along with all of my cardmaking supplies and product to sell as soon as I got home from work, then rushing off to pick up Mitch at work on the way to the in-laws...not to mention throwing a birthday party for Liam on Sunday.) The week ended on a sweet note in the birthday party for Liam. The little guy is now officially two!! What an amazing journey is has been so far!

As I reflect on the show, I am both inspired with new ideas and also disappointed in the lack of actual crafts at a "craft show". One thing I learned from this experience is that bags of M&M's with a stamped sentiment go much faster than actual cards do. What the heck? How crafty is that? My strategy for the June show will be more things that people can eat and play with to accompany the cards. (pens, notepads, gifty items, etc.) I spent a decent amount of time prior to the show reading threads about craft shows concerning what people make, how they price, etc. I didn't really think that little trinkets were the way to open the sale to a card. I will be better prepared next time.

Onto my rant about craft shows lacking actual handmade "crafts"...there were several booths of beaders/jewelry makers as well as homemade preserves/candies/honey, candles, crocheting, embroidery, etc., but most of the booths were filled with items that were craft-like items (a lot of primitives/signs/furniture) that were not even made by the people at the booths rather imported from China or the like. This infuriates me for a couple of reason: 1) At a craft show one would expect the items to be handmade or hand"crafted". I guess at some point they have to be "hand" something not matter where they are made. 2) Given the current economic conditions, I will buy as little that is not made in the USA as well as from those who do not practice fair wages and safe working conditions. Not only because I want Americans to have jobs, but I am firm supporter of fair-trade and will not support the outsourcing of jobs for unacceptable wages in poor conditions just to save a buck or ten. I know that I buy things that are imported EVERYDAY and this supports the global economy, but frankly, I think our reliance on imports has gotten dangerous for other countries and ourselves.

Despite the appearance of things that had nothing to do with crafting at the show, there were some absolutely amazing crafters exhibiting their creativity and talent. My booth was surrounded by intoxicating soy candles ( Loretta and I had a little sniff fest!) and honey/beeswax products. There was also some beautiful blown glass, which I only found out after there was an ear-shattering crash on the floor after a table collapsed. I felt that in the pit of my stomach.

Here are a few of the cards that I made especially for this particular show. I didn't have much time to post them before. These were quick photos with the cards in the clear envelopes, so there is glare and a mailing envelope behind each card. I did not include many sentiments to make the cards more all occasion. I find it boring, so I doubt I will go that route next time around.

No details for these. If you have questions feel free to email me and I'll get back with you. :)


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