Has anyone else noticed that “craft” markets are becoming less crafty? I am finding fewer and fewer craft vendors and more and more business vendors. When I go to a craft market, I want to see what people are making, not what they are selling. I’m seeing more and more businesses like “31” and “Scentsy” and “Origami Owl” at the craft fairs. I have nothing against these businesses, I think they’re great, but I don’t think they belong at craft fairs. I am also seeing a lot of people who buy a lot of cheaply made clothes and other items in bulk and are at fairs trying to sell them as a craft and fewer people who actually make what they are selling. I am much more willing to buy something that I can see is handcrafted than I am a premade item with a made in China tag.
I love the woodcarvers, especially the ones who use chainsaws and a chunk of tree. At our annual festival in town this year, I came across a man who carved wood on a lathe and made the most beautiful items; bowls, and pepper grinders, and even pens. At one county fair, we saw a wagon selling leather belts and belt buckles. I didn’t look closely at the buckles, but all of the belts were real leather and stamped and tooled by hand. They were all long and could be cut to the specific length you needed and they had a very large variety of designs. These people came all the way from Florida to Indiana to sell their belts. I wish I had taken business cards so that I could remember all their names, but I didn’t think that far ahead.
I’ve also been seeing more and more food crafters. We bought some delicious cupcakes at our local market this year in all different flavors: root beer float, mochaccino, pink lemonade, and my favorite, triple chocolate. There were also some people selling homemade cookies and brownies. I think pies would do very well, because there is nothing better than homemade pie, but a lot of people don’t have the time to make one themselves or just don’t like to bake. I even saw someone advertising for cakes for special occasions. These people are artists, or artisans, the same as the people who sew, and knit, and make jewelry.
My favorite crafter, who I recently discovered at our local market, is a very nice lady named Polly who raises sheep for their wool. She is going to be teaching a class on wool felting at our local market for a few weeks. I will let you know all about that after I take the class. I’ll try to remember to take pictures. The cost is $30 dollars and she supplies all the materials. The finished product is a purse or handbag. I’m very excited to learn a new skill!
I think we need to get back to supporting our local artisans and artists. And then there are summer farmers’ markets. There is absolutely nothing better than fresh, locally grown produce!
- What I have learnt from my venture into craft fairs. (sewathome.co.uk)
- First craft fair (fabtastes.wordpress.com)
- Selling Handbags at Craft Fairs (bobbingirl.wordpress.com)
- America’s Best Craft Fairs (local.answers.com)