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Posts Tagged ‘community’

Crafty Wonderland was Amazing!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Crafty Wonderland’s Super Colossal Sale was amazing to Richard and I this year.  We took a lot of time to set up our booth to make it really eye catching, which if you are a vendor is a pretty critical element to a good sale.  Another necessity for a good sale is choosing your shows wisely.  Participating in a show that is well run and marketed, which Cathy Pitters and Torie Nguyen have in spades can make your sale experience incredible.  No matter where you live, Crafty Wonderland is a show that is worth traveling to and selling at. 

Our booth was hoppin’ almost the entire time of this 2 day event.  Richard and I both loved meeting shoppers, new shop owners interested in carrying our work and the sheer joy of selling our art. We hung the DIY Lounge sign on the front of our booth even though we were selling for our other businesses, Knot Ugly Designs and Sinister Concept.

We had so much fun and we are truly grateful to all of the folks who came out and shopped, which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 people I think I heard.  It was an honor to sell next to all the amazing handmade artists who’s work was represented at Crafty Wonderland and the biggest thank you of all to the show organizers.

Learn more about Crafty Wonderland from this video that DIY Lounge produced and directed about Crafty Wonderland.

I am re-reminded again and again that this is a great community and I am so fortunate to be part of this amazing artistic scene!

by: Jen

I Heart Portland’s Art Scene

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Eight years ago when I decided to start a small creative business there was one regular craft show that happened a couple of times a year.  If you wanted to get your wares into stores through either consigning or wholesale accounts you had to do all the leg work yourself.  First, you researched which stores might be a good fit for your product, pounded the pavement, set up appointments, hoped the store owner was available and best of all, they would want to carry your work.

That is why last night’s I Heart Art Mixer Match was so incredibly cool.  Think speed dating for artists, except instead of trying to get a date the artists were attempting to woo wholesale accounts with local store owners.

Artist (left) receiving feedback from local business owner Nicole Prevost, owner of Union Rose (right).

The event was put on by I Heart Art, which is a group devoted to advocacy, education and support for Portland’s vibrant community of makers.  This is a collaborative group between Etsy, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Museum of Contemporary Craft, and the Portland Etsy Team.

Store owner (left) meeting with Lea of LeaK Arts (right)

One thing that I thought was really interesting about this event was that there was a wide assortment of artists all looking to pitch their products to stores.  There were many new faces and many people who have been making and selling their product in stores for years.

New faces that are unknown to me.

Ordinarily pitching your work to anyone, especially a stranger, is a nerve-wracking experience.  As you can see this was practically a party.  I’m sure there were butterflies in the stomachs of some of the artists and yet this was an incredible opportunity for artists to connect with store owners, practice their pitch and grow their businesses.  This is one of the things I LOVE about Portland’s Crafty/DIY community – unique ideas and collaborations turning potentially painful situations into a good time.

More new faces.  I liked this shot because you can see the frenzy of store owners digging through this artist’s product.

In a perfect world artist walked away from this event with new stores to sell their wares, but in many cases it was just an initial contact.  A great way for stores to see what new locally handmade products are out there and for artist to have the opportunity to receive feedback about their work, their pitch and their overall presentation.

Left to right, Torie and Cathy owners of Crafty Wonderland meeting with the owners of Burdy Fly Away.

Not every artist had product that was a fit for every store owner.  In some cases when the store owner wasn’t interested in the product offered by the artist, so store owners gave constructive criticism with the goal of helping artists land that next wholesale account.  You could think of this as an opportunity for artists to have many informational interviews and brush up on their pitching skills.

Devi (standing) makes necklaces with bread tabs for charms, which are made of gold and silver.

In case you are wondering why the atmosphere is so unbelievably cool at this event, it was held at the Design Within Reach, which has some incredibly cool furniture.

Owner of  Moxie , (left) a local boutique in Portland, meeting with an artist looking to find some wholesale account love.

If you want to read more about this event check out  The Etsy Storque, Handmade in Portland, or The Garden of Leah.

by: Jen