Friday, July 17, 2009

One of the BEST Handmade Shows in NJ... Saturday July 18th!!

If you are anywhere near the Burlington County area tomorrow, Saturday July 18th, one of the best handmade craft shows in all of NJ (perhaps the best) will take place in Medford, NJ at Freedom Park.

The quality and wide array of crafts is simply amazing...and this show is free to the public! Get there early for the great re-usable totes (supplied by ArtFire) filled with give-aways, promos, and coupons from participating vendors and members of the handmade community that were unable to attend. The show goes on rain or shine...but you want to get there early for the totes!

Here's a copy of the shows press release, copied from the Handmade Faire site...

Handmade Faire: Summer of Love
Freedom Park
86 Union Street Medford, NJ
July 18, 2009 10am-4pm

Burlington County’s most cutting edge art and craft show - The Handmade Faire - Summer of Love. The festival will take place on Saturday, July 18, 2009 from 10am-4pm at Freedom Park in Medford NJ. This event will go on Rain or Shine, and is free and open to the public. There will be goodie bags - a reusable screen printed tote full of coupons for the vendors, samples, treats and more for the first 100 shoppers starting at 10:00. Also, throughout the day we will be having giveaways of a variety of items. As usual, the giveaways will be rewarded at random to people who are already shopping from our awesome vendors!

Freedom Park is a new home for what will be the third Handmade Faire event. The previous events have been held in Waretown, and most recently, Medford’s Flying W Airport last October. With the space available at Freedom Park, along with its central location, the third Handmade Faire is expected to grow even larger than previous shows.

Expect to see the most talented emerging artists from the local, regional, and expanded Indie Art Scene. Last year’s
show welcomed artisans from as local as Medford to as far away as Maine. We welcome 100 of the most unique, talented and creative artists with a large variety of products and specialties including clothing, jewelry, paper goods, children's items, ceramics, and more. Items will cover a wide range of budgets and prices so everyone can leave happy! The Handmade Faire has become Burlington County’s most cutting edge art and craft fair - come see for yourself! This event is not to be missed!

The Handmade Faire is the brainchild of Abigail Mylod-Galie, 27, an artist living in Historic Medford Village. Pola Galie, Abbie's mother in law who is also an artisan, and former Medford councilwoman is the other half of this completely home grown event.

Growing tired of showing at mediocre craft shows, sitting in a sea among flea market items & manufacturers' representatives, Abbie longed for an outlet where handmade artisans could shine. In the true essence of the Handmade and DIY lifestyle, Abbie took things into her own hands and started the Handmade Faire in 2008. Abbie says: "I love the art community, I love being surrounded by fabulous art and artists, and I am thrilled to have the ability to motivate and support the handmade lifestyle because it allows myself and other artists the opportunity to not only live, but thrive on the Handmade Lifestyle.

Hope to see you there!

'til next time...


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Shows, Economy Woes & New Sea Glass Necklaces

I was hoping for a great show this past Saturday at OM Baby in Pt. Pleasant. The weather report was for mostly cloudy skies and no rain. (two days before the show) The day before, the weather called for partly cloudy skies... the day of the show was... sun, sun and more sun. Not a cloud to found in the sky... and abundant sun in a beach town usually doesn't bode well for lots of traffic...except near the beach.

The traffic flow was resembled a leaky sink. People dripped in every once in awhile.... that doesn't mean it was an awful show... far from it. Doing a show with 20+ EtsyNJ vendors is always fun. I had not had the chance to talk face to face with some of the members before, so it was great to put a face/faces to the shop. There was quite a bit of future show info being shared, lots of show stories being shared, etc. It also helped that Kim, our show's organizer, brought in a jazz guitarist for a bit a flavor.

In the afternoon, the beach started clearing out and we did see a bit more traffic. Many tables did see a bit of customer action, a couple sales at the end of a show are usually a great way to end a matter how well you've done during the day.

Some insight into buying habits at this show... It certainly appears that the slow economy is on people's minds. Disposable income seems very limited and in many cases non-existent. I watched several people walk away from a vendor's space empty-handed, even in spite of raving about a product that they loved. I also noticed that the vendors that accepted credit cards, were using their knucklebusters during the show. IMO, accepting credit cards is an absolute must when it comes to doing least at this point.

This show was the first where people seemed to be buying items for themselves, rather than buying items as future gifts. In all, I think I need to re-think what makes a show successful. For me, the benchmark for a good show used to be 8x-10x table fee. I think in this economy, that number needs adjusting. And marketing/promoting my shop with potential customers at shows needs to be paramount. Buyers have so many quality handmade items to choose from, so getting them to stop at one of my online shops after a show has become more important than ever.

My new silver order was delivered today, so I'll have several new items over the next few days. The images of my latest Etsy listings are above.

'til next time...