Holiday season = CRAFT FAIR SEASON

Craft fairs, historically, have been seen as the lowest common denominator as far as interesting shopping venues go.  But, of course in the last ten years with the rise of the terms like ‘New Wave of Craft’ or ‘Indie Craft’ and enormous online marketplaces like Etsy and Big Cartel, everyone from your little sister to your great aunt now stand in lines in freezing cold temperatures waiting to get inside to these pop-up marketplace events with hopes to find something new and inspiring, the perfect holiday gift or a big splurge for themselves that they will never find again.  Terms like DIY roll of the tips of tongues and makers of all sorts stand behind their perfectly curated tables waiting to lure shoppers in for sales.  After touring with Handmade Nation, I got just a little burnt out on the owls and bird aesthetic and although I don’t collect plush, I had definitely seen my fair share.  Although I have always had an intense urge to support my local creative community, it seemed like it was against all odds that I would throw my hat into the ring and co-organize my own craft fair.  I did though and I am pleased to say that it is a tremendous feeling to trap nearly 70 vendors in a warehouse space and hope that people come to peruse their handmade goods.  My main interest is promoting emerging makers or hobbyists who haven’t quite gotten up the urge to quit their day jobs.  What I have found is that the line between art and craft definitely blur and the guarantee of little twee things being created because that is what people will buy is sometimes traded in for personal quests to make things for the sake of making just to satisfy the hands of the maker.  Here in Milwaukee, last Saturday at Art vs. Craft was a great example of the divergent crowd overcoming the stereotype of the indie craft fair and making things that were truly unique.  This weekend, though, it is our turn to shine.  The craft fair that I organize with three other lovely ladies (Alyssa Schulte, Ashley Chapman and Vanessa Andrew) is in its second year.  A sophomore year (hopefully!) without the slump.  Come on down to Hover Craft if you get the chance.  We have things to do, food to eat, bloodies to drink and vendors that will knock your socks off.

Leave a Reply