Author: Handmade Business

Dream Big

beginning-business-december-2008So many times, beginning crafters think small. A local Christmas crafts fair held in a high school gym might be about as far as your ambition extends. And, depending on your craft, that might be as far as you can go. But if your product is unique, beautifully made, and appeals to a wide variety of customers…then it behooves you to dream big. Don’t be intimidated by the idea that the huge, high-quality craft shows don’t want new vendors—because they do.

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New Mexico Arts & Crafts Fair

Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming

regional-profile-december-2009-3Remember your very first show? The first time you put your creations out there before the masses in a little 10-foot-by-10-foot booth, or smaller? Remember how you waited and hoped, and tried not to appear too anxious? Nancy Pratt remembers that feeling, because it wasn’t that long ago for the weaver from Albuquerque, N.M. Having played around with and perfected her art for about seven years, she finally succumbed to her broth­er’s encouragement and applied for the New Mexico Arts & Crafts Fair in 2007. A juried event that began in 1962 and draws 15,000 prospective buyers over three days, the fair generates about $700,000 in sales for the 220-plus accepted New Mexico artists.

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Tombstone, Ariz.: A Town Not Too Tough for Handmade Art

Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming

regional-vignette-december-2008-2Tombstone, Ariz., site of the infamous shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, has been called lots of things over the years: The Wickedest Town in the West, The Town Too Tough to Die, and similar monikers reflecting the rough-and-tumble nature of this windswept patch of desert an hour south of Tucson and an hour north of the Mexican border. But calling it a hub of creativity, a haven for craft artisans, a destination for those interested in quality handmade art? It’s not as big a stretch of the imagination as one might think.

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Shine a Little Light

craft-matters-november-2008I just did a nine-day outdoor retail show. If this story doesn’t make sense, well, you try making sense after a nine-day outdoor retail show. …Parts of New Hampshire actually flooded that week from all the rain we had. I’m still a little grumpy. Does it show? Anyway, I had to reconfigure my lights during setup. That got me thinking about my history with booth lighting. It’s a long, sad tale with a happy ending, so bear with me.

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The Myth of Instant Success

beginning-business-november-2008It’s far too easy to look at a successful crafter and assume that you, too, can achieve that level of success. But here’s the thing: you can. Remember, the crafter you admire did not achieve that level of success immediately. Nor will you. And never forget the far greater number of crafters you can’t see, because they’re no longer in business.

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Ancient Tradition Survives in Modern Memorials

insight-gained-november-2008-4The verdant hills and dark hollows that surround potter Keith Lahti’s home in the rugged Appalachian Mountains of central West Virginia belong to one of the oldest mountain ranges on Earth. Exposed rock formations found along riverbanks and cliffs offer a timeline in geology and natural history reaching back to the earliest days of mankind and millions of years beyond. After working with clay for over 35 years in the shadows of this awe-inspiring environment, it’s little wonder that Lahti’s creations are so thoroughly infused with a sense and spirit of the past, even as he embraces a growing new niche market for memorial urns that has arisen in the 21st century.

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Free eBook: Bruce Baker Guide to Handcrafted Success. Click photo above.

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