Saturday, November 26, 2011

Craft Show Hopping (experience and "review")

I've taken the chance this year to visit as many local craft markets as I can. To be honest, I was surprised as to how many go on throughout the year, as well as how many shows cross over during the holiday season. November and December seem to have at least 2 happening in the Greater Vancouver area each weekend! I started to go to more in support of fellow crafters, to admire (and possibly purchase) their work. Also, as a crafter who's thinking about expanding into other craft markets, it's good to know which ones to apply for, so I was also doing research on how much tables cost, how much traffic, and what type of traffic they bring in.

Week before last, I wound up at the BAC Heritage Crafts Fair. My first time going, and definitely not my last. I really enjoyed my time there. Free admission, raffle prizes, and lots of talented artisans! I will definitely coming back next year :)

Last week, I went two craft markets (Craft and Bake Fair @ Nikkei Community Centre, and Fab Fair @ the Heritage centre) and a jewelry showcase (by Sugarlime: a new favourite of mine!). Unfortunately, I didn't take the opportunity to photograph.

Craft and Bake @Nikkei: very quaint. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, and for the most part, the crafts were VERY affordable. I found myself wanting a few things, but held back as this was the first one of the hop!

Sugarlime was almost the complete opposite, and a very enjoyable experience. The creator of Sugarlime set up a showcase at the Hart House, which is a local restaurant in Burnaby. Her jewelry ranged from $30-$100+, but very understandable pricing considering the materials and paying for the brand. I also found myself wanting a few things here, hehe.

Fab Fair was at the Heritage Centre, focused on Jewelry and fashion accessories. I'm not sure if it was the time that we went, but it didn't seem all too busy with shoppers. The atmosphere was quite nice though, and very well decorated by each booth. I was impressed at a few displays.

This week, I found myself at "I heart Crafts!", "Make it! Revolution", and "Dunbar Craft Fair".

I was quite disappointed with "I heart Crafts!" due to the size of the venue. They managed to fit around 10 vendors (if I remember correctly), and there was not much space to move around. I didn't mind paying the $2 entrance fee to support local artisans, but I wish there was a little more to see, and a little more space to breathe.

Phew! Got out of the crowd to take a photo!
Sorry for the poor quality, phone is not that great indoors.
Next stop was "Make It!". This probably had just about of breathing space as "I heart Crafts!" but on a larger scale. I happened to drive that day, and finding parking was a little scary. On the walk from the car to the venue, there was a woman yelling at another car for parking behind her car (in an alley, or in an illegal fashion), so she couldn't get out. Once inside, it was just packed, but it almost seemed like it was just one side. The other side was quite empty and had a lot of room to move around. I've been to Make it! before, and this year, it had definitely expanded since. I enjoyed myself here, bought a couple of things (for myself and gifts!) and picked up a lot of business cards!
Ended up leaving with this precious mis-match set :)
I had been eyeing Urbanfusions for about a year.
Managed to track her down at MakeIt!

Last stop of the day was Dunbar Craft Fair, held at the Dunbar community centre. I was very impressed with this one. It consisted of 3 floors of artisans. 3!!! I found that this show had more hobbier crafters, rather than crafters that make their craft into a full fledged business and brand, or at least seem that way. They didn't spend too much money on business cards, displays, what-have-you. It's just them, and they are selling their stuff. I really like that kind of atmosphere more as it reminds me of myself. They draw 3-5 admission tickets every 15 minutes for a prize.

All in all, every single weekend craft trip has been informative and somewhat of a good time, as well as productive (in shopping for gifts....or.....myself). I will be attending a couple of more before the year is up. This should be interesting :)

Stay Crafty~

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