In 17th century America, creators were making a living creating on one-of-a-kind goods, still years out from the industrial revolution. When machines took over – mass producing ceramic bowls and textiles, once exclusively by-hand industries – “artisan” became synonymous with “hobbyist”. The 1880s saw a backlash against the machine, a fight for “visible artisanship” and celebration of the craft. Enter William Morris and the birth of the Arts and Crafts movement which in turn gave birth to the Arts and Crafts Show.
Things made by hand are meant to be experienced by hand. No technology can replace the one-to-one contact with the artist behind the masterpiece, or replicate a tactile encounter with a macramé plant hanger. The value for both the maker and the customer is obvious. Artists love crafts shows because they:
- Make connections with fellow entrepreneurs and makers in the area – share ideas, provide support, pool resources
- Gain access to new audiences
- Can test their products to see what attract the most attention, what questions people ask, and which products perform better in person vs online
- Meet potential wholesale clients
- Use it to experiment with merchandising, display, and customer experience as a stepping stone to a brick and mortar shop
- Build a local following through an interactive experience that can potentially lead to orders down the road
On October 26, 2019, TC Christian will host the Traverse City Handmade Market: A Celebration of Handmade Crafts and Originals. The interior of the school will be filled with vendors and customers buying, selling, and sharing. It’s a terrific experience. If you’re an artisan with an interest in displaying and selling your handmade crafts and originals, we’d love to have you join the show. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.