This my friends was the year! The year of my first foray into a full-fledged weaving business and I had 5 craft shows lined up. They were all juried shows, so I felt pretty excited to have been allowed in! But as well all know 2020 had other plans. So what is a craft show to do? Go virtual of course!
The challenges of a regular show can be daunting: packing and unpacking, long drives, long days of setting up, designing the perfect booth to showcase your wares, pricing everything so that no one has to ask. You know that saying right? “If you have to ask you can’t afford it.” I never want anyone to silently think that as they look through my booth!
It turns out that a virtual show has just as many challenges, but they are different. Juggling shows is something new. You would never have more than one show at a time in the pre-covid world. Your items, your booth and most importantly YOU would be there in person. But online the shows seem to overlap. That is no one’s fault. The craft shows have determined their active dates and, in some cases, have even changed and extended their dates to maximize audience participation. So how do you keep track? That was tricky for me. Everything that I make is one of a kind. So I set up different boxes for each show and placed all of the woven items for sale in that particular show in the box. Of course that means the item is now effectively “tied-up”. But I tried to have an even number of weaving in a broad range of prices and colours. Next comes photography. Every item needs it’s own high resolution photograph. This must be uploaded to the site or sent to the organizers and then a description must be written for each woven gift item to accompany the photo. And once the show is open, there is the social media push. The artists all try to help with the advertising through social media because this helps us all. I have learned a great deal in the past several months about hashtags, reels, stories, reposting, Canva and Instagram in general! And don’t get me started on what I have learned using Canada Post!
If you are interested in seeing the vast number of artisans who are sharing their joy and their art with you, please check out the following shows. I have free shipping within Canada until Christmas.
Handmade Market Niagara showcasing 100% Canadian makers until December 20th. https://shop.handmademarket.ca/artisan-shoppes/
Arts Burlington Christmas Sale only until Nov 30th Showcasing Arts Burlington members from the Burlington, Hamilton and Oakville regions. https://www.artsburlington.ca/bhwsg-elizabethbryan
Museum of Dufferin Holiday Treasures Sale December 1-12 https://www.dufferinmuseum.com/events/