Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oh Yeah, Baby!!.............

Ok, this is a "gold star" moment...I got the utility room cleaned!!  A big "Yay"!! Yep. Scrubbed. Ceiling, walls, storage cabinets, shelves (even took all the stuff off, wiped everything), bookcase (did not remove the all the books....5 shelves x 20 mostly hard-cover....I'm not that crazy); removed and washed the window screens, washed the window, wiped all the katchki's hanging on the walls and even moved out the dryer, washing it down, wiping up the floor, washing off the vent hose.  Hung the new blind, ironed the curtains and hung them (they were washed a few weeks ago in anticipation).

Alrighty then.  And so my reward we're touring around a few towns for the annual "Deer Hunting Opener Craft Shows".  Yep. It's a big thing here.  As big as 4th of July celebrations.  The idea is, the men go hunting, the women go shopping.  Every townhall, school gym and church hall is transformed into a Crafter's Marketplace.  This should be fun.

It used to be that our school was the only one to have a craft show on the hunting opener.  That was some 30 years ago.  I got into it about 18 years ago, shortly after we moved to Minnesota.  I did it for about 10 years. It was fantastic! We had shoppers coming from the Twin Cities, Duluth, Wisonsin, and all points N.E.W.S in our state.

 Then it seemed like every town started to jump on the bandwagon. It didn't matter that other places had 3 or 4 craft shows a year, some even a couple of weeks or a couple of months after the Hunter's Opener.  They saw the opportunity and took it.  Competition became fierce.

Our big buyers began to drop off, and in a town of only 400 people, minimum wage or less, that was a big hit to some of the "big ticket" items.  People who haven't made a "craft" since summer camp began to make stuff to sell.  And I do mean "stuff"!!  Like from the latest craft magazine.  Imagine 20 crafters all selling the same "hot" craft item for the year!  Ridiculous.  And, of course, started the pre-made, mass-market people.  They bought their China-made knick-knacks wholesale and sold them at "Craft Shows".  WTF!!   Then there was the invasion of the Avon, Mary Kay, Watkins and the Fuller Brush reps.  That's when I quit.  C'est le vie!  This was no longer a "Craft Show".  Serious, conscientious, original, detailed,truly creative crafters were pushed aside.

So today we will peruse the market places.  I want to see what is passing for crafts these days and what prices are.  I'm curious.  I also need a good laugh and a "tch, tch, tch" head shaking.  Maybe I'll be surprised.  That would be great.  I will have a few bucks in my wallet, just in case. 


Denise said...

Wow, that cleaning list tired me out. I need a nap now. Have fun at the shows. Report back your findings. I haven't been to a craft show in years.

The craft shows got to be like that back home in Rochester for a short time. Thanksgiving week is the big kick off there.

The crafters complained, the organizers listened. Now, you have to send pictures with your application for a spot proving what you will display is hand crafted yourself. Any offenders on the day of the show are escorted out.

Judy said...

There are a few craft fairs around here that allow anybody in as long as they pay their entry fee. But we usually only go to the judged shows where your "homemade" product has to be judged to be put in. If it is something you can buy any where they don't allow them entry. We have quilters, wood workers, stained glass, candle makers (not jar candles with a "homemade" label) but hand dipped, maple syrup producers etc. They don't allow two knitters or quilters to display unless their products are very different or they need to fill space. When I was helping our local FD some crafters complained they didn't make any money. Their product was wonderful but I think some crafters over price. I realize what goes into making things as a spinner/knitter and I don't want anyone to cut themselves short but while I am willing to may more for handmade vs store stuff I am not willing to pay their car payment. There is a reason Walmart does so well most people can't afford the handcrafted made in America products. Sorry I will step off my soapbox and go finish canning my applesauce. Hope you are surprised and find nice products at reasonable prices.