Circle Craft Christmas Market
The exhibitor package arrived late last night - the show organizer(s) working late into the night? I can't imagine trying to corral 300+ exhibitors into one huge event! It's bad enough just getting me ready for a show!
Circle Craft has been in existence for decades. Over the years it has grown in size and stature. It is a juried show and getting accepted is not always easy or guaranteed.
Doug used to do this show in the 80's when our primary product was textiles for the table. When the market for hand woven place mats collapsed in the early 1990's, we had to stop and re-think and I changed direction. It took a while to find a new niche in the market and it was only fairly recently that we went back to applying to Circle Craft Christmas Market.
We now do just four shows a year, all in Oct/Nov. (Well, I also do the guild sale in December but that's more about off loading 'stale' inventory and the only time I deeply discount my textiles.)
The season begins this year on Oct. 24/25 with the UNBC Artisans of the North sale at the university. I now have a booth in the Winter Garden (used to be in the cafeteria.) It's a small show with a focus on local artisans and they give returning exhibitors the same space each year if at all possible.
Next follows Studio Fair, this year on Hallowe'en - Oct 30-Nov. 1.
Then Circle Craft in Vancouver and finally Art Market in Calgary. I'm always a little leery about doing Art Market because of winter driving through the Rocky Mountains. Fortunately Doug is a good driver, well experienced on winter roads and so far we've been very lucky.
Doing the shows is more than just (hoping for) income for the coming year. It is also about getting feedback from the market. It has been heartening to have repeat customers come in to get another tea towel because the ones they bought 'last' year have become their favourite and they want more. Or they want another shawl to dress up their wardrobe.
Sometimes local weavers come by and it's always nice to put a face to a name seen only on the internet or talk with 'old' friends.
As an introvert it is very difficult for me to be on duty, dealing with the public, but since my objective is to earn an income from my textiles, the job isn't done until it is sold. And I gather information to inform my direction for the coming year.