Monday, January 30, 2012

Hi! More Pics!

 I just added about 78 new photos to our facebook galleries. This set was shot by Christie Wooke; we are so grateful for all her help with the Holiday Market.

If you see anyone you know, tag them!  



Sunday, January 29, 2012

Join Indie Craftstravaganzaa on Google+

Hey guys, been looking around google + a bit and think it's pretty cool, so far.   If you use it, add us to your circles. 

we are also on posterous, tumbr, myspace, twitter, facebook, delicious, and the plurk networks. 



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Weekend at AmericasMart


AmericasMart. Three bldgs. Eighteen floors each. I cannot even count how many showrooms on each floor. There's something like 8million sq feet of space, filled with both permanent and temporary showrooms, The permanent ones are open pretty much year round, while the temps only set up for the big markets that take place a few times a year. At AmericasMart, the biggest is the twice yearly AmericasMart Gift and Home Show. It is held in January and July.
I started visiting the Atlanta Mart back in 2003, when I began working for a company that designs balloons and giftware. The first time was absolutely overwhelming! I'd never seen anything like it. Showroom after showroom and more and more showrooms - all packed with their newest products, biggest ideas, brightest colors. I was reeling from it all.

But, as the years went by, I learned my way around and learned more about what was taking place at this downtown center of commerce. Retailers from all over the country come to Atlanta to buy for their stores. They buy gifts, housewares, clothing, furniture, linens, rugs, stationery, toys, kids clothes, bags, jewelry, luggage, shoes, accessories, art, gourmet foods, home and garden, including furniture, holiday decorations, both small and very very large.

Getting your products in front of these buyers requires a huge commitment of work, time and $$$. The risks are great, but the payoff can be enormous. If you have a great product that stands out, odds are good that you can get noticed. Be honest with yourself, if your product is just average, don't waste your money. There is a lot of competition at the big shows, but also LOTS of buyers that have $$ to spend. And finding the next greatest thing is what they are there for.

Before you begin in ernest trying to get your wares into a large trade show, you'll need to ask yourself some hard questions. Do you have the resources to pull it off?How many of your widgets can you make to fill orders you might write at the show? How will you manufacture the products that you'll sell? When you find yourself writing orders all day and fantasizing about that trip to the islands, don't forget that you still have to make all those items. You won't necessarily have to make them all by hand but you do have to know how you are going to fill the sales you might get. Explore your manufacturing capabilities before you take your first step into a wholesale market. Know your limits, your costs (ALL your costs) and your freight options.

NEXT: Setting up in the Temps.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Two Hats for Every Successful Artist: Creativity and Business

Mark_braught"Take care of all your business details before you begin your creative work, and  your mind will be free to engage in the art form you love to do."

This advice comes from a successful illustrator, designer and educator, who learned many lessons the hard way. Mark Braught has illustrated children's books, articles for Newsweek, and the art for the merchandising Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, an official Kentucky Derby poster and more.

He will describe what questions artists in any discipline need to ask before being hired to produce a creative product. He'll explain the many arrangements you can make for ownership of the copyright to your work, how to access the value of your work, and many other business considerations. He will also answer questions.

Wednesday, January 25 at 12:30 p.m. Lyndon House Arts Center.
Join this delightful artist for an enjoyable lunch-time program. The program will be held at in the Community Room of Lyndon House Arts Center, 293 Hoyt St., Athens, GA, and online in a webinar format. 

Participants can bring their lunch. Light refreshments provided thanks to PUBLIX SUPERMARKETS.

Applications Available NOW!

Hello hello!

Just a quick announcement to let everyone know that applications for our next Craftstravaganzaa event are available on our website  at and on our Facebook page under wufoo form (on the left side of the page).

Please read all of the instructions

carefully and don't forget that you must submit payment with your application for it to be considered.

Our Spring show is an expanded 2 day event that takes place the last weekend of April, the 28th and 29th. We will be in our new location in the Ben's Bikes lot and there
is the possibility of overnight camping for out of town vendors. There will be food vendors, activities, music and other entertainment to be announced throughout the
weekend.  We are heavily promoting this show around the southeast--if you know anyone who would like to distribute fliers out of town, let us know! We plan on taking
advantage of the crowds that will be in Athens for the Twilight Criterium, an internationally recognized bike race happening simultaneously that has been taking place for 30 years and brings thousands to our city annually.

If you have any questions, please visit our website and check under the FAQs--if you don't see your answer there, feel free to email us and we will get back to you promptly. 

Hope to hear from you soon!


Athens Indie Craftstravaganzaa 
      Athens Largest Handmade Market.™

Saturday, January 21, 2012

AmericasMart - and Selling Wholesale

I have been working on gathering info about selling at large gift shows, I wanted to  make this series the best it can be. I know a little about the gift and home markets.  I have visited the AmericasMart in Atlanta 18 times, Surtex in NYC with the National Stationery Show once, The Gift and Home Market in Las Vegas once, the Furniture Market in High Point, NC several times, the Canton Fair in Guanghzou China once, and Maison & Objet Paris once. The company I work for has permanent showrooms in Dallas and Atlanta and sets up in several other shows every year. I've seen indie artists in all of them, and have personally watched several make good at shows. Like Boston artist Curly Girl, she had a temp booth, then her line was picked up by one of the big buying companies (more about those later) and now she has her own showroom plus other showrooms carrying her line.

Of course, with that kind of volume, your wares are probably going to be mass produced. You can always stick to small orders in specialty shops if you want to keep producing your art yourself.  

I have never set up my own booth to sell.  So I'm not  really an expert.  But, I DO know a bit about the gift markets, and I've seen makers break in more than once.  It can be done.  

So, with that said, I will try to get the first of the series up before the weekend is out.  Please share with your friends, it is always helpful to get comments and share experiences and ideas.