Thank You to everyone who attended the winter Buyers Market of American Craft, Feb. 12-15, 2010.
We recognize that many of you overcame serious obstacles to get to Philadelphia. It was heartwarming to see artists helping artists, night after night, as storm-weary exhibitors arrived and built booths overnight.
We're grateful, also, to all of the retailers who came from near and far, and who remain dedicated to handmade goods made in the U.S. and Canada.
We have such a nice collection of pictures, we thought we'd share a few highlights from the show as we say, "See you next time, in Las Vegas and Baltimore!"
On the Wednesday afternoon before the Buyers Market, Wendy Rosen convened two discussions about credit and consignment. An uninvited blizzard arrived about the same time, bringing white-out conditions to downtown Philly. Hooray for the 10 hardy participants who attended the discussions anyway! More than 100 had RSVP'd and could not come.
This is where trade show magic begins...in a shell of a booth. The pipe and drape go up, then each artist makes the space his or her own. Many chores later, a simple space becomes a visual delight.
Look at that sparkle! We did a double-take, first to enjoy the lovely stacking rings, and then to admire the exhibitor's single white glove. Was he paying homage to the late Michael Jackson? we teased, prompting a laugh. Ah, but the glitter wasn't on the glove: It was in the display cases.
Robert "Max" Maximowicz, from the Philadelphia office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, helped attendees understand SBA-backed loans, and the latest news on federal economic stimulus programs for small business. Get free resources and advice at your local SBA office. Find it listed at www.sba.gov, click Local Resources.
Everyone has a favorite place to grab a take-out lunch during the Buyers Market. Even the snow could not keep us from making our rounds of the bbq, the corned beef, the cheesesteak and the hand-carved turkey. And the cupcakes, the fudge and...so on.
In her "other life," technology expert Amy Larrimore is an aspiring jewelry designer, so she understands what we need: commonsense advice about building an Internet strategy that eliminates time-wasters and leads to sales. Don't sign up for an Internet service to be part of a fad, she said. Figure out your business strategy and only use social networking tools that fit your plan. Amy is a business counselor with SCORE, a nonprofit that provides free expert advice and mentoring by your peers. See www.SCORE.org to find the chapter nearest you.
Congratulations to Don Miller, who teaches at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has been named the 2010 Arts Educator of the Year by NICHE magazine, based on nominations submitted by his students in the university's crafts program.
During the NICHE Awards ceremony, winner Susanne Williams of the handbag design company Willi Nilli gave an impassioned thank you to the Arts Business Institute. A couple years ago, faculty from ABI journeyed to North Dakota to teach artists how to launch their businesses and sell wholesale. Taking to heart the advice of faculty member Nancy Markoe and others, Williams poured her energy into handbag design and her company is now one of the stars of that ABI class. ABI sponsors the Visiting Artist Program at the Buyers Market, a two-day training seminar helps aspiring artists learn to sell their art.
More glamour on the runway.
Well, we'll end it here, where the excitement takes place at the Buyers Market...on the trade show floor. The orders written at winter BMAC will sustain many of the artists for months to come. Thank you to everyone who supports fine craft made in the U.S. and Canada.