I have longed to have face-to-face contact with a vibrant community of makers and I think I have found a place to start meeting people.
Though I founded my ANA cigar box purse business twelve years ago, over those years I have mostly kept to myself, creating and selling one item at a time to individuals, after a short burst of juried art shows.
I have an Etsy store online as a showcase of my inventory, but I find most people want to look long and hard there and then come choose a cigar box purse, Delight magazine tote or jewelry item in person.
I am very interested in opening an Amazon Homemade online shop (the moment they offer accessories as a category) because the world headquarters for Amazon is in Seattle, my new home! I want to support them with my brand and be available for events and perhaps, speaking for women entrepreneur conferences.
As I walked through the broad offering at the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle, I thought to myself, this city is where I belong.The December-event for Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle was impressive. The items for sale were of the highest quality and were often made with small batch manufacturing machinery (letterpress, laser cut etc.) which creates a reliable consistent product. Other vendors had the irreverent feel, like a knit hat that looked like a roasted turkey, complete with white paper flounces on each drumstick/ear flap; definitely crazy, certainly fun. She was the clearest example of the we-are-makers-and-we-make-what-we-want philosophy.
My favorite fabric store (in Seattle or anywhere), Pacific Fabrics had a beautiful display of kits, fat quarter fabric squares and various notions designed to raise my blood pressure. I bought an advent calendar panel from them last year and I can't wait to have a house so that I can show it off to full advantage.
I highly recommend attending an Urban Craft Uprising - they are held once every Winter/Summer and they have an extensive selection of interesting, high quality gifts, kits and quirky mementos.
When you see a Gift Guide in Country Living, Real Simple or Martha Stewart Living magazine, they are exactly the caliber of items you'll find at this show. Come back and shop!