This past weekend I went to the largest Craft Fair in Midwestern MN, The Little Falls Art & Craft Festival. This is a show where tour buses of people from all around come to see what is new and exciting.
Handcrafted items only:
Art, craft, and hobby work items of original design and handcrafted by the vendor is the only merchandise allowed to be sold. Do not bring merchandise made by others, from catalogs, gift shows, etc.
This year of the 700 booths I would say 1/3 – 1/2 of them had items that were not handcrafted……many of the booths had the same merchandise, now I ask you “Where is the ART in That?” There was booth after booth with things I have seen for sale at Trade Shows for stores……it was really to sad. It took us about three hours to cover all of the booths because there was nothing new or interesting, a lot of the same old same old…..so sad!
The rules for the Art & Crafts Festival also states:
Upon discovery of non-qualifying merchandise, Little Falls Arts & Crafts Fair officials will require the vendor to remove from the booth all such items. The decision of the Little Falls Arts & Crafts Fair officials will be final.It seems there must not have been any officials checking anything since there were many many booths with purchases items, not hand crafted.
So I ask “Where has the ART gone?”
If a show states the items be handcrafted, then that is what they should be. Some people attending the shows do not know the difference between handcrafted and mass-produced, and some just do not care. How is a crafter/artist able to compete fairly with those in the same show who have just purchased items and selling as their own? It seems so unfair that a show who says they do not allow anything but handcrafted merchandise, have all of those booths filled with purchased merchandise.
At the mall where I work, I put on three craft shows a year, they are very small shows but still I require the items for sale to be hand crafted….granted sometimes they buy things and assemble them, like floral arrangements, but still they have put their own flair on it. I do not allow them to have items they purchased and have just taken out of a box.
I have an older lady at my craft shows that crochets the most beautiful doilies I have ever seen…..now how fair would it be to her if I allowed a person who buys doilies set up a booth in that same show? While the older lady who puts countless hours into her large doilies, never really gets paid for her time, but loves to keep busy and sells them at a fair price to her, the person who would buy doilies to sell could sell them for 1/2 of price of the older lady and still make a profit, because they have no time involved in the making of the doilies and buy them in bulk at a cheap price……Where is the ART in that.
I do have shows at the mall where I allow vendors who have purchased items sell them, they are separate shows, apart from craft shows where things should be hand crafted……the ART is in hand crafting items and should be brought back to the shows that advertise hand crafted only.
Let me know what yo think……if someone buys products to sell, is that ART? Even if it is, is it their ART……Where has the ART gone?