Local arts and crafts show? Go to one! (I did!)
I love shows that display the creativity of individuals. Yesterday, I was able to go to a great local arts and crafts show in my backyard here in Keene.
Summer Days Craft Fair is organized by Vanessa Calkins of Owl B Crafty here in Keene. (You will want to connect with her business on Facebook and visit her website. She does lots of cool things and has a great business!)
The day was a bit chilly for this time of year, but I had promised my grandson, Jacob, we would go there, and I wanted to see what was there.
I love these types of shows. 30-plus years ago, my youngest daughter was in the hospital for a year. It changed my world. A friend had a jewelry company, and because my world was upside down and the desire to be near my daughter was high, I began to sell jewelry for him. (I cannot tell you how many home parties I did before becoming a street vendor in Hanover, where my daughter’s hospital was located. )
From there, I opened my first shop in Vermont and over time, I opened more. Two of the folks that worked with me have developed their own jewelry-making businesses, and I love to see their work!
And shows? We did a lot! My favorite was the Quechee Balloon Festival. And I would go to shows to find merchandise for my shops. (It is one of the reasons I have begun Find Art For All. To connect artisans and creators to the public.)
My wife Tina, Jacob and I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed over. (Jacob and I brought our 360 camera and will be posting some of that later.) We began the walk around the fair. Each one of us has a different appreciation. Mine happens to be paintings, jewelry, and photography. And I look for those. And we have a different pace.
My first stop was to admire some paintings by a woman who does paintings with a palette knife. I saw Jennifer and her work last year at the Keene Art in The Park last year. These smaller pieces are beautiful.
Leaving her booth, I saw some pottery and headed over. But! Paintings and charcoal drawings were there too! I stopped at a booth that caught my eye because of the charcoal. I met Tommy and Taylor. (He told me some of the work was from a recent trip to NYC.) Splendid work from both.
My next stop was the booth with Cozzzy Together. I met Kylah and one of her boys at the booth. They were selling handcrafted scarves and other products for dogs. (I saw her work at a pet store where my daughter lives!) I had a great conversation with the two of them.
One of the coolest things about these shows is running into people you know and meeting people for the first time. Where will the conversation go? What are the connections?
These folks who do shows have to get ready for these shows. Many of them up at the crack of dawn, to set up booths, and displays and be ready for you, the customer at the beginning of the show. (That balloon festival I mentioned? The balloonists began to show at 5 AM. And I wanted to make some money, so I was out there and ready to do business!) These folks are invested with time and merchandise and emotions! Never forget that.
I then ran into Jessica, a local jeweler who owns BadMamaBear. I have known her for a few years. And I love her work. She had beautiful displays and her work is found in several local businesses in our area.
Jacob and I continued past some other booths, and then I saw some paintings! The next booth was a woman named Crystal from Simplicity Art Studio. What drew me was one of the paintings that I found was the Milford oval. It had an “old-fashioned” look. Genuinely nice.
I encountered a few more jewelry booths, stopping at a table, run by F.J and Annie DiSilva. I love silver jewelry and there were some beautiful pieces. One of my favorites was a malachite piece. Simply gorgeous! We had an enjoyable conversation about the work she and her son do.
We began to come to the end of our walk-around and then Jacob found a present for his mom. (Her birthday is today, June 20th.) A bear made from Alpaca fur. The company was Whispering Winds Farm in Marlborough New Hampshire. She loves it.
Shows are hard for the folks doing shows. They take time to set up, to sit and to meet with people. And then pack up and get ready for the next one. These folks sacrifice their time and energy to make a difference. Let me encourage you to not just look, but to make a difference in people’s lives.
Sometimes, it is chilly. Sometimes it rains. (I once did a show in Chester where it snowed.) But, these folks persevere.
Go to a show this weekend! (Me? I will be at the Gilsum Rock Show that I have gone to for about 40 years! And I will take a grandchild or two. And I will BUY something!)
If you are a vendor or business, you can get FREE listings on our website, FindArtForAll.com. Just like these folks did! And you can post your events for FREE!
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