Friday, September 25, 2009

In Search of That Which is Handmade

When I was little, my mom dragged the three of us to craft fairs on weekends. It was torture and so boring. Little did I know, in a couple of decades, I would be seeking out craft fairs as a part of my job.

I have been tasked with managing the holiday boutique at work, and even though I have been to many craft fairs in my life, I have never had to recruit vendors. Lucky for me, my friend from high school owns a business, Shop Toast, and participates in craft fairs. She had some useful advice for me and gave me some ideas on what kinds of vendors to seek out. The two that stood out to me were: gourmet foods and plants. I also was told by a couple of other sources that the best way to find new vendors was to get out and pound the pavement. In other words, go to fairs, boutiques and festivals.

Over the past three weekends, I have now been to three different fairs: the Castro Valley Fall Festival, the Lafayette Wine and Art Festival and most recently, the Walnut Creek Fine Arts Festival. While not all responses have been positive, I have met some very cool artists and crafters. These are my favorites:

  • i melt with you: purveyor of handcrafted candles made of soybean wax, lotion and perfume; her tuberose lotion reminds me of home
  • Yahzi Rose: natural, locally made apparel for children
  • Hoffman Designs: handmade ceramics from Eureka, California; no website for this one, but they made these wonderful bowls and various types of plates; designs include Redwood leaves, bamboo, fern and oceanic themes that symbolize California

This has been a tiring endeavor, but hopefully this helps us to accomplish our goal of having a wider variety of vendors. I should probably also admit that I am having fun.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention! :) Good luck with the vendor search!