Monday, December 5, 2011

Thank you Baltimore

An enormous thank you to everyone who came out this weekend to our Baltimore craft fairs. I'm so happy to report that Holiday Heap was our most successful show of the year! Phil and I joked in the car on the way home, "If you want something done right - then do it yourself." Despite the stress, exhaustion, and time taken away from my own work being made - I've been so proud to be part of the Craft Mafia and organizing these fairs for these last five years. This was our tenth show together, which is quite a milestone for me.
The truth, of course, is that the statement we "do it ourselves" is a ridiculous one. There are 14 of us in the craft mafia, and even as a 14 person team, we can't say we do it ourselves. It's the thousands of people in Baltimore that make the choice to spend their Saturday at a run down church in Charles Village shopping for handmade pottery, hand printed tshirts, and hand sewn sculptures instead of heading to the mall, or shopping online at big box stores. It's the husbands and friends who put on a two-headed tshirt and parade themselves around the farmer's market with a Ukulele. It's the interns who drag themselves out of bed at 6:30 to come carry crafts & string christmas lights, and the local businesses that sponsor the show so generously. It's the vendors who promote us online, and who make such beautiful things that make people want to come back!
Baltimore is an imperfect place. It's part of the city's charm, for sure (See: Every John Waters film), but it's often a source of endless frustration for me. We are sometimes a city of grand ideas and no follow-through, with an apathetic attitude towards seeing things through to their full potential. (I'm guilty of that attitude at times as well). So it's with extra pride, then, that we find our craft fairs jam packed with people willing to support local businesses, and fine artists running their own independent operations. The city really comes together as a whole with us, and it's so nice to feel that support around something I care so much about.
I find myself finishing off 2011 completely confused about how to move forward with my business - which has grown quite a bit this year. As a business, we probably won't be selling at craft fairs forever... and I likely will not be part of organizing them forever. But for now it is such a sweet feeling to be part of a group of artists that support each other so much, and a community still willing to rally behind the little guy.
Our final show is Handmade Holiday - this Sunday - December 11th in Richmond, VA. I can't wait to see everyone there!


Sarah said...

<3 <3

pinkkiss said...

so very well said:) Go team!!

Carly said...

Great post, Rachel. I heart you. And everybody else.