This January, after 6 years of hard work and pride in our city's craft community, and some great times with some wonderful people... I made the extremely hard decision to step down from my role with the Charm City Craft Mafia- the group of small craft business owners I helped found in 2006 to create a craft community in Baltimore and produce craft markets and networking events for artists here in the city. A fantastic group, and one I still adore. After years of really successful & well attended events, however, I was putting the show organizing and group projects before my business. I'm someone who can't seem to "part-time" anything I join. I realized it was time to hand my reigns to someone new and give Red Prairie Press a bigger push. This weekend will be the first craft mafia show I participate in as a juried applicant rather than an organizer. Now a paying, 8am arriving (as opposed to 6am), free to leave at 5 but extremely appreciative vendor, I know it will be hard for me to see something I helped start and felt so invested in be happening without my help. I not only miss the people in the group, but I miss the satisfaction of everything coming together from all the hard work and long hours, and a room jam packed of Baltimoreans eager to purchase handmade artwork. What an unmatchable feeling, knowing you are someone who guided everyone into that room. But I'm so proud to know that there are enough hardworking, craft loving people in this city to keep such a good thing going and thriving. I am so relieved that I can now focus on the actual making of these products and remind myself that being an artist is ALSO an important part of a craft fair - not just the advertisement making, the facebook promotions, the flyering, the radio announcements and the late night teetering on unstable ladders to hang the perfect lighting for the show. I'm so glad to have been a part of these shows, and so proud to see them thrive in a city that I love and want so badly to succeed. They say if you love something, you should let it go and it will come back to you if it's meant to be. I can say with certainty that it's already true. The 6 years of experience I got from being in this inspiring group have given me perspective and opportunity in ways I couldn't have imagined. Aside from that, it gave me an insight into how simple it is to make something great happen if people get together. With the knowledge of just how encouraging Baltimore is of its artists... it's nice to feel like one again.
See you this Saturday, June 22 from 10am-5pm at the 2640 space for PILE OF CRAFT.
There won't be a better way for you to support craft in Baltimore this summer.
More info HERE.