Saturday, March 10, 2012

Handmade Brigade: Was it Worth it?

Today I participated in this show: 

It was my first time doing this show and I did not know what to expect. The only thing I knew going in was that there was going to be a few artists that I know personally vending there with me.  
The first thing that got me a little nervous about the show was that when I turned off of Henrietta Rd onto Ward Hill Road, there were no signs indicating that there was a craft show. Upon turning into the parking lot, I had still not seen ANY signage. Yikes, not a good start. 
Set up and parking were fairly easy, and I was lucky enough to be placed next to Tiffany Cotsonas of Freckles and Frizz. Tiffany makes a wide range of beautiful fabric and embroidered decorations and children's clothing.  She is also a fellow RNESTer (Rochester New York Etsy Street Team) 

Freckles and Frizz

As I had suspected, the show was really slow. I think maybe 200 people came through all day. (and that number may be exaggerated a bit) 
Ultimately, because this is how I make my living now, my first goal is to sell enough pieces to pay a few bills and unfortunately the show fell short. 
But money aside, this show was actually really fun. I had hours of great conversation with Tiffany, which made the time just fly by.  Periodically, Francesca DeCaire, who was set up on the opposite end of the room, would make a cameo in our area and get us cracking up over one thing or another. 

Francesca DeCaire: Bead Artisan 
Dollar bead anyone? 

I gotta say, the ladies that ran the show were very nice and helpful as well. They had volunteers willing and able to help with load in, a free hot lunch, and the organizers came around and asked if the vendors needed anything a few times throughout show. If they can remedy the lack of advertisement, I really think that the show has great potential. The quality and diversity of crafts was impressive, it was like a mini Indie show. Definitely NOT your typical church fair. 

one of MANY beautiful pottery pieces by Tori DiPietro

The other great thing about slow shows, besides mingling with other artists, is doing TRADES!  Lola got this awesome (or should I say PAW-some)  leash, hand made with love by Tiffany in exchange for one of my new spoon rings. 

Lola and her new leash!!!
Tiffany also made Lola's pretty collar <3
So, back to the original question, was today's show worth doing? I would say hell yeah! It is a rare occasion that you get to schmooze with fellow crafters at a show. Being in a room full of creative people and weaving ideas on collaborating talents is one of my favorite things to do. Also, getting tips on good shows to participate in, and advice on which shows to steer clear of are priceless did bits that only get shared when there is time to share, and there was PLENTY of time at this show.  Not to mention the many friendships and connections made today.
 In the end, I would say that having the occasional slow show is necessary for growing a business for the networking aspects alone, although I hope next week's show at Webster Schroeder School is a bit more profitable. 

Enjoy 10% off of your entire order online at by entering coupon code 'BRIGADE' in at check out. Expires 03/12/12


  1. We were very very happy to have you join us today. I so appreciate your kind words and was the very first show we ever put on, so we can only get better!

    1. I know you are right! I have a lot of faith in you guys because you genuinely care about not only the success of the show in general, but also on the success of the individual crafter as well.
      I forgot to mention in my post that you had a top notch bake sale and raffle too. I bought some brownies, cookies and cake and they were all scrumptious!

    2. Excellent and honest review Erin! Thanks for including me in your post. And it's true, I have beads available for as low as a dollar! Get them while they last...

  2. Hopefully next year I will not miss the application deadline and be able to be one of the fellow schmoozey crafters. ;)