After our Long Beach Patchwork Show last Sunday, I stood in the almost empty parking lot talking with two of our long-time vendors about how the craft show scene has changed over the years. Although I no longer sell at craft shows, I did for over a decade and saw the scene develop from a handful of flea markets, designer sample sales and holiday church sales to a vibrant culture of show producers, vendors and supporters.
The two things I love most about emerging craft shows are:
- Makers have more opportunities to sell their goods.
- I have more chances to attend a craft show rather than work behind the scenes at one. *This second one doesn’t always work out: I missed one of my favorite Northern California shows, West Coast Craft, which was on the same day as Patchwork Show Long Beach.
Yes, more craft shows means producers (and vendors) have to up their game to stay ahead as competition grows but I love that! I love watching our veteran vendors develop their businesses. Some of the vendors from our first shows are still coming to Patchwork Show (like the ones I was chatting with in the Long Beach parking lot) and others have permanently folded up their E-Z UP tent to make way for diving into selling wholesale or opening a brick and mortar store or starting (or growing) their family. As I’ve watched the craft show scene evolve, I’ve seen our vendors grow too and it’s such an honor to be a part of this creative movement.
I didn’t realize until Sunday, that we’ve been hosting Patchwork Show in Long Beach for nine years! I still love the location (right on the water!) and how the show is easy to navigate since it’s contained in one area but I’m also excited to work on freshening up the location this fall with some local businesses and new experiences for attendees. Looking forward to seeing everyone in the fall and if you happen to be in the Bay Area this weekend, join us at our last show of the spring season in Oakland at Jack London Square.