As I am still traversing the Midwest without computer access, I will rerun a craft show rant (specific to some jewelry sellers). This particular complaint is still a huge issue with me and, if anything, I'm seeing even more of it this season.
There seems to be a huge amount of commercially made, buy/sell jewelry being exhibited at “craft” shows lately. They’re even turning up at some of the nicer juried shows. When I noticed this and felt it was somewhat blatant at a show run by a promoter that I’ve known for quite some time and respected for the excellent shows she has delivered over the years, I asked her why she was allowing these sellers at her shows.
This promoter stated it was her belief that allowing them to display their “nice” buy/sell merchandise in an attractive manner (Their booth display was eye-catching and well done.) was better than having empty spaces. She felt customers would balk at paying for admission to a craft show that was not full but would not object to the presence of these exhibitors. She actually indicated she did not feel the average customer would notice. Because they were comparatively priced with those who were creating their own merchandise, it was her belief, their participation would not hurt the true jeweler’s sales. She claims her true crafters have not objected.
I, as a customer, do object to their presence at a craft show and I told her this. I would actually rather see a smaller show than see the same merchandise I can find at my local K-Mart and such. I also pointed out that, if she is doing this at all of her shows, it may be why she is unable to fill the space she has allotted for jewelry with actual crafters.
I also find it hard to believe the true jewelers involved do not object. I believe they are simply remaining quiet as the shows are generally well advertised and attended and sales are healthy. It’s time these folks, both sellers and customers, voiced their objections. Make a point of complaining to the show organizers, committees, sponsors and/or directors about the presence of buy/sell. If these groups still want to allow these vendors to take part in the event, let’s not call it a “craft show“. Simply refer to it as a “market” or a “fair.”
My second jewelry complaint concerns the proliferation of “jewelers” who are simply stringing beads together to form a single strand necklace or bracelet and filling an entire booth with this sort of production. Some have actually learned the art of attaching a clasp to the string but there are a number of sellers simply using elastic cording and tying it off, similar to the second-graders’ Mother’s Day project! Technically, these pieces are handmade and, since they chose the type and color of the beads to put in whatever order, I suppose you could stretch that into claiming they “designed” it, too. Again, as a shopper I am very disappointed when I come across these booths.
What’s really sad to say, is that all of these vendors are selling and making a profit at craft shows!