Thursday, 18 November 2010

UK Craft Fairs

OK, as some of you know we run a site called Craft Calendar. What you may not know is that we have been taking part in Craft Fairs in one way or another for over 15 years. We are very supportive of UK Craft Fairs and that's why we're asking for people to COMPLAIN!

  • More and more Crafters are arriving at Craft Fairs to find they are competing with "bought in" goods.
  • More and more visitors are attending them to find that on lots of the stands they aren't being offered handmade goods direct from the crafter.
  • More and more visitors are buying items which they think are "Craft" but after getting home finding labels on them which show they obviously aren't craft.

We believe strongly that UK craft fairs should be restricted to UK Crafters selling THEIR OWN goods. That the person behind the stand should be able to talk to you about how they made the item and even  accept a commission if necessary.

Why should crafters have to compete with bought in goods at an event which is advertised as a Craft Fair (OK if its advertised as a Craft and Gift Fair then you get what you pay for). Why should visitors be mislead about what they are buying. Why should they have to pay (in some cases) to see the same items which you can see in your local tat shop!

The same applies to some extent to Craft Material Shows. Why when I've paid to go into a Craft Material Show, which can be quite expensive at some of the larger venues, should I be presented with stands selling ironing board covers or hair grips! .... I'm NOT interested in them.... the organisers would have you believe that these stands are "spare" because no crafters wanted them... when the actual truth is more and more the smaller craft companies can't afford them because the organisers can get more money giving the space to a shoe polish company!

So we're asking you to complain. Support UK Crafts, they're having a tough time at the moment. If a Craft Fair isn't a Craft Fair or a Craft Material Show isn't a Craft Material Show then you have every right to complain about it being misrepresented.... maybe, eventually organisers will get the right idea.

p.s. there are a lot of good Craft Fair / Show organisers out there and this post obviously isn't aimed at them. Unfortunately they suffer as well when the UK public loose trust in the craft market! So, on the other side of the coin, if you attend a good craft fair, do make a point of finding the organiser and thank them.

p.p.s. All the photo in this article are real crafters!


The Craftman said...

Forgot to say if you want to complain why not just send them an email. You should be able to find an organisers details with a quick Google search.

p.s. I know that I said all the photos were real crafters but thank you to the person who pointed out the top one isn't :-)

Janet said...

re the ps :-
The top one may not "be" a real crafter but I bet it was made by a real crafter and it's not some cheap import.

If you go to a Craft fair you expect to see things for sale made by crafters
They work hard in whatever craft they do and certainly don't deserve to be in competition with stalls/stands offering bought in goods it must get very disheartening for them.