Philly Handmade Weekend: Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft

Posted On July 18, 2009

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Your summer calendar is booked with weekend trips to soak up the sun and sea down the shore (make sure to sneak in a funnel cake or two). Or maybe you’re at home enjoying the steamy city of brotherly love and have had the chance to catch up on some crafty projects that lingered on the bottom of your to-do list throughout the spring. Either way, I recommend clearing your calendar from August 1st through the 3rd for Philadelphia’s Buyer Market of American Craft wholesale art and craft tradeshow at the PA Convention Center.

Even though the tradeshow is open to sellers and official buyers (trade only), the crafty minded public can still take part in this creative convergence by visiting their special events or learning at several of the seminars. The can’t-miss event of this year’s show will be the Philadelphia premiere screening of the indie craft documentary, “Handmade Nation” on Saturday, August 1, at 6-8 p.m. For just 5$ you can treat yourself to Faythe Levine’s documentary that captures what she calls “the new wave of art, craft and design” happening right here in America.

Handmade Nation is “a documentary of the work of a country-wide community of boutique owners, subversive stitchers, puckish printmakers and feisty knitters – independent-minded folks who’ve taken up the DIY mantle passed down from generations gone by. With filmmaker Micaela O’Herlihy, she captures a movement among people who value the handmade over the mass-produced and craft over convenience.”

Faythe will be ready and waiting after the credits roll to answer your burning questions during her Q & A session. For more info about “Handmade Nation,” check out Faythe’s blog. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at ART STAR CRAFT GALLERY, at 623 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia.

After catching that premiere you might find yourself extremely inspired and ready to take your crafting abilities to the next level. And if you’re like me, the thought of wholesale sends you into a state of joy and panic, as you’re unsure of how to start that journey. Lucky for you (and me), Buyers Market created a weekend workshop as part of their Visiting Artists program for “artists who are interested in selling their work to museum shops, gift stores and galleries” that will “cover salesmanship, product development, pricing and wholesaling.” Beyond this seminar, the Visiting Artist Program includes other educational seminars, guided marketplace tours, individual mentoring, etc. If you want to register/learn more about these wonderful learning opportunities and take a peek at the full schedule of available workshops, click here.

Is that crafty mind of yours still hungry for brain food? Then you should consider participating in one of the many professional development workshops open to the public between July 21 and August 2nd. Tickets can be purchased at the door and the price range is between 30$ and 50$. Seminars include The Tough Get Going-Boot Camp Series (economic stimulus help, microloan, marketing online, featuring Cindy Baxter-founder of The 3/50 project), Table Topics (roundtable discussions with veteran retailers-salesmanship skills, Internet social networking tool, etc), Trends You Can Bank On (featuring Michelle Lamb, the editorial director of The Trend Curve and a trusted color and trend forecaster). For more information, visit

Even though summer calls for lazy weekends and salt water taffy, your crafty, motivated self will thank you in the fall for attending a seminar or at least catching the Philly premiere of the “Handmade Nation.” Happy Crafting Summer!

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