Indie Craft Parade 2015

The 6th annual Indie Craft Parade was this past weekend, and as always, it didn't disappoint. Far from it! This highly competitive, well-organized regional craft fair showcases 80 artists and brings out 6-7,000 attendees in Greenville every September. I was pleased to participate once again this year, and just as in years past, it was one of my best shows ever. How does that keep happening? This particular craft show is just THAT good!

My Indie Craft Parade 2015 booth setup

I saw so many familiar faces, people who have been coming to my booth year after year. I always enjoy seeing "vintage" Once Again Sam jewelry in the crowd, pieces I made several years ago, still being enjoyed. That's probably the coolest part of the weekend - having happy customers come back again and again.

This is a big weekend for my business, so I spend a good chunk of the summer preparing for it. I'm proud to say, this was the first Indie Craft Parade when I didn't run out of bags or dollar bills. In previous years, I vastly underestimated how many shoppers would come through, so I'd double up on supplies the following year, and of course the number of customer would double up too, so I still had the same problem. Not this year! I took $150 in singles, and over 500  paper bags (which I hand stamped one by one) and it seems I finally have a feel for just how to prepare for this show. It only took me 5 years to get it right! 

Here's the rundown of my weekend in numbers, just as I shared last year, plus a peek inside my shopping bag at my fabulous finds. I always enjoy supporting other artists, and at a show like this one, you truly have to restrain yourself! There is so much talent, so many gift ideas, so many splurges to consider. In the end, I brought home items from 12 other artists. 

My 2015 Indie Craft Parade purchases will full artist list below:

1. Origami flowers by Paperform

2. Mixed media block art by Heather Murphy

3. Ceramic bowl by Daniel Bare

4. Paper wall art by Paperform

5. Lip balm by Hello Soap

6. Weaving on woodblock by Twenty Two West

7. Mixed media assemblage by Jon Andrews

8. Wood block paintings by Sunny Mullarkey Studio

9. Brass stud earrings & ring by Melting Sun Apparel

10. Print by Elizabeth Foster

11. Painted wood sign by Olive + Grey

12. Handbag by Hawks & Doves

Recap: Indie Craft Parade

Last weekend was the 5th annual Indie Craft Parade here in Greenville, SC. This is a top notch festival of all things handmade, and is always my best show year after year. With a record number of attendees this year, nearly 7,000 people, it’s no wonder it was a huge success for all involved.

A lot goes into preparing for a major show like this. I worked all summer making inventory and still felt like I didn’t have enough by the time September rolled in. The week of the show, I mainly focused on tweaking my table setup, and finalized some new additions to my display to ensure my booth would look it’s best and function well for the crowd of shoppers. I always do a mock up prior to this show (that’s what the dining room is for!) and that, plus carefully packing up what is essentially a miniature store, is a several day-long endeavor. The checklist is never ending!

The day before the show, I got an unexpected opportunity to appear on Studio 62 with Jamarcus Gaston to talk about the festival and my handmade business. This was my first time on TV and I was shaking like a leaf, but I’m thankful for the chance to plug this amazing event as well as share my work. Here’s the video clip

Friday September 12th was the day of set up. All the vendors showed up at assigned times to unload, and the anticipation was there from the get go, long before the VIP Gala kicked off that evening. I did a series of live posts throughout the day Friday to give a behind the scenes look at what all goes on before the doors are open. Click here for photos.

To say the show was a success would be a huge understatement. I’m not just talking record sales or attendance. Everything about the event was extremely well organized, widely publicized, and I felt energized even though I was utterly exhausted by the end of it. Below are some of my stats from the weekend, but I’ll just point out, this show is a complete anomaly - I DO NOT sell almost 800 items at every craft show I do!

Not only did I sell a lot, but I bought a lot too. That’s half the fun, right?      Here’s a peek at my Indie Craft Parade loot from some of the most talented regional artists. I could have bought something from just about every vendor. I had a hard time narrowing it down to these awesome items!

Not only did I sell a lot, but I bought a lot too. That’s half the fun, right?  

Here’s a peek at my Indie Craft Parade loot from some of the most talented regional artists. I could have bought something from just about every vendor. I had a hard time narrowing it down to these awesome items!

1. Ring from  January Jewelry   2. Print from  Chris Koelle   3. Felted Flowers from  Muncle Fred Art    4. Brass Earrings from  Olivia de Soria Jewelry   5. Bone Pendant from  Exterra88   6. Turned Walnut Bowl from Turning South  7. Trivet and Feather Ornament from  Crave Studio   8. Owl Print from  Joe Engel   9. Turned Muddlers from  Slab   10. & 11. Paintings from  Candy Pegram   12. Bowl from  Bean & Bailey   13. Tiny Vases from  April Swhingle   14. Porcupine Pendant from  Spectrum Handcrafted   15. 2015 Calendar from Paperform

1. Ring from January Jewelry

2. Print from Chris Koelle

3. Felted Flowers from Muncle Fred Art 

4. Brass Earrings from Olivia de Soria Jewelry

5. Bone Pendant from Exterra88

6. Turned Walnut Bowl from Turning South

7. Trivet and Feather Ornament from Crave Studio

8. Owl Print from Joe Engel

9. Turned Muddlers from Slab

10. & 11. Paintings from Candy Pegram

12. Bowl from Bean & Bailey

13. Tiny Vases from April Swhingle

14. Porcupine Pendant from Spectrum Handcrafted

15. 2015 Calendar from Paperform

Thanks to everyone who made this event so special!

Thanks to everyone who made this event so special!