Shiral Tobin has a feature called “pinched” on CBC Radio One the Early Edition where she covers topics about living life with less, shopping in Vancouver and deciding what one values. She was working on a story about craft fairs – Are they worth it? Are they too expensive? Are the treasures therein better than the stuff one might get elsewhere like the mall?
Well, last week Robert had the opportunity to speak with Shiral to help her find out if you can find a deal at craft shows. Here is the link to the segment (7minutes 16secs) and I highly suggest you listen to it before reading on.
The first quarter of the segment focuses on the Circle Craft event that launched today and seemed to mostly be a promotion piece for the show. The focus of the segment was is centered around the price of items and for admission to these events. It does not highlight the fact that these are local designers, handmade items, often one-of-a-kind items, and that you are supporting makers in the community. The interview then ends with Shiral promoting the Nikkei Place Craft and Bake Fair, because it is a free show and (according to her) the best place to find products for cheap. She also notes that the show consists mainly of the seniors from the local home selling their handmade products (think 3 hand crocheted wash cloths for $2).
Hmm… ok. Although there wasn’t any direct negativity to any of the three shows that she spoke to, it did nothing about buying local and supporting those making their own products. Robert spoke about the reasons why Got Craft? has an admission fee and what the fee goes towards. He also explained how Got Craft? differs from the other shows and it’s not because we have a DJ or food and drink, it’s our involvement with the local crafting community, our commitment to supporting makers and keeping the true indie craft spirit. No, you won’t always find the best deal at a craft fair. Sure, you may attend a show and find vendors selling products for prices that you know don’t even cover their supplies, but in the long run, it doesn’t benefit anyone. There is no way you can ever compare shopping at a craft fair to a big box store.
Would love to hear your thoughts! Chime in!