Buyer’s Market

When I first met Jenni Brant, of BurroBranch, though the Etsy Mud Team, I immediately recognized some of her work and posted a little something about it on the Night Kitchen. Some months later she got in touch with me again: One of her pieces, she said, had been picked as a finalist in the Niche Magazine awards contest and she’d be coming from Nebraska to Philadelphia to hand deliver it. The contest was happening simultaneous with the big craft buyer’s market at the Philadelphia Convention Center, in mid-February. Could she stay on my couch?

Of course, I said yes, albeit my couch is uncomfortable and she’d be overrun with cats. We made some preliminary arrangements. But then, just a little over a week before she was supposed to come, she told me she was totally bogged down in work. She asked if I would be willing to hand deliver her piece, if she shipped ASAP, and she would include a little gift and a pass to check out the market. I couldn’t down that offer!

So she whisked her piece over and I jumped on a bus with it Friday morning and delivered it to the show. Then came the cool part! The Buyer’s Market is specifically for wholesale crafters, and you are not allowed in if you are not a buyer or affiliated with a gallery or shop. Or, if you have a special pass. Which I did. So I spent well over two hours meandering through, checking out some truly amazing jewelery and other goodies along the way.

Some stuff, I have to say, was mediocre. Some of the ceramics was particularly not notable, unfortunately, but there were a few that really stood out. There were some things there that were just plain weird (pizza clocks?). But for the most part I was awed and dazzled by the literally hundreds of incredible fine jewelers and metal smiths, not to mention teased and tempted by wholesale price markings on everything!

Here’s a few of the highlights, from the folks I was able to grab business cards from:

Jewelry by Nora Dougherty, www.noradougherty.com
Jewelry by Nora Dougherty, http://www.noradougherty.com

Sarah Graham Metalsmiths, www.sarahgraham.com
Sarah Graham Metalsmiths, http://www.sarahgraham.com

Jacob Albee Goldsmith, www.jacobalbee.com

Jacob Albee Goldsmith, http://www.jacobalbee.com

Danny Kamerath Woodworking, www.dannykamerath.com

Danny Kamerath Woodworking, http://www.dannykamerath.com

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow, How nice of you to deliver her piece and how great that she gave you a gift and a pass!
    I’m so glad you shared pics of what you saw. I would have loved to have gone myself.

  2. Jenni’s piece is lovely and well deserved of the Niche honor. It is unfortunate that she was unable to attend and see you too.

    I have been to the Buyer’s Market too. I agree with your opinions on the ceramics, kinda of a mixed bag of stuff, but I thought that some of the other mediums were strong, with jewelry being one of them. I loved wondering around the show and seeing what other artists were doing. I think it is a viable avenue for selling your work. I liked being able to take orders and make a solid schedule for the amount of work I needed to do and the time frame to do it in. I have mixed feelings about retail venues, because you never know how much business you are going to get. Though, I supposed the same thing could happen at the wholesale show. If you were ever thinking about it, this is a well run show and there are lots of resellers that come to the show.

    The show also has a track for visiting artists that I want to go through at some point (http://artsbusinessinstitute.org/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4).

  3. What a wonderful opportunity and there’s nothing more inspiring than viewing the creative original work of fabulous artisans, love it!! Jenni’s work is gorgeous and thank you so much for introducing her.

  4. Hello. Just happened upon your blog, and was pleasantly surprised to be in your collection of appreciated artists. Thanks for noticing, and best of luck to you.


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