Banding together to spread the word about craft, again.

Recently I wrote about how important it is to spread the joy of using and living with craft beyond our creative community and into the mainstream.  One of my readers wants to know where we go from here.  She suggests the artists all pony up a bit of cash for a big ad campaign.  Seems like a good idea but someone has to be in charge and there’s the rub.  Organizing artists is like herding cats or (my new favorite phrase) nailing jello to the wall, tricky business at best.  I have approached craft organizations with the idea of a general ad campaign but was told that it is much too expensive.  I do, however, have one last idea.  I don’t know why it didn’t come to me sooner.  Wendy Rosen, queen of the craft marketplace.  She knows craft, she knows business, and she knows publishing.  If you don’t know her, she has been trying to bring craft to the world at American Style magazine for years, she runs Buyers Market of American Craft and publishes Niche magazine.  Who better to head up a massive push to show America the power and beauty that is craft?  Maybe I will ask her what she thinks.  I’m in if you are!

~ by debkarash on June 10, 2010.

8 Responses to “Banding together to spread the word about craft, again.”

  1. Dear Deb and friends,
    I’ve got no fewer than 3 or 4 national promotional plans… one is based on cultural travel interests, another is promoting “Find American Made” … It can be done if everyone pitches in a little in effort and investment. But it does take hundreds, maybe a thousand people to make it happen. We already have 400+ participating… come to the summer show in Baltimore and learn more… we’re doing a launch of these new projects there!

    • Wendy, I knew that if there was a plan of action that you would be in on it. I can’t make it to Baltimore this summer but I hope I can hear about the plans some other way.

  2. interesting ideas about a popular promotion of living with crafts. Also, may I suggest your readers watch the Craft in America series that aired on PBS several years ago and last fall had it’s second “season”. Although the series looks at the artists and their process, it is at least a glimpse into the beginnings of the crafts we make and buy.

  3. Deb, it is so timely that you are writing about this…there currently is a national endeavor to bring craft awareness to the mainstream. It is sponsored by C.R.A.F.T. Craft Retailers and Artists For Tomorrow – a national group of retailers and artists who learn from each other, sponsor workshops at wholesale shows and have teleconferences to further educate our industry to help it survive. CRAFT is working with Craft in America, the PBS affiliate that Michael mentioned.Wendy Rosen is a sponsor and I believe she is planning on running an ad campaign ***this movement is called “American Craft Week” and it is happening October 1-10 across the country. here in WNC we are trying to get the word out. The SHCG enews recently ran an announcement, HandMade is promoting it and many galleries are participants. I met with small town representatives a few weeks ago through a HIA Cluster Gathering and I know there were representatives from Marshall there. I am daily working on trying to get the word out more. Contact me at Grovewood for more information! Thanks!!

    • Sherry, That all sounds great and I’m on board to support Craft Week any way that I can. I think the key is getting into the mainstream media like television, mainstream radio (not just public tv and radio), and maybe even billboards (the advertising that can’t be turned off) because I think that the craft industry is already pretty well educated about craft and it’s importance. It’s the other folks that need to hear about it. I think we waste a lot of time, energy, and money advertising to each other.

  4. Deb – well, have I got a site for you… it just launched last week and already is generating some great feedback. My husband and I created The Hive – an online social community for the Arts & Crafts Industry ( It is completely free to members and allows members to blog, create and post in communities and will (in the next few weeks) also have a personal calendar to post where artists may be selling their wares, or special events. Our site is also rich in SEO – which is great to help the consumer find you! Please pass the word along, come create your free account and let’s band together to bring homemade to the new generation!

  5. Deb – This was posted on our site over the weekend and I think it may provide some ideas on how individual artists/crafters can help in their own community both in support and awareness. It is called the 3/50 project.

    Based on the comments of this post, it seems that the original creater offers to get a window banner and/or flyers for anyone who wants to start a campaign in their area.

    This definately seems like a worthwhile way to help support the community.

    • Melissa, I love the 3/50 project and have already been spreading the word about it in my own small town. Buying hand made goods takes that idea a step beyond just buying from locally owned business.

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