Thursday, March 1, 2012

Upbeat Atmosphere, Enthusiastic Buyers at 2012 Buyers Market of American Craft

"Although, we don't have numbers until we compare our pre-registration with on-site statistics, I can tell you that retailers were more upbeat than they have been in six to seven years," says Wendy Rosen, CEO and president of the Rosen Group, the producer of the Buyers Market of American Craft. "They were buying confidently from their mainstream resources and also they were more confident about large, one of a kind investment pieces.

"Most retailers reported sales increases of 20 percent-plus for the last quarter and that continued through January and Valentine's Day. No doubt the mild weather throughout the northeast contributed to the improved sales, but it seems that the good mood was felt by retailers across the entire country."

"For our 30th Anniversary show this year, we made a point of recruiting a strong mix of new and longtime exhibitors," reports Jean Thompson, the company's director of marketing and public relations. "Our mission is not to dwell in the past, but we recognize the contributions that have been made in the industry by artists and makers whose work has become the bread-and-butter for many galleries and stores. At the same time, we want to welcome new designers, new artists, new creators who have a different aesthetic and fresh approaches to contemporary gift ware. Our roster included more than 120 new exhibitors.

"We witnessed an unexpectedly strong surge of buying during the Jewelry Preview event on Friday night, featuring our premier jewelry designers who work in gold, silver, gemstones and pearls," she continues. "Several reported they were approaching sold-out status after the four-hour event. One jewelry artist told us he took orders that would keep him making new pieces through July. This set the tone for our entire show. There were artists reporting that they had signed orders with 20, 30 and even 40 new galleries or retailers."

Giftware News was there as well. Here's a sample of what we saw. 

Julie Shaw (left), owner of Julie Shaw Designs, was invited to take part in the ribbon cutting marking the show's 30th Anniversary. Her jewelry design business exhibited during Buyers Market's first year, and has stayed with the show through to the present. Rebecca Mercado (center), show director, Buyers Market of American Craft, is marking her first show as the show director. Wendy Rosen is President and CEO of The Rosen Group, producer of the Buyers Market of American Craft.

Wendy Costa Studio displays retro vinyl bags

A selection of Excessary Handbags

Jewelry from BirdQueen Designs

Melanie Anderson, owner and designer of Koochi Ku, displays her collections

Whimsical glass from Kliszewski

Hat and scarves from B. Felt

A selection of home décor pieces from ugone & Thomas

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