Generating business and gaining a following can be a daunting task when starting a business from the ground up, but making the right connections can make all the difference.
The 41st Annual Crafts Fair offered the platform for many who are trying to give their business a boost as well as those who are established but also value additional exposure.
No different than years past, “one of the city's most popular fall gatherings,” according to The Commercial Appeal, brought out “many, many thousands,” stated John Morrison, a volunteer for the weekend event.
The fair offered something for everyone hosting over 250 vendors creating and selling jewelry, wood crafts, T-shirts, painting and clay sculpting as well as activities for kids, live music, a petting area,and multiple food options.
The Pink Palace, who sponsors the event, has a mission statement to “inspire people to learn...,” which is exactly what people had the opportunity to do at the event as well as get in a little shopping.
“This event is important because the museum likes to educate people, and so we had the first two tents just demonstrating the craftsmen that teach the old arts of weaving, pottery, glass-throwing, and stuff like that,” said Claudia Stenberg.
For vendors such as Harold W. Miller's Handcrafted Sculptures, the Pink Palace Crafts Fair is a great venue for attracting new business and letting people see what he specializes in.
“I am a people watcher who seeks to open your mind that I may introduce you to the spirit of an animated creation captured in clay," Miller said. "As a sculptor, I create unique art pieces from clay and other mixed media. It is my mission to create work that tells a timeless story that affects each heart according to their life experience.”
Vases, chargers, figures, wall hangings, ornaments, masks and life-size moldings are the primary workings he does.
Miller gets inspiration for his pieces from characters of his imagination as well as from his own personal loved ones, founders and employers.
Like Miller, so many vendors had unique works on display ranging from sculpting to photography.
Photography mediums ranged from established artists such as Dan Williams, whose captivating pieces featured settings in nature with various birds being the focal point of the piece, to stand out works from Memphis native photographer Nathan Black, whose images showcased eye-popping HDR scenes of various known and lesser known Memphis locations.
Black said the key to what allows his work to stand out is his process of using HDR to “make things look better than they actually look in person.” He has an advantage of knowing “the landmarks that evoke emotion” since he grew up in Memphis has been around so many of them all his life.
While both expressed they have made a name for themselves in the community, working events such as the Pink Palace Crafts Fair doesn't hurt.
“This event absolutely helps with exposure because you have so many people coming through here that are seeing it (work) and even if they aren't buying they are picking up a card and they are getting exposed to it,” explained Nathan Black.
While the event only comes around once a year, for several of these businesses, that is not the case. However, to business owners such as Black, these events are worth it when they do come, “it is a good thing.”