Monday, February 06, 2012

I Won't Be At The One of A Kind Show

Dear Friends,

I am hanging up my One of A Kind art card hat.

When I started to make hand-made greeting cards I had one major goal.  To make cards that were good enough to be in the Toronto One of A Kind show.  I made hundreds of samples and taught hundreds of students before I submitted my art cards for the juried show.  And one happy day I was accepted as an artist vendor.

Then I really began to make cards in earnest!  Several thousand a year in order to have the inventory to be at both the Spring and Christmas shows.  It was really hard work and for months every year I adhered to a strict 24 cards a day production schedule.  And I was proud to say my cards were “one of a kind.”

I created every single card by hand and each set was limited to only six cards. I made resin filled embellishments and hand-sewn components.  I made my own buttons.  I found ways to attach embellishments so that they could be removed and used again.  I cut and hand attached my insert papers.  The only thing I didn’t do was make the envelopes.

Being at the show was very exciting for me.  I made new friends, met new clients and sold many cards along the way.  I never made a lot of money. I know it was my choice to price my cards very reasonably, but they made people happy. Which made me happy in turn.

But shows, like people change.  More and more vendors began to have greeting cards in their booth.  Printed greeting cards.  I even found a card vendor whose cards were “hand finished in Canada” meaning they were printed elsewhere and someone was just applying some glitter glue to make them qualify as an art card.

I can’t compete with a printer and I don’t want to.

I know there will always be an audience where a truly hand crafted card is appreciated and indeed treasured.  When I find a show that supports this ideal I may set up my art card booth again.  Till then, thank you for your support, patronage, friendship and many smiles. 



uncertainvoyage said...

I will miss you at the show. Well, wait I actually only went to the show to see you and buy your wonderful cards.

You have to do what is best for you.

This still has be shaking my head "“hand finished in Canada” - really?

Jennifer Pearson Vanier said...

I'm sorry that your time at One of a Kind has come to an end. You are correct though, printed vs hand made cannot compete. Printed cards are fine but they are not "one of a kind."

Maria L said...

That was the only reason I went to the One of Kind see you and your wonderful creations!

Kathyk said...

It's such a shame but I entirely understand when you say you cannot compete with a printer ..... and agree wholeheartedly - I wouldn't want to either. Hand FINISHED is far from hand MADE!
All the best with your new focus


Joanne Huffman said...

You have struck a chord with this. Hand made is being replaced with "hand finished" all over. It's very sad.

Leslie Jane Moran said...

Oh NO!!! Everyone will expect a "Carmi Card" in order to feel really special. I hope you find another venue soon and keep the good spirits flowing.

CalibyCreations said...

Hand finished, indeed. This like the Hallmark cards that mimic handmade. Can't compete on that.

Margot Potter said...

Good for you, Carmi. You, my dear, talented, wise and wonderful friend truly are one of a kind. In fact, you are one of the most creative people I know. Keep on crafting in the free world!


MarissaDW said...

That's too bad Carmi. I loved the fact that you're part of One of Kind Show, but I'm sure you'll be busy with other projects.

Mary Jane said...

Hi Carmi I have never visited the one of a kind show but I do attend the craft shows in my area. I would like to give you the names of these shows for future reference. The Hand of Man craft show is held before Christmas in Peterborough, Ontario. There is also another craft show called Autumn Treasures. They have 2 craft shows in Buckhorn: 1 on the May 24 weekend and the other on Thanksgiving weekend.