I Participated in the Handmade Section of the Boston Gift Show
This is a wholesale show that sells to the trade only - individuals who have stores, shops etc. When you apply to the show you sign up for a section to be with other "like" vendors. The three major sections are Handmade, New England and Manufactured. I signed up for the Handmade area thinking everything was Handmade in America. In the Handmade section the products have to be handmade, but can be made anywhere. In the New England Section the products have to be from New England but not necessarily hand made. And the manufactured section speaks for itself...lots of $3 trinkets. So back to me and the Handmade section. When you truly produce something hand made in America it takes time ($), in my case thoughtfulness and creativity. What I found in the Handmade section was companies selling Fair Trade products, made in India through US Reps. They were selling beautiful felted handbags for $10, lovely glass flower necklaces for $8 and Pashminas for $5 etc. Our upcycled wool product line
ranges from $6-24 and that is considered expensive when compared to Fair Trade. I still had a good show but wish I had done my Homework to better understand the different sections. I have contacted the Boston Gift Show to encourage them to have a Handmade in New England section or Handmade in America. Or Better yet, Maine Made, America's Best.