Photo of Marie Gilvey greeting customers at booth.

Photo of Marie Gilvey greeting customers at booth.

The 2010 Gar-Field Orchestra Boosters Craft Show was a great show to participate in and attend on Saturday, December 11, 2010. More than 120 artisans from around the region eagerly waited outside in frosty-cold temperatures as the doors were opened at 6:00 AM for them to set up their display booths around “the loop” that is the lower level of Gar-Field Senior High School.

Photo of Marie Gilvey making modifications to a necklace.

Photo of Marie Gilvey making modifications to a necklace.

I always observe in amazement as people arrive in all kinds of vehicles from the largest super-duty pickup trucks pulling storage trailers to English sports cars; even rickety old Jeep sport utility vehicles with 300-thousand miles on them (like mine),  overflowing with gear and art. People from all walks of life bring their creations for the chance to please a potential customer who all of a sudden catches a glance out of the corner of their eye and suddenly realizes “That would be perfect in my living room”—the dedication these artisans display to their art is just incredible or as my Corsican wife, in French language, pronounces it “ahn-croy-ahbluh”. Nowhere else, not even a shopping mall, does this type of encounter occur as frequently. Sure, the mall is a place to start but most people already know what they want when they go there—they have an idea of what to expect. Discovering art that is perfect for a specific space or application, particularly handmade one of a kind art is like that moment when a street magician amazes you—you can’t believe it and you feel so lucky to have discovered it.

Photo of Marie Gilvey standing behind her display as shoppers take advantage of her special deal on free jewelry.

Photo of Marie Gilvey standing behind her display as shoppers take advantage of her special holiday free jewelry offer running through December 2010..

The doors opened promptly to excited holiday shoppers at 9:00 AM and the customer traffic did not slow down until the very end of the show at 3:00 PM. “It was almost like Potomac Mills on a weekend” said Marie Gilvey. There was a minor slow period during the lunch hour but before and after that, there were many, many visitors purchasing gifts for Christmas and upcoming birthdays.

I can now say that I have officially heard it all. The Gar-Field cheerleader squad came up with the most creative cheer I think I have ever heard. In an effort to let shoppers know that there was food available for purchase during the show instead of leaving and coming back (or not), they came up with a “F-O-O-D” cheer. I thought it was very clever and funny but hey, it got my attention and it worked so B-r-a-v-o, Bravo!

The selection of gifts to purchase was greater than some shopping malls. When you stop and think how many different artisans there were to choose from in an area that would only fill the food court of most shopping malls, it just makes sense to shop at a craft show before going to the mall—if for any other reason, just for the convenience factor. I have to tip my hat to show coordinator Kathy Kann for arranging the opportunity for artisans and holiday shoppers to engage.

The next craft show at Gar-Field Senior High School will be the Annual Spring Craft Show on Saturday, March 26, 2011. It will be presented by the Gar-Field Sr. High PTSO. CorseCrafts will be there—please join us.Image graphic of CorseCraft icon art.

Author: mgilvey

Mark Gilvey is husband to Marie Antoinette and takes care of the website, advertising, and helps out at craft shows. He speicaizes in commercial photography, branding, and web design/SEO. As owner of Mark Gilvey Creative, his goal is to help clients find creative visual solutions to improve their public image in print and online. Mark also has a website where his personal fine art photography can be seen.

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