Well, I have to say, COVID has changed my brain and I'm noticing that I am not the only one! I guess pandemics have a way of doing that. Not that we would know until now, but it is interesting to notice your own changes and observe them in others.
For me, it's sort of all-encompassing as a small business owner: how I spend my days (which relates to how much stock I carry); how retailers are handling it from a supply point of view; the mindset of clients when it comes to purchasing and why; and pretty much everything in between. It's been a real learning curve that always seems to be shifting, so you can't quite get "a handle" on it. It seems to be telling you one thing, only to change just when you think you've figured it out!
At this stage in our "sort of" post-pandemic lives (I mean is it really over, or on it's way out yet?) it causes me to think about how can I move forward, now that I am "allowed" to participate in "real live" craft shows again. Do I want to do that? If so, which ones? I spent a good part of my summer thinking, researching different shows, and being honest about what I was prepared to take on. Traveling to any kind of craft or fibre show, setting up, manning your booth, tearing down and returning home, is a HUGE amount of effort, time, money and planning.
So this is what I have decided to do for this Fall/Winter season. First and foremost I have decided NOT to return to the One of a Kind Show for the time being. Not sure I will ever go back, but I learned long ago to "never say never".
Starting in November, I will be participating in these shows and events:
I participated in the Maker's Hand Show from 2012 - 2015, when it was at a venue in Picton. They recently moved the show to Wellington, an area I have not explored. So I am looking forward to returning to this well-run, small, curated collection of Artisan work from all over Ontario and Quebec. There will be a total of 40 Artisans, admission is $5.00, and there is lots of free parking at The Wellington & District Community Centre/Lehigh Arena.
The following week, I will be at The Art Gallery of Burlington's Member's Shopping Event on Thursday, November 17th from 5-7 pm. For Members and this evening only, the AGB will be taking 20% off any purchase from their Gallery Shop. So, if you are a AGB Member, come and join us. I took the picture below as a teaser, showing all the displays with nothing on them. On November 17th, they will be full of jewellery I will bring for the event. The display case below will also be full of a freshly re-stocked collection of my line.
Following those out-of-town events, I will return to my favourite venue, my Toronto Studio, for this year's version of "Lisa's Studio Holiday Show". It will run daily, from Friday, December 9th to Friday, December 23rd.
This year it was difficult to get any other Artisans interested in participating in my Holiday Studio Show. Not sure why. But maybe with things opening up, Artisans are feeling like I am, and want to "get out there" a bit more, to reconnect with clients, and meet some new people. Being cooped up can do that to you! Another COVID brain change.
That said, I do have a few Artisans lined up, who I am keeping under wraps, as I may add an Artisan or two closer to the actual event. Once I have my November Craft events under my belt, I will start to promote my Studio Holiday Show and let you know all the details.
If you are planning on visiting me at any of these events, you can expect the same great selection of jewellery, watches and knitting accessories that you have seen at any One of a Kind Show. There will be some new designs in both the jewellery and knitting accessories categories. I did give you a sneak peak in my email reminders about my summer shows, and I have added those to my website under Knitting Accessories.
And speaking of knitting, this is one COVID brain change that is good. Way more people started knitting during the lockdown. They learned that knitting is a meditative way to pass the time. I am always knitting, and currently have just completed a Stephen West Shawl called Painting Rainbows, shown here with my Large Coiled Safety Pin. I'm not really a shawl wearer, I'm more a cowl and scarf person. But shawls make great, show-stopping Craft Show display aids, for featuring my knitting accessories, and just for the experience of touching and feeling all that glorious hand knit fibre in real life.
Here it is and it will debut at The Maker's Hand starting on November 11th. If you want to keep up more regularly with what I am up to between blog posts and email reminders, please give me a follow on Instagram (@lisaridout).
I am looking forward to all of these events. And to seeing all of you.