10 Reasons to Shop Local This Christmas (+ 10 Questions with the creators of Crafty by Nature)

Love Jules Leather

Last year, when we profiled the first Crafty By Nature Holiday Show and Sale on Choose Pemberton, we suggested that the event could be either the perfect opportunity to accomplish all your Christmas shopping OR a day to blow off the to-do list and splurge on some handmade treats for yourself, depending on your self-discipline. We still think the biggest risk of the event is that you’ll have a wickedly good time, chatting with friends around the snacks and coffee bar, listening to Suzanne Wilson play some tunes, letting the kids loose on the craft table, and discovering the serious load of Talent living creatively in the Pemberton Valley, and then decide that you like that hat/necklace/apron/scarf/mug that you bought for your Mom, so much, that you decide to keep it for yourself. And that is okay. Supporting local artisans and crafters is karma points enough.

We checked in with Ulla Clark, of LU Prints, one of the event organisers to find out what to expect this Sunday, 1pm – 6pm, when the Crafty Chicks set down at the Community Centre. Free admission seasonal shopping with no canned Christmas music, and six new artists – Ulla promises that this Crafty by Nature will be the perfect antidote to chain-store shopping, and a darn good time to boot. Follow Crafty by Nature on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CBNPemby, to find out more about the feature artists Frances Dickinson (Frances Felt), Ulla Clark (LU Prints), Caroline Miller, Vanessa Stark, Nicole Wellstein (Mana Jewelry Designs’ laser cut wood jewelry), Amy Hazeldine (Sunna Studio), Andrea Cooney (Averice Designs), Carolyn Simons (hand-carted Alpaca wool items), Gaeyln Bolster (hand crocheted hands and a new line of jewerly), Karen Love, Love Jules, Chelsea Kozlan (Koz Creations’ feather earrings) & Calida Grymaloski+Sam Casavant (Bathtub Gardens).
What do you hate most about Christmas?

It is always a challenge to try to find gifts for people who already have everything. Especially if there is a Christmas budget, and the gifts have to be under a certain amount, then it is even more difficult. Before I started buying gifts from other artists and craftspeople for my family for Christmas I remember going shopping the day or two before and would often just end up buying something so I could check that name off the list.

How does Crafty by Nature counter that?

CBN makes it easy to get a unique and thoughtful gift for someone, and often at a great price, especially considering it is made by the person you are buying from. It ensures that they will not already have the same thing, and will end up returning it on Boxing Day! Also being able to tell the person that it was made by someone you know, or from your community, is such a nice bonus. I love supporting local artists and craftspeople as well because it keeps the money local, in my community or province. This is an important part of keeping our economy strong.

New work from Karen Love Art

Crafty by Nature was started last year. What was the experience like? What were the kinds of comments you got from people?

Last year’s show was much more of a success than we anticipated. The word got around, mainly on facebook, and we had a great turnout. All of the artists did well, and we ended up putting on a spring show as well. Comments from the public were super positive, with many asking if we were going to continue with the show in following years. People also kept saying that they had no idea that many of us made these products, or that our community had so many talented artists.

What did you learn from the debut experience?

Bring more food!  😉 The food table was a hit, and it kept people at the show lingering and chatting, making it a real social event as well. We also realized that we could easily add more artists to the lineup, as the demand was there.

What can people expect this year? What’s new and what’s different?

The show is double in size this year, offering many more types of product to find that perfect gift! We are also excited to debut a kids craft table where the little ones can hang out and make crafts, with supplies donated from Small Potatoes, while their parents check out the show. We will also have a food/drink table with complimentary Mount Currie Coffee Co. coffee (mmm), as well as live music from local talent Suzanne Wilson.

What are the qualities that work has to have in order to be invited to submit?

CBN features homegrown talent from the Sea to Sky, that is of high quality and unique, but also contemporary. We look for a wide array of product that showcases artists and craftspeople that currently dedicate a large portion of their time to their business. Many of the artists do their craft full-time, have websites, as well as sell online and at other larger craft shows across the province and country. Some of our artists even go to the US to showcase their product.

LU Prints

There are quite a few shows and fairs on at this time of year. The Christmas Fair on Saturday. Bizarre Bazaar. Circle Craft. How is Crafty by Nature different from any of those?

Our show is unique because it provides a more intimate and fun experience for shoppers, in addition to having high quality work from a local hand selected group of artists. We wanted to offer this type of show in Pemberton, as nothing like this has been established here in the past, and I think people are looking for places to find these types of products for themselves as well as for gifts. I don’t think we are entirely different from some of the larger contemporary shows in quality of our artists, but we are offering this in our own community so people don’t have to travel to find this level of work in another town or city.

Mana Jewelry Designs

How important and busy is this season for independent artisans? How much of a person’s business is done at Christmas?

Christmas is a busy time for independent artists for sure. Speaking for myself, I do at least 50% of my business during Nov/Dec, and for many others I think it is the same.

You say that Crafty by Nature is as much a place to meet artists and share the joy and process of their making, as it is about Christmas. Why is that important? Do you think that a handmade gift given with a story about the artist is a more soulful gift, in the same way that food eaten when there is a relationship with the grower is nourishing to the spirit as well as the body?
Yes, I agree. A handmade gift has much more meaning and longevity, than something electronic or factory made, that could be outdated within a year. I think we all know what it feels like to give or receive a meaningful gift, and the potential to find such an item is much more likely if it is local or handmade.
Crafty by Nature aims to be a seasonal shopping destination for Pemberton and area. Does that mean we haven’t seen the last of this?
Yes, we are building the foundation for a yearly (or bi-yearly) show that will become a Pemberton staple. We want it to be a show that locals come to rely on as a place to find a wide range of gifts or unique products each year during the holidays, as well as being a fun event to check out.

One Response to “10 Reasons to Shop Local This Christmas (+ 10 Questions with the creators of Crafty by Nature)”
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  1. […] For an interview with Ulla Clark about last year’s event, revisit our Q+A here. […]

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