NY Int'l. Gift Fair - Handmade Designer Maker E-mail


SHOW: NY Int'l. Gift Fair - Handmade Designer Section (New York, NY)

DATES: January 26-29, 2013


ATTENDANCE: 35,000 (NYIGF - Total Show) 

BOOTH COST (10x10): $4,000+





nyigf13-1Through the different incarnations and travels that the Handmade Section (now known as Handmade Designer Maker) has gone through in the past ten or so years, it still seems to be a rather successful destination for retailers searching for handmade work to sell in their gift shops and galleries.


At first glance, when one walks into the main entrance of the Javits on a Sunday- where primary registration for the show is located - the first thing that’s noticed is the busy, busy atmosphere. Walking Personal Accessories and Accent On Design, for example, one can get frustrated navigating through a crowded aisles.


Unfortunately the number of buyers walking the Handmade Designer section that day - which has been seemingly exiled to the far end of the Javits, through a long hallway and within a bright pavilion - is obviously less than what you see in the other sections of the show.


nyigf13-2Many of the artists who responded to the CSN survey and artists interviewed at the show feel that being outside the main heartbeat of the show, with little signage pointing buyers their way, has an affect on the traffic in Handmade Designer.


Aside from the extreme swings of the thermostat - which was another issue that a number of artists addressed - the pavilion where the Handmade Designer Maker section is located allows for a ton of natural light and very high ceilings. It’s definitely a place you would normally want to spend 4 long-days, except for the heat and the feeling of isolation.


A little more than half the artists that responded to our survey were disappointed with the total attendance, which may explain why the percentage of artists who responded that their sales were less than $10,000 (41%) was higher than the number of artists (27%) who responded to the same question in our 2011 survey of the show.


>That being said, artists who rely primarily on wholesale to survive know that this is an important  show and that they could just as easily meet one buyer at the show with an order for $25,000 as they could, after 4 days of standing in their booth, end up with barely enough sales to cover expenses. Which explains why more than 80% of the artists indicate they will apply to the 2014 show.


The evolution of Handmade over the past decade has seen it go from a branch of this nyigf13-3gigantic show where a minority of the exhibitors would be considered fine (or quality) craftsmen, to a  section where most of the exhibiting artists have well-crafted, and original work for sale.


For artists considering applying to the Handmade Designer section, this evolution means they have to be able to meet higher jurying standards.


One of the things CSN noticed was that a fair number of artists who have have successfully exhibited in the Handmade section throughout the years were moved to other sections of the show including Personal Accessories, Accent on Design or Studio. When I sought out a few of them I was told the idea to move wasn’t theirs - it was the decision of show management - and that because of the move their sales at the show have gone down from previous shows and that their faithful customers had a hard time finding them.


These are not artists of the tchotchke-ilk, they are artists who exhibit at the BMAC and ACC. According to GLM, NY Now does not require artists to "re-jury" every show, but it is our guess that if they wanted your Handmade Designer section spot and you are technically “tenured” in the show, they could move you to any other section.


This summer’s NY Now Handmade Designer section will run from August 17-20.



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