Craft Boston Holiday
Date: Wednesday, December 11th 2013
Craft Boston, December 2013
Hello, there. Allow me to introduce myself, and to distinguish myself from the other two bloggers on this site. My name is Sophia Lynch, and I am neither Muffy Young nor Augie DeHainaut. I am not a weaver, nor, dare I say it, a craftsperson (I do make things, but mostly non-functional things). I am, however, a great appreciator of Muffy’s designs and skill, and I currently work for her as a studio assistant and fringe twister. Oh, and I am also her model (yes, that there is my chin on the front page). Anyway, I am an odd jobs person of sorts at Muffy Young Handweaving, and one of the privileges of my job this past weekend was to attend Craft Boston.
This was my first opportunity to work at a large-scale craft fair, and to experience and observe these artisans from the perspective of someone other than a consumer. Muffy’s booth was beautifully situated (pictured below), surrounded by fabulous neighbors. I was actually amazed at how easy it was for me to inform and strike up conversations with customers (I do not consider myself an apt salesperson). I followed Muffy’s lead, observing how she would project an openness toward our patrons and subtlety judge whether a particular customer preferred to be guided and draped with an assortment of scarves or desired a more solitary shopping experience. As a result, we made a good dent in our inventory.
The Hynes Convention Center is a smaller, more intimate venue than Seaport, very cozy if not as accommodating. It is true that we didn’t receive quite the number of attendees that we expected, what with the holidays creeping up. Friday was quite slow, with an influx around rush hour, but the pace picked up on Saturday and Sunday. Some attributed this to the change in location this year. It should be mentioned that the first Craft Boston of 2013, the one scheduled for the spring was affected by the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Friday of that scheduled event was lost. Naturally, it has been a somewhat uneven year all around. This December turned out to be a good, if not great show for Muffy, there is room for improvement and devotees will be glad to know that she will be back next year.
Overall, this was a very rewarding experience for me. It really served as an introduction to the craft world. A friend of mine, who came by especially to see us, remembers when the craft movement really started in this country, and said she was delighted to see that it was continuing with such vigor. I myself was most impressed by the sense of community I observed between the artisans. I was casually loaned out to watch the booths of a few other fiber artists, who trusted me to look after their work. I sensed no competition between these people, which is such a refreshing trait to see in a group of people who are working hard to make and sell things that they are deeply passionate about. They were all acting cooperatively as colleagues.
Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to help out at this show again next spring!