Craft Marketing Program
Buyers Fly In For Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2006
For the 11th consecutive year, the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, a division of the Kentucky Arts Council, is sponsoring retail shop owners and buyers from around the United States to attend Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2006, through the “Fly the Buyer” program. Six buyers have been selected from approximately 25 nominations and will receive complimentary travel expenses and accommodations to attend The Market. They represent teaching institutions, state agencies, galleries, and niche gift shops with products ranging from two-dimensional art to fine crafts.
The “Fly the Buyer” guests for 2006 hale from points all around the United States. Their respective businesses are just as diverse as their locations. This year’s booth judge is Gloria Brooke, owner of Brooke Pottery, Lakeland, Florida. Ms. Brooke is also currently the president of C.R.A.F.T. (Craft Retail Association for Tomorrow). Pam Marshak is the owner of Present Tense, San Clemente, California and 2005 nominee for Niche Magazine Top 100 Retailer of American Craft Award. Douglas Brugger is the owner of A Show of Hands, Denver, Colorado. Mr. Brugger’s gallery offers fine American craft featuring over 200 artists. Wally Smith is the owner of Smith Galleries in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, a full service contemporary craft and art gallery that also offers custom framing. Becky Hopper is the Director of Gift Shop Operations for Tennessee State Parks that includes 33 gift shops in the state park system. Melissa Figuerido is the gift shop manager for Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, Massachusetts. In 2006, the center is celebrating 150 years of showcasing fine crafts through retail sales, exhibitions, lectures, and hands-on workshops.
The Fly-The-Buyer program began as a way for the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program to attract high quality retailers that might not be familiar with the variety and quality of folk, traditional and contemporary craft available at the award-winning three-day wholesale and retail market. Some of the buyers have received the Top Out-of-State Retailer Award, presented at the Market. Several have been recognized as Top 100 Retailers of American Craft as named by Niche Magazine.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to expand our business horizons on the east coast. We are excited about meeting new artisans whose works are not available in our area. I wish all states could follow Kentucky’s Craft Marketing Program in support of their artisan businesses,” said Gloria Brooke, Brooke Pottery, Lakeland, Florida.
Kentucky Crafted: The Market is produced by the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, a division of the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky. For more information, call 888 KY CRAFT (592-7238); or visit the Program's site at www.kycraft.ky.gov.
Since 1981, the Craft Marketing Program's mission is to develop the state's craft industry, support and empower Kentucky artisans and craftspeople, create an economically viable environment for craft entrepreneurs, preserve the state's craft traditions, stimulate and support product development, and generate public awareness, public support and public/private partnerships.
The Program provides assistance to Kentucky residents, individuals, or groups wanting to develop as craft professionals through economic opportunities and training, to other outside entities (e.g., craft retailers, craft and art organizations, community and government agencies), and the general public. The craft industry in Kentucky contributes 252 million dollars in annual sales and Kentucky is recognized as a model state for its craft programs and its role in the $14 billion national craft industry.