Tips for getting featured in gift guides
For the past 8 years, Indie Craft Parade's home was in Downtown Greenville. If you've ever attended or exhibited at our event, you know that the home has been way too small. We have loved holding the festival in the historic Huguenot Mill -- the exposed brick, natural light, and central location in Greenville made the perfect setting for a celebration of handmade art. But the one thing it's been missing is adequate square footage for the festival to grow.
Since the beginning our attendees have asked us "when will you move to a bigger space?" And believe us, we've been looking. We've toured every possible venue, talked with many developers, even brainstormed what would it be like to take the festival outdoors. So you can imagine how excited we are that Indie Craft Parade has finally found a location that will accommodate our desire to grow the festival and make it a more pleasant experience for attendees and artists alike.
Where are we headed? We are relocating to yet another historic mill property, the massive Taylors Mill, less than 10 miles from Downtown Greenville. We have watched the revitalization efforts at Taylors Mill for the past few years with the takeover of artists and creative entrepreneurs, and we're thrilled that a brand new event space will be open in time for us to host the 9th annual festival. We are working in tandem with the visionaries of Southern Bleachery to create a beautiful new version of Indie Craft Parade.
In this new home we will have room to expand exhibitor booth sizes and give attendees a more comfortable environment to shop, connect with artists, and linger at the event. When you come to the 2018 Indie Craft Parade, you can expect to see old, favorite attractions such as the free Photobooth. But now we also have room to include a small food festival, additional partner opportunities, and a dedicated section for emerging artists. And most importantly, there should be little to no line.
So please mark your calendar for September 14-16, 2018! Come see all that we've been working on, explore a new section of the Greenville area, and support the newest collection of makers and artists that make Indie Craft Parade so special.
Applications for the festival open June 1, and each year, more and more talented makers are competing for the same number of spots at Indie Craft Parade. The jury reviews all applications anonymously and chooses the best submissions for the festival. Work is judged according to its originality, uniqueness and innovation, along with how well it aligns with the vision of Indie Craft Parade.
In addition, the jury is looking for:
- High quality photos
- Cohesive aesthetic
- Modern branding
- For previous exhibitors, a progression from past years
Here are a few tips on how to showcase your strengths and stand out from the crowd.
Photography: This the primary method jury members use to determine the quality of your work. We cannot stress enough the importance of good photography. When you submit an application, you have 4 photos and a brief description of your work to put in front of the jury. Make sure those photos are impressive. This doesn't mean you have to hire a professional photographer, but if you're not fully confident in your photography skills, ask for assistance or advice from a friend who takes great photos. If you're shooting with your phone, there are lots of great apps that you can use to edit your photos, but don't over-filter! Keep the colors true and the product in focus. (Our favorite photo editing apps are VSCO and ColorStory.)
Give your product context.
Make sure your photo is well-lit and the product is in focus
Show multiple products in one image.
Style your product to create a sense of your brand aesthetic.
Or let your product have the spotlight with a clean white background.
Quality: The jury is looking for signs of craftsmanship, so if an application is completed haphazardly — the description full of typos or photos out of focus — this reflects poorly on your work. Take an extra minute to re-read what you've written and make sure you submitted the correct photos, and that they are oriented as you intended. This extra attention will convey that you care about what you do.
If you have tiny details that can be missed from far away, consider using one of your images for a close up shot that will show off your skills.
Cohesive Aesthetic: The four photos you submit should be representative of your current body of work. The jury is looking for a cohesive aesthetic that ties all of your work together. This is especially important if you make a wide variety of products, or if your work spans multiple mediums and categories. Emphasize the cohesion of your work by shooting photos in a manner that unifies them, whether that's a similar background or styling decision.
Branding: Let the jury know you're serious about your products by paying attention to the presentation. The branding and packaging of your goods doesn't need to be fancy or even professionally produced (although it never hurts to have an expert work on your logo and packaging design). However, adding modern, unique branding will help make your work memorable. This tip doesn't apply as much for fine artists or applicants who have a completely original products, but for the makers of consumable goods (soap, candles, artisan food, etc.), the branding and packaging is the primary deciding factor for the jury.
Progression: For artists who have exhibited at Indie Craft Parade in the past, the jury is looking to see a progression of skill and that your work has evolved. Hint: don't submit the same exact photos you did last year. This doesn't mean that your body of work is expected to be be completely new each year, just that you should be continuing to refine, create, improve, and innovate.
Originality, Uniqueness and Innovation: You want your work to stand out from other applications, especially if you're entering a highly competitive category like To Wear. Our best advice is to show the jury something they haven't seen before. An item made with an unexpected material or color is going to catch the jury's eye a lot quicker than something they've seen a hundred times before. Also, our jury loves seeing a fresh, modern take on a traditional craft, like a dip-dyed woven basket or a carved wooden pedestal with clean lines.
The vision of Indie Craft Parade: We are looking for the highest quality handmade goods in the realm of modern craft. The emphasis is on quality and modern. Experience and background aren't a deciding factor; if you create the most amazing handcrafted work, we don't care if you’ve been doing it for 30 years or 3 months, we want to see it! This isn't your grandma's church bazaar, not a place where you'll find "country crafts" or monogrammed tupperware. We feature modern craft; high quality work with a fresh and unique spin.
We hope these tips help you put your best foot forward, and we can't wait to see all the submissions!
All images shown are from previous Indie Craft Parade exhibitors.
We can hardly believe it -- 2015 is almost here. Soon we'll toast in the new year and make big plans for the future. But this end of season time gives us a chance to reflect on all that's been accomplished in the past year. We've met incredible people, seen growth in the makers community, and seen remarkable expansion within our own organization. We're eternally grateful to the friends, family, and community who provide constant support for and encouragement to for Indie Craft Parade, and we're continually reminded how blessed we are to have you all in our lives. We hope you enjoy reliving some of the highlights of this past year.
March 2014 -- The Makers Summit and The Best Craft Party Ever
April 2014 -- Artist Day through the Indie Craft Parade School Scholarship program
June 2014 -- Call for entries and Jury selection of festival artists
July 2014 -- Team trip to Atlanta
September 2014 -- The Festival with record artists and attendance
September 2014 -- Baby Ramos joins the team
December 2014 -- The Holiday Fair at GCMA
We'll see you next year!
We're incredibly excited to announce our fantastic lineup of speakers for the 2015 Makers Summit. These talented people will be providing keynotes, workshops, and panel discussions that will revolutionize your entrepreneurial world!
Check out The Makers Summit site to see full details!
Saturday's the big day! We can’t wait to see you all come out to the Indie Craft Parade Holiday Fair. Here are some final details to help make your experience the best it can be.
Where and When is the Holiday Fair?
The Holiday Fair will be located at The Greenville County Museum of Art. 420 College Street, Greenville SC 29601 The hours are 10 am to 6 pm.
Please note, this is NOT the same location as our September festival. If you go to the Huguenot Mill there will not be anyone there. Also, The Greenville County Museum of Art is one of many buildings in Heritage Green, so refer to the photos below. You can look for outdoor signs for Indie Craft Parade. If this is your first time visiting GCMA, you can enter the building from either the front or back. Both entrances will lead you to the Holiday Fair.
Where can I park? There is a large parking lot at Heritage Green. If the lot is full, there are a number of parking garages in Greenville. The closest one to GCMA is Richardson Street. Also, the Downtown Trolley runs to Heritage Green on Saturday, so you can park anywhere close to the route, and hop on for free!
Who will be there?
We will have 30 artists at the Holiday Fair. This makes it a smaller event than the September Festival, but we’ve specially picked our vendors who are excellent for Christmas shopping. So bring your list!
Will there be a line?
Probably a short one. Last year we had 1,500 attendees throughout the day, and we expect that number to increase. However, the rest of the art museum is filled with amazing exhibits—especially one for kids and a series of guided tours. So if you need to wait at all, we recommend touring the museum or elsewhere on Heritage Green.
What about food?
We’ve got some great options for you! There will be a great selection of food trucks, including Asada and Thoroughfare. We’ll also be hosting one of our favorite duos, Circa Doughnuts and Methodical Coffee. Also, GCMA has provided an eating area in case the weather is cold.
See you this weekend! We can't wait!
We are so excited about all of the Christmas shopping we'll do this weekend at the Holiday Fair, and we hope you're putting your shopping list together after seeing our gift guides. Here's one featuring all of the great gifts you'll be able to find to create a more handmade home. Prints and originals by Emily Jeffords / Hand lettered posters by Paige Elizabeth Designs / Ceramic trivet by Crave Studio / Soy candle by Mercy Verity
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We know as soon as the dinner plates are cleared tomorrow, you're going to start strategizing your holiday shopping. Have fun out there in the Black Friday madness (those of you who choose to participate). But remember, those truly memorable, meaningful gifts come from real people...people like our Holiday Fair artists. As you're planning your gift giving, consider these two new gift guides to help you find the perfect treasures for the people in your life.
If you're looking for unique and one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts this year, our Indie Craft Parade Holiday Fair can help! Featuring handmade goods from 29 artists, there's something for everyone. Starting with stocking stuffers and gifts for the little ones on your list, let us make a few suggestions to get you started!
Stocking stuffers clockwise from top left: handkerchief/scarf from Dapper Ink / Leather keychain from Billiam Jeans / Recipe cards from Ink Meets Paper / Sketchbook from Shed Labs / Ceramic cloud magnet from Crave Studio / Soaps from The Herb Garden
Gifts for the Little Ones clockwise from top left: Canvas crown from Lovelane Designs / Not-so-magic wands from Slab. / Boy's necktie from Cordial Churchman / Baby spoon from Block & Hammer / Baby booties from Pogoshop /
We love this time of year, and while everyone is starting to get busy preparing for Christmas, let's not bypass the beautiful season that we're in right now. In honor of the changing leaves and cooler weather, we gathered a few of our favorite Fall DIYs to inspire and prepare you for a season of making. Follow the links below for tutorials on each of the projects pictured.
Fall colors may not have hit their peak yet here in Greenville, but we're already thinking about the holidays, well, the Holiday Fair, that is. We're planning the third annual Indie Craft Parade Holiday Fair, featuring a selection of previous Indie Craft Parade participants. At this one day event you can support local artists and shop for one-of-a-kind gifts.
PLEASE NOTE: The Holiday Fair will be in a new location this year. Due to a generous offer by the Greenville County Museum of Art, we will host the Holiday Fair in one of the Museum's galleries. Their beautiful building and great location allows us to keep this year's Holiday Fair closer to the center of Greenville.
Date and Time: Saturday, Decmber 6; 10 am to 6 pm Location: Greenville County Museum of Art; 420 College Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Keep reading for a sneak peek of goods you'll see at the Holiday Fair and the full list of artists who'll be there.
Wow! It's been over a month since the 2014 Indie Craft Parade, and we're still reliving the fun of the festival weekend! As we're buttoning up all the remaining details for 2014, we want to make sure you know about one of our favorite and long-time sponsors, Oh Snap! Photobooth. Every year, attendees to the festival look forward to snapping fun, impromptu shots in the photobooth. It's everyone's favorite souvenir (well, a close second after all the amazing handmade art they bought). We've waited a little to give this company proper recognition in order to collect some of our favorite examples from our followers on Instagram. Just a few more reminders of how much fun we had. Ways we love to see Oh Snap! photos appear on Instagram (as sampled below):
-- People showing off their collection of photo strips from multiple festival years -- Seeing pictures of our amazing artists with friends (old and new alike) -- Cramming as many faces as possible into the frame -- Photos of Indie Craft Parade purchases mixed in with souvenir photo strips
Photo courtesy of caraansley.
Photo courtesy of milk__moon.
Photo courtesy of timberline jewelry.
Photo courtesy of finktoys.
Photo courtesy of lorena_uribe11.
Photo courtesy of c_tadlock.
Please, if you ever contemplate having a photobooth at a party or gathering, contact Oh Snap! right away. You will not regret having this amazing feature at your event. The owner, Jon, has worked with us from the beginning of our event, and we couldn't imagine the festival without it!
For this year’s festival, we wanted to make a special poster to commemorate our fifth year. We worked with the folks at The Printshop, Greenville’s newest makerspace, to create silkscreened posters for our event. We spent an evening at The Printshop with Andrew (husband of our co-founder, Lib Ramos) and Jeremy to print our 2014 posters. They walked us through each step of the process — from burning a screen to registering inks and we took pictures along the way.
It was so much fun to take our design from a computer screen to a final printed product and be reminded of all the work that goes into screenprinted art. As we often tell others, learning a new skill is one of the best ways to foster appreciation for it. Here are some of our behind the scenes photos.
Mixing inks to get the perfect shade.
Jeremy shows us how to pull a print.
The first color on drying racks.
Burnt screen for color number two.
Adding the second color.
Final prints drying in a row.
Fun fact: The Printshop founders were introduced at last year's Indie Craft Parade. In less than a year's time, they ran a successfully funded Kickstarter and opened the doors to our city's first community print shop. The Printshop is offering classes along with studio space and access to equipment for all kinds of printing processes like silkscreen, etching, letterpress, lithography and more.
Be on the lookout for more partnerships between Indie Craft Parade and The Printshop down the road — for example we're hosting a modern calligraphy workshop in their space mid-January!
In a few weeks, we’ll be partnering with our local Anthropologie to spread some early holiday cheer and get ourselves into the holiday spirit. Join us at the Greenville store on October 23 where we’ll be making gilded garlands for a large in-store display. You're invited to come out and spend time creating with us! All the materials and tools will be provided.
We did our first display workshop with Anthro last year making garlands from recycled materials, and we're already looking forward to what they have in store for us this year.
The event is free, but you do need to RSVP because space is limited! Call the store at 864-242-4553 to reserve your spot.
Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014 Place: Anthropologie: 1 North Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601 Time: 6-9 pm Cost: Free, but RSVP is required
Anyone who has followed Indie Craft Parade for even a short amount of time knows that we have two main objectives: 1) cultivate an awareness and appreciation of handmade art and 2) support artists and creatives in growing their businesses. Well, we're super excited to announce that over the next year we have even bigger and better plans to make that happen. Of course, we'll continue to hold The Makers Summit (it's going to be bigger and better than ever!) and the Holiday Fair(Saturday, December 6). Also, we will again be hosting monthly workshops or meet-ups to further encourage hand-making or small creative business success. We've planned a a huge assortment of events where attendees can learn a new skill they've always wanted to try, connect with other makers in our community, and develop valuable tools for growing their trades.
So, we've got an amazing line up for you! To learn more or to purchase tickets for the workshops, check here.
Here's a little sneak peek at a few of the upcoming workshops!
Handsewn Napkins with Mandy Blankenship, November 11
Barista 101 with Will Shurtz and Methodical Coffee, January 20
Modern Calligraphy with Ink Meets Paper, January 24
Paper Valentines with Mollie Greene, February 5
And lots more! We'll see you there.
Since we started Indie Craft Parade, we’ve wanted to do more than just put on a great show in Greenville. We want to make a lasting impact on our community. One of the hopes for Indie Craft Parade is that we can inspire another generation of artists by getting involved with the art programs of Greenville County schools. In 2011 we established the Indie Craft Parade School Scholarship Program in which we donated funds to the art department of a Greenville County school. We understand that school budgets are always tight, but unfortunately it is often the fine arts programs that are the first to suffer when funding cuts are made. It also breaks our hearts when we learn that art teachers sometimes have to pay out of pocket to supply the most basic tools like markers and crayons for their classes.
So we want to help.
Our goal is for the scholarship program to not only help fund a school’s art program that is lacking in resources but also expose students to a greater spectrum of art than is typically available in a classroom setting.For 2014, one scholarship of $500 will be awarded to a school in Greenville County.
Application photos from previous recipient Brook Glenn Elementary.
We want our scholarship to extend beyond just funding. We establish a true partnership with the school that is selected and work together to create opportunities for students and local artists to connect.
Applications will be selected based on three main criteria, including: -- Educational impact of the scholarship -- Need of the applying school -- Proposed use of the funds
Any school located in Greenville County can apply for these art program funds. Applications can be found online and must be submitted by October 31, 2014. So let your school know about this opportunity!
The Indie Craft Parade scholarship is open to all schools, both public and private, in Greenville County. All schools are eligible for funding without discrimination due to race, religion, or socioeconomic status.
Please join us for a special film screening!
celebrates the hand-painted sign industry, an American tradition. This documentary explores a fascinating insight into a a highly specialized underground trade, emphasizing an appreciation for a balance between art and commerce.
WHEN: Saturday, October 4 at 4 pm
WHERE: Furman University, at the
Trone Student Center: Burgiss Theater
The Trone Student Center is located towards the back left of campus, on the lake.
In addition to the film, local sign painters will be on hand to do demos and answer questions about their work and industry.
About the film:
We see them almost every day without a second thought. Weathered by time, distinct characteristics shining through, hand-painted signs are a product of a fascinating 150 year-old American history. What was once a common job has now become a highly specialized trade, a unique craft struggling with technological advances. Sign Painters, directed by Faythe Levine & Sam Macon, stylistically explores this unacknowledged art form through anecdotal accounts from artists across the country including Ira Coyne, Bob Dewhurst, Keith Knecht, Norma Jeane Maloney and Stephen Powers. These vanguards of unseen originality are leading a renaissance with a keen creative purpose and exemplify the working class American success story. Sign Painters celebrates those keeping the tradition intact with a bespoke approach and appreciation for a balance between art and commerce.
In case you're still reliving the amazing festival weekend, we don't blame you. We just want to say a huge thank you to our 7,000 attendees, 80 artists, 42 volunteers, 20 sponsors, 10 staff volunteers, and 6 food vendors who make Indie Craft Parade possible. One of our favorite things about the festival is all the photos that came out of it. If you haven't seen it, check out the great #indiecraftparade hashtag stream here.
Here's a look at some of our favorites. We love you all! See you at our next event!
Image via SavannahMaieDae.
Image via Lindsey George.
Image via Going Home to Roost.
Image via Swamp Rabbit Cafe.
Image via Eleanor.XVI.
Image via Strawberry Moth.
If this is your time first attending Indie Craft Parade, you might wonder what you can expect at the event. Hopefully this post will answer all your questions!
Who is this festival intended for? The whole community! Indie Craft Parade is for anyone interested in purchasing handcrafted goods. Indie Craft Parade features the best handmade art in the Southeast from 80 independent artisans. We invite the public to attend this festival and enjoy high quality crafts, local food, live music, and connect with makers.
Is there a cost to attend the festival? Yes, there is a $2 admission fee at the door. Children, 12 and under, are free to attend. We will accept both cash and credit card payments.
Where is the festival being held? Indie Craft Parade is held indoors at the historic Huguenot Mill in downtown Greenville, SC. The mill is located at 101 W. Broad Street, next to the Peace Center. The venue is handicapped accessible. There is street parking available, and several parking garages with easy walking distance.
Is this event family friendly? Absolutely! Saturday and Sunday are open to the public (again, kids are free), so bring the whole gang. However, your four-legged friends must stay at home (sorry, Fido!). If you have small children, we allow strollers, but do not recommend bringing them. The aisles are a bit narrow and make maneuvering a stroller a little difficult. The only time alcohol will be served is at the VIP Gala, and attendees must be 21 years or older to partake.
What type of goods can I expect to see? At Indie Craft Parade, you’ll find the best handcrafted goods in a variety of categories--everything from paintings to children’s toys, paper goods to jewelry, ceramic mugs to artisanal chocolate. You can get a sneak preview of some of the work by checking out blog posts like this one or this one.
Will credit cards be accepted? Most likely, but bring cash just in case. Many of the vendors may have the ability to accept credit cards. However you should be prepared to pay cash for some of the items you purchase. There is an ATM on site in case you forget your cash.
Will I have to wait in line? It’s possible. We do our best to accommodate large crowds. However, depending on the turnout, you may have to wait in line before you enter. Obviously, our goal is to get everyone in as soon as possible, but we do have to respect the venue’s fire code. If there is a line, we’ll do our best to keep it moving quickly and aim to have everyone in within about 15 minutes.
Is there food and drink on site? Yes! We’re delighted to have the offerings of several local establishments available to our attendees. You can purchase items from Swamp Rabbit Cafe, Circa Doughnut, Luna Rosa, Tandem CC, Tealoha, and Methodical Coffee.
If you have any questions, please check out our FAQs. Reach out to us on social media.
Hey everybody, only 10 days until the 5th Annual Indie Craft Parade. Every year we pack out the Huguenot Mill with fans who've been waiting all year to for the festival to come back. And to make it even more special, we kickoff the weekend within an amazing party--our VIP Gala. Only a limited number of ticket holders get to enjoy this preview event...and tickets are going quickly.
Haven't purchased your ticket yet? Better hurry! Here’s what makes our VIP Gala so great:
1) Ticket holders personally benefit Indie Craft Parade. Indie Craft Parade is a non-profit organization, and we are dedicated to keeping costs affordable for our artists. Many of them travel across the Southeast to show you their wares, and we don't want them to worry about losing their profits on the event itself. Your ticket purchases also help keep the festival inexpensive for the remainder of the weekend. We really want families, students, and especially kids to see the work of artists and be exposed to the creative community. And keeping the general festival admission so low means that nobody has an excuse not to attend.
2) Relaxed shopping atmosphere. We’re expecting a very large attendance on Saturday and Sunday, which means crowded aisles and limited access to all the artists. When it comes to the variety and extent of the artists’ work, Friday night is definitely the best way to see it. We frequently have artists sell out of goods before the festival ends, so if you want the best selection, get it on Friday night.
3) Giveaways! Our artists have gone above and beyond this year in donating work to our giveaway baskets. We have 15 baskets assembled—each one is worth over $100. Some are worth almost $200. The lucky winners of these baskets will be going home with a lot of loot.
4) Live Local Music. We've teamed up with the local band, Pioneer Fires, who will be providing music for the evening. Set in the entry of the beautiful historic Mill, the band will give the perfect mood for the evening.
5) Free Food and Drink. We’ve received the menu from our amazing caterer, Chef 360, and the food is going to be out of this world. The incredibly talented Chef Peter has worked up quite the menu for us—As artful as it is tasty. You can also expect some special treats from some of our favorite local restaurants, Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Tandem CC.
Just like last year, we're extremely excited to be providing only locally produced beverages at the VIP Gala. That list includes our favorite coffee guys, Methodical Coffee—who’ll delight us with some of the latest trends in coffee brewing; as well as our old friends at Tealoha---who will be bringing batches of house blended teas and lemonade; and a selection of South Carolina beers and ciders.
This is a party you don't want to miss. Do good and have a great time altogether at the VIP Gala. Be sure to get your tickets before it's too late!