New Opportunites at 2014 ACC Baltimore Show

New Opportunites at 2014 ACC Baltimore Show

Published on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.
2013 Baltimore ACC Show

A view of the show floor at ACC Baltimore in 2013

Next February, the American Craft Council’s Baltimore show will be different.

For the first time in quite a few years, ACC’s Baltimore show won’t occur immediately after the Buyers Market, and the New York Gift Show will coincide with the Super Bowl being held nearby. Hotel rooms for the Gift Show’s 35,000 buyers will be in short supply and very expensive. ACC Baltimore stands to gain wholesale buyers, and we artists should not miss this opportunity.

2014 will be a great time to try something new at the ACC Baltimore show. The public portion of the show will again be one of the best retail venues available to creative craft. The difference this year will be in the wholesale component of the show. This change gives artists an opportunity to promote ACC Baltimore as the destination for galleries, shops, and museum stores where creativity and quality come first whatever the price, not at the expense of the price. From the one-of-a-kind collectible to the affordable staple, it will all be at Baltimore, and it will be of the quality they should expect from an ACC show.

The other shows will have high quality and creative work as well. More buyers will try the ACC show only when they recognize that we know they have to be able to sell the piece after they buy it from us, that we understand we are part of that partnership, and that we will deliver in a timely manner. Individually and with the ACC, we can easily communicate this to our wholesale audience. If we don’t, we can expect the status quo. If we do communicate this message, we need to back it up with real effort.

The new dates and schedule conflicts for the wholesale venues give us an opportunity to make the wholesale component of Baltimore more robust. We, together with ACC, can reinvigorate the wholesale component of Baltimore; define it as a valid gallery destination for creative high quality craft that fits into the wholesale venue, and at the same time make our studios more economically healthy.

Keith Lewis has created and run several craft businesses in the last 30-plus years, as well as a game manufacturing venture involving more than 100 employees and contractors in three countries. His jewelry is carried by craft galleries and museum stores across the country, including the Smithsonian Museum Shops, but he is most gratified to be in the collection of each craft-event participant who has chosen his work over the years.

From the Studio features ACC artists discussing the business side of craft, life as a craft artist, the ins and outs of craft shows, and more. Read more From the Studio posts.