Some people don’t consider the art of making t-shirts art. And many festival organizers forbid t-shirt makers from showing in festivals because t-shirt sales make up a large percentage of festival profit. Event organizers hope that a visitor will walk away with a festival shirt and a lasting memory (to come back the following year. Whatever the reason, I was happy to see a number of t-shirt sellers at the Amherst Street Art and Craft Fair. It was a sign that the show was, for the most part, very grassroots and all-inclusive. Sometimes it is this type of event that can give an artist the courage to take the plunge into the world of business. Other times it can give a smalltime businessperson the money to take his or her product to the next level.
While the massive Allentown Art Festival was just getting going, a number of art and craft vendors on Amherst Street were setting up for their own big day. Tony Maggiotto, Creative Director of City Love Clothing Company (top), told me that the show had given him the chance to get his new designs in front of a good crowd of people. Tony is considering expanding on his product selections before investing into a more permanent location in the Elmwood Area. The show was a good test market for his company, which depends mainly on online sales – www.CityLove.com.
At the end of the line-up I met Angela (left) and Tessa Hoffarth of Strange Little Duck Designs. The two were already running out of certain stocked items, and officially declared their first day in business a major success. They told me that the show had given them confidence to take their design business further. That meant that they were going to start looking at more festivals since they were able to get important feedback pertaining to sales. Once again, this fledgling business was able to jump from a highly competitive online arena out into the real world – www.StrangeLittleDuck.com.
All-in-all, I came away from the Amherst Street Art and Craft Fair with three t-shirts (one being a festival shirt) and an eye-opening look into the world of some future Buffalo business people. Art and craft fair organizers were thrilled at the response and are now talking about bringing back the participants on a bi-monthly basis. Stay tuned for details on upcoming dates and times.