I have lost count of how many times I have done the Craft’za show (or its sibling, Craftstravaganza). For years, I was a volunteer demonstrator in the sun and the snow. And I have participated as a vendor three other times, I think. The organizers are great people and I always enjoy the show.
This year I have a couple of brand new items making their debut. I have neckties for the very first time. I have hesitated to make them before because they are really fiddly to sew. It’s just hard for me to make them in a way that they are actually affordable. But then I found a company called Knotty Tie, that is based in CO. Their mission, from their website: “Knotty Tie was built from scratch to create employment opportunities for resettling refugees based upon their existing skills. By creating opportunities for arriving refugees to work in their trade, and in a supportive work environment with flexible schedules, fair wages and generous benefits, we’re removing barriers for them and their families to become economically self-sufficient and culturally assimilated.” That’s a mission that I can totally get behind. I worked with Knotty Tie to digitally print my surface designs and then had the ties sewn by their organization. I do all the rest of the sewing for my items, but I like being able to support this company with these neckties. That’s something I try to do as much as I can with my business; to support other small artist-run businesses. I buy all of the zippers, ribbons, cotton tape and other notions I use in my work from other Etsy sellers and small businesses. (I bet that’s something you didn’t know.)