Members of the general public will, for the first time, have a chance to look around themselves at the 19th annual Buyers’ Market of the P.E.I. Crafts Council this weekend.
The market is an opportunity for craftspeople to present their work directly to retailers interested in stocking their shops.
Ayelet Stewart, executive director of the P.E.I. Crafts Council, said the advent of the internet has led to big changes in how crafters market their wares, but the pendulum is swinging back toward a more personal touch.
“We are realizing that it is important for us to show, to meet face-to-face, to create a bond with the buyer, to create a trust with them and show them what’s new,” said Stewart.
“This is really important. Buyers are looking for what you have new.”
There will be 44 exhibitors at the market this year, 21 of them showing for the first time.
Stewart has exhibited at buyers’ markets herself with jewelry she makes, and it has made a significant impact on her business. Some of the business relationships she has formed go back 12 years, and about two thirds of her business comes from buyers’ fairs, including this one and one other in Nova Scotia.
The fair runs Friday and Saturday at the P.E.I. Convention Centre in Charlottetown. It will be open to the public from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.