At a craft fair, you'd see vendors from your and neighboring states (and hopefully a beer tent) selling their wares to the locals. Sometimes there's an entrance fee, sometimes there isn't. At a craft mall, just like a normal mall, the vendors are there permanently, selling their precious (creative) offspring. And though you could make your work at either and establish report with the passersby, you'd still be responsible for retail first and foremost. You'd have to work on your off days and hours or hire help.
A Craft Co-op is a work space and retail space in one, shared among a community of artists. Each member pays to use the workspace, (which is hopefully subdivided into private areas) and volunteers to man the retail shop a certain number of shifts a month. Depending on the location, an area may be set aside for classes or other activities. Just like any co-op there are by laws and meetings and everyone is a part of the success of the operation.
One of the most common questions I get when I show people some cut paper dealies is, "how long did that take?" When I was just a tike to the game, I beamed at the query. I would try and give them an accurate number, and with some of my larger pieces, they took me 100+ hours. People would expel air and applaud me with wows. I was into it. But now that I'm making a business out of paper scraps, I feel very much oppositely about the question. I'm a bit cowed to admit how long each card takes, because I'm at least pretty sure in business you don't want to be making cents on the hour.
But I'm new to this whole endeavor, and I'm working on just ENJOYING WHAT I DO, so I don't sour Shipwreck before I even have a booth at a damn craft show. It's a daunting task, but this time at home has been a nice sit in the corner with the dunce cap (which apparently used to be a wizards hat, for pete's sake) for getting out of my hard-on-myself habits and trying to get out of my head a little in general and just. let. go. We don't have control over so many things in our lives, and we busy ourselves with a million little things to distract ourselves from that fact, and where does it land you? You feel monstrously out of control. Back at square one.
Before I started making paper things on a larger scale I used to buy paper from a regular ol' blue collar scrapbook brand. They provided packs with a large swath of colors which allowed me to work on new projects without having to drive back and forth to the store. They were a good thickness and cheap enough that I ended up making my art from this paper for years in Austin.
I always imagined one day I would find the paper company of my dreams and I'd source my paper directly from them, and they would know my name, and whenever someone brings in donuts to work, they will set one aside for me because they know I will be coming in later. Well, anyways.
A place for product updates, inspiration, behind the scenes stuff, and in general a place for mind meandering.