Making it to the Market

Markets, Marketing, Trade, Sustainability, Sustainable Devt.

Making it to the Market: Crafts in the American Marketplace

McComb, Jessie F.

While Americans in the northeast huddle in their thick winter coats and sweaters the European and America tradeshows are just starting to heat up for their first round of the year. Few consumers think or know about how the products they buy end up on the shelves and racks of American department and import stores, but these items have long lives before they reach the cashier counters and homes of Americans. This past January I attend the New York International Gift Fair and experienced a crucial part of this journey firsthand.

The New York International Gift Fair occurs twice a year, once in January and again in August, and highlights some of the newest and hottest trends in home décor and gifts. The fair consists of six sections of products including general gifts, high-end design, museum store items, garden accessories, tableware and, of course, handmade. In the handmade section buyers can find a range of product from African wooden turned jars to Guatemalan hand-woven pillows. The fairs, a vital part of the marketing cycle in the United States, are a place where producers, exporters and importers can showcase new products to buyers. These buyers in turn place orders for products that will ultimately end up in stores and catalogs for some of the most popular chains in America. As I wandered the 18 miles of display area housed in one of New York's largest convention centers, I had a glimpse of the newest trends for this year. The products that are displayed in the most recent round of...
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