Tough as needles
True Knit Art Show lets crafting guerillas go wild
“I already lost my Post-It note,” said Kaeli Madill. While this may seem like an insignificant matter, that tiny piece of paper contained some fairly important information to Madill. On it was information regarding the True Knit Art Show business meeting. “We’ve already lost our agenda. I no longer know what’s on the agenda.”
Business is something that is quite new to Madill. She and fellow business partner Cassie Ozog started the True Knit Art Show earlier this year. “If you could see the Post-It notes we have our agenda written on for our business meeting and the Blackberry messages we have back and forth from each other, our entire business is based on that. It’s really just two people [who] have never done this before,” chimed in Ozog. “Our business model [is something] that you would not teach in a business class.”
Madill notes, “I think it was written on her kitchen to-do list”.
The True Knit Art Show is an art and craft show for “renegade crafters and artists in Regina and the surrounding area,” Madill explained. “We wanted to kind of create a place that’s fun and accessible for people who don’t have a big enough craft business to be in the big time craft shows. It’s kind of a little different; we looked for as many artists as we could who are doing really different things that were stuff that you don’t traditionally see at craft shows,” responds her partner.
The creations in the show range from jewelry made from found objects, feather headpieces and earrings, sewing, knitting, photo prints, hand-died and spun yarn, crochet, paintings, and everything in between. The show looks to give a place for people who create things that would likely not fit with the other works in a large craft show or store.
“I know people who knit baby sweaters with skulls on them. You’re not going to see that in Sears,” said Madill.
“[There’s] so many bizarre and fantastic things,” added Ozog.
Another aspect that the show offers is its affordability to the artists, says Madill. “We are small-time crafters ourselves, and we were thinking that it would be so great to have this place to sell things that we sew in our spare time when we’re just hanging out with each other. We checked into some of the bigger craft shows, and tables range from $300 to $1700; it’s just completely unaffordable for both of us. I’d never sell enough. Even the two of us combined would never sell enough to cover the table, but we wanted that option to have somebody who doesn’t have that big of a time chunk to make [crafts] and somebody who doesn’t have to commit for the whole summer like the Farmer’s Market.”
The two did some research and found that many others felt that they were in the same situation as Madill and Ozog. “I think there’s so many here, but there’s not a space for them,” Madill said.
Once the word about the show got out, it spread quickly. “[At the start] on the Facebook group, [I] was our forcing all of our friends to be in the ‘True Knit Group’, and now I login there, and someone I don’t know has added three more people I don’t know, so it’s growing. That creative community is in there; it’s in the city, and we’ve found it,” said Ozog. “We literally found the business cliche, ‘find a need and fill it’. We actually did that. The demand is there; hopefully, we can help with that.”
A goal of the True Knit Art Show is to become a regularly-occurring outlet for artists to display their work. There are outlets in the city for artists to have their work seen, such as the Cathedral Village Arts Festival, but they are generally on an annual basis. True Knit hopes to become regular staple in the arts and craft show scene with events occurring every few months as opposed to every year.
“This is kind of nice because if we can make this a regular thing, which is the goal, then we can give these artists something to always being looking forward to or building their stock towards.”
Being crafters themselves, Madill and Ozog understand the needs of the artists in the show. Madill believes they can help the artists by “giving them that advertising because a lot of people are great at crafting, but when it comes to marketing yourself, connecting with your customers, even just getting the word out that you even make something is so difficult for people. I think we can really help people by advertising, having a regular show, and having a regular group of people that come to every show and check it out.”
If you’re looking for some nifty creations and good shopping, the True Knit Art Show is Saturday, April 9th at St. Paul’s Cathedral on 12th and McIntyre starting at noon and running until six. If you’re an artist/crafter and are interested in being in the next True Knit Art Show, you can contact Kaeli Madill or Cassie Ozog at firstname.lastname@example.org or find their Facebook page.