Benefits of Membership
The monthly meetings provide a forum for emerging and established artisans to exchange ideas and opinions. Meetings often feature a speaker, an opportunity to network and a forum to showcase the vast variety of crafts created by the members. It is at these monthly meetings that many great ideas are spawned and members form sub-groups to ensure these ideas come to fruition.
A membership in the Island Artisans Association will introduce you to many other artisans in your community. Not only will you meet those working in the same medium as yourself but also those working in other mediums whose creativity will challenge your own. An opportunity for networking is one of the strongest benefits of joining IAA.
Having a voice
As an organized group representing the local craft community, Island Artisans will give members a higher profile in the larger community. As a group, we can lobby all levels of government and engage corporations to help create and support a viable local crafts economy.
Individual Web Page
All Island Artisan members are entitled to a personal web page on our website, enabling members to establish a basic web presence.
A member’s page consists of a biography and/or artist’s statement about their activity as an artisan and five images of their work (one image may be of the artisan at work). Contact information and a link to the artisan’s personal website may be included.
Workshops and Presentations
Workshops and presentations are held from time to time to assist members in their business of successful craft. These include such themes as:
- Market Preparation – what steps to take to prepare for selling your work.
- Market Response – how to determine what will sell successfully in the marketplace.
- Buying Better – how to work with your suppliers to get better prices for your supplies.
- Pricing Accurately – don’t just guess at what to charge when you can learn to price right.
- Craft Show Tips – how to get ready, what to do, what to bring, and what to avoid.
- Wholesale Trade Shows – they don’t need to be overwhelming; they can help you expand your business connections.
- Selling wholesale – how to deal successfully and professionally with retail shops.
- Consignment selling – the advantages, disadvantages, and pitfalls to be avoided.
- Exporting to the US – it’s not nearly as difficult as many think; find the best way to export to the lucrative US market.
With the growing number of Island Artisan members, the ability for individual members to become involved in group buying is a huge benefit of your membership. Most artisans buy in quantities too small to allow them to negotiate discounted prices on their supplies. Now members can join together to benefit from bulk purchasing direct from major wholesale suppliers.
Wholesale Trade Show
The IAA produces a wholesale show which is now part of their Gifts for Myself and Others Spring Show in Victoria where members can display their work for retailers and sales agents that are interested in buying local crafts.
Gallery Exhibition Opportunities
There have already been a few small group exhibitions of Island Artisans members and the IAA is working on creating the opportunity for more of its membership to stage a larger gallery exhibition in the Victoria area.
In 2012, IAA will be taking over Dales Gallery in Chinatown for the summer as a venue for some of it’s members to showcase and sell their works.
Gifts for Myself and Others
This juried fine craft show is presented in November of each year. The reputation of this show for fine local crafts has made it a standout event during the busy Christmas show season. All profits from the show will go to supporting Island Artisans Association activities.
In 2012, IAA started a Spring edition of Gifts for Myself and Others as an additional venue to showcase our fine crafts. This will be an annual event in addition to our successful fall show.
IAA sometimes hold a photo shoot early every year where members can have their products professionally photographed at a price significantly lower than market rates.