Friday, November 5, 2010

The Makings of a Craft Fair

submitted: Donna Kirby, intenyears
Imagine you are a small business owner. You want to do something good for your community and promote your business. You've tried emails, coupons and ads, but want to try something different for a change. How about hosting a craft show? That is exactly what Nicole Pennell, owner of Dogtopia in Charlotte, NC decided to do.

I wanted to know what inspired her to support local handmade artists and the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte's Center of Hope, a charity which provides food and shelter homeless women and children.
The idea started because one of my employees makes homemade crafts,” says Nicole. “She was getting ready to go to a craft fair in Greensboro one weekend, and we were talking about it. She asked if I had ever thought of holding one here.” She hadn't, and the idea for Dogtopia's craft fair was born.

Nicole went on to mention that as a business owner, she is always looking for new ways to get people to bring their pets in for a visit. Nicole continues, “Although this isn't a dog-related event it gives us a chance to meet a lot of people and show them what a great facility we have. I'm also very community-oriented.” The hosting of a charitable event was a natural fit.

Using social media for input, The Center of Hope was suggested by several people as the charity to benefit. “Most people that make homemade crafts are women” says Nicole, “I think there's something really beautiful about women using their own creativity and hard work to help other women who are going through hard times.”

With the charity decided, she needed artists to present their work at the show. Searching on the internet, specifically Etsy, a web site devoted to handmade goods, she began the difficult task of finding artists. As luck would have it, she contacted a member of CrownTown Handmade. Word spread quickly through the group and many were excited to be part of this special event.

Nicole will be donating all proceeds from the Dogtopia craft fair, including vendor fees and a raffle, entirely to the charity. So, come out and support a great cause, a community business owner and CrownTown Handmade members. If you'd like to participate, or have any questions about the show, please email Check out the flyer here.

1 comment:

  1. I had lots of fun at the Dogtopia Craft Fair! Lots of great vendors, crafters, and visual artists!

    I will have the pictures posted from the event on my blog soon!