Kristen Rask of Urban Craft Uprising
Urban Craft Uprising is Seattle’s largest indie craft show, and this weekend (July 13th + 14th) it will showcase over 100 carefully curated vendors from the world of craft, art, and design.
We think it’s especially cool that this bi-annual event is celebrating its 9th year, and we’re obviously not the only ones. The show now draws almost 10,000 fans!
We talked with co-director Kristen Rask to learn more about this handmade extravaganza, and to get introduced to some of Urban Craft Uprising’s DIY community.
This is Urban Craft Uprising’s 9th year! How have you seen the DIY community change during that time?
Oh man, it’s really grown. The booth displays alone have changed tons. People essentially make pop-up shops at the show with plants and carpets and the works. It’s pretty amazing. We have grown a lot as a show with applications growing per show and tons of applications coming from out of Washington and Oregon. We have also organized a wholesale event this summer, where the day before our show opens to the public it will be open to buyers and owners looking for new work for their shops and galleries.
Who are some sellers from past years that stand out in your memory?
There are so many that it’s hard to remember them all. I met xobruno at a street festival 12 years ago and have always been so impressed by her work and how she always seems to be evolving. Tripper Dungan makes 3D art which is pretty much mind blowing. Rebe always has a beautiful booth with amazing clothes and art. Moulton makes a really unique product that makes for great gifts. Formulary 55 makes amazing products and her packaging is beautiful as well. I could go on and on and on!
Who are some of the vendors that you’re particularly excited about featuring this year?
What advice do you have for the person who wants to make the jump from casual crafter to small DIY business?
Do your homework! I did some consultations with folks this year about having a competitive application and was surprised by how many people had never even come to our show before. It’s kinda like applying for a job to a place you have never walked into. NOT that you can’t get the job, not everyone lives here so they can’t come but I feel like a lot of those folks have been in the craft show circuit for awhile. BUT if you are local and haven’t been, you should come scope it out to see if your work really is on par with the rest.
I suggest learning about any kind of meet-ups in your area, with either Etsy members or local crafters. You can learn a lot from your community. I also strongly encourage doing some smaller shows before you apply to shows on UCU scale. You learn so much about being prepared at shows and pricing, etc. that are so so valuable to doing larger shows. It would be really awful to be ill-prepared at a show like UCU.
Why do you think that the Pacific Northwest has such a strong community of people making handmade goods?
I do think that sometimes the rain is a tad bit overrated here BUT the winter does provide us with a lot of time you might just like to sit inside and craft. The community is really supportive out here so there are a lot of resources. Seattle has a lot of money but is very locally aware, so many of our shoppers are really excited about shopping at UCU which is pretty infectious. Participating in UCU is like crafter’s crack. Once you start vending or shopping at it, you just want more.
Urban Craft Uprising’s 2013 Summer Show is happening this July 13 + 14th, from 11am to 5pm at the Seattle Center Exhibiton Hall. Visit their website for more info.