Gwen and I arrived at 10:30, half an hour before the doors opened. The line went to the end of the block, around the corner, to the end of that block, and doubled back around to the first corner. We were numbers 250 and 251 to enter the Ukranian Cultural Center. I know because Gwen got the last goodie bag (she is awesome and shared).
The photo, by the way, is of the line to get in at 12:30. It went partway around the corner again, an hour and a half after start time. (Click for bigger.)
Now, I love Felt Club. I think it is a wonderful idea and one that Los Angeles needed. I had a phenomenally good time at the first one, then missed a couple because I had a brand new baby, and enjoyed one or two in the fall. Then there was the XL Holiday Felt Club, and I didn’t like the crowds. And then they announced that they were abandoning the monthly fairs in favor of two XL Editions per year, and I will be honest: I think it is a huge mistake.
More after the cut.
Today was not fun. The room was so packed, even with people held back (I assume it was for fire code concerns), that it was at times literally impossible to move. I sweated so much that I was wet. It was unbearable. I feared for my wallet the whole time, even amongst wonderful crafty types (and I wonder if there was much shoplifting from vendors who could not watch their whole booth at all times). I could not get to any of the vendor tables. In the end I saw only three people’s goods, which I think defeats the entire purpose of the event. At a craft fair, I want to really see things; talk to the artists. Maybe even (gasp!) buy things.
It also seemed that all of the vendors were the more established people, the ones who already have a good web presence and are (relatively) well-known, at least in the crafting community. I am not disparaging that! I think it is wonderful and every single one of them deserves it. But I worry that smaller, newer folks will not participate in a huge semi-yearly fair like they might have in a little once-a-month fair. And that is tragic for the community. It doesn’t offer growth or variety. It’s bad for craft and it’s bad for the consumers, too.
I am not writing off Felt Club. I still think it is the best show in town. I would really like to see it in smaller doses more frequently. If the monthly fair was too much to plan for, as I suspect it was, make it quarterly (including or in addition to the two XL editions).