I decided to post an extra article about Maker Faire everyday this week just because I am so excited about it. Interviewing Jamie Chan was a no brainer. I’ve been volunteering with Bazaar Bizarre for a few years now AND she used to be the editor of this very Indie CraftGossip column! So welcome back to your old stomping grounds Jamie!
> Introduce yourself!
My name is Jamie. I started my career as a marine biologist. During
graduate school I got interested in education, art and knitting. So I started my first web business selling handmade yarn and crafts. I currently work at a university, co-own two fiber arts businesses, as
well as co-produce a craft show called Bazaar Bizarre San Francisco and Bazaar Bizarre Maker Faire.
> Tell us a bit about Mary Jane’s Attic and Urban Fauna Studio.
Mary Jane’s Attic is a web store that specializes in fiber and supplies for the spinner, knitter, and felter. In addition I am co-owner of Urban Fauna Studio. Urban Fauna Studio sells indie made and eco-friendly craft supplies and tools. We focus on ecologically and socially considerate manufacturing practices (i.e.
no-petrochemicals used, sustainable raw fibers and woods, biodegradable products, and recycled materials), products made in the US and handmade items. We take pride in supporting our fellow indie crafters and sell yarn and fiber art supplies from over 35+ different
indie artists. We also offer a revolving series of arts and crafts workshops for small groups.
> How long have you been involved with Bazaar Bizarre?
> What is your favorite part of the show?
Well to be honest….the SHOPPING! Where else can I shop with over 90+ indie artists all in one place? Being able to talk to the person behind the product is the best feeling as a consumer. I realize the investment they’ve made in their work and it reminds me that my decision to buy handmade supports American artists and my goal for a
more sustainable, local economy. In general, the Bazaar Bizarre shows create a positive sense of community! The vendors love being there and the customers are equally positive and respectful of the handmade movement. Artists are not lost in mix of commercial and non-craft
vendors like many other shows and street festivals. Our focus is on the DIY movement and the indie spirit that makes it so special.
> What’s new and exciting this year?
We’re really excited to announce that over half of our vendors are new and emerging crafters This means they have never vended at a craft show or never vended in a Bazaar Bizarre. We’re also proud to be
supporting returning vendors who have been with us for years. These are quality artists and craftspeople Maker Faire attendees have come to know and love (Ach Ach Liebling, NifNaks, my windup bird t-shirts, etc…). We’re lucky to have the Buyer and Store Manager at Museum of
Craft and Folk Art Kpoene Kpfi-Bruce, Natalie Zee-Drieu and Becky Stern of Craftzine as our guest judges for this year. This was a great mix of expertise and style that helped determine our current vendors out of the 200+ applicants we received.
Maker Faire continues to get bigger and better with every show, not something easily achievable with our declining economic times. What amazes me is the overwhelming agreement of everyday people, makers and crafters alike, to support what Make and Craftzine are doing this year: to rally for a more sustainable America! Take a day (or two!) to celebrate individual creativity and grassroots innovation in the largest festival devoted to DIY culture and technology in the country.