|CBC - P.E.I. wholesale market sees fewer buyers and sellers|
P.E.I.'s 15th annual craft and giftware wholesale market is happening today at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown, but the number of buyers and sellers is down.
Vendors are set up in booths displaying pottery, jewelry, photography and more.
The public is not invited, instead, craft store owners are shopping wholesale looking for stock for their shelves.
Jennifer Ridgeway is buying for her two stores, Moonsnail and Luna. She says it's becoming harder to find and purchase unique crafts made on P.E.I.
"That's what I'm always looking for. Something traditional, like pottery, but with a new look -- Jewelry, new look -- you know that's what's exciting to me to be able to find," she says.
This year, there are 40 craftspeople wholesaling their wares. A decade ago, there were about 70.
As well there are fewer craft stores buying, and the dollar value of orders placed at the show has been declining.
Laura Cole, from the P.E.I. Crafts Council, says there could be several reasons.
"Some of the vendors, the craft producers, might be moving on to selling online, and they're not dealing with wholesale as much. A lot of vendors have actually opened up their own studio, to become a craft shop. As well, we're seeing fewer craft stores than there were in last ten years," she says.
Before the trade show began, participants got together to brainstorm ways to beef up the show.
Some suggestions included better advertising and incentives for potential buyers and sessions for Island crafters to encourage them to wholesale.