Buyers Market of American Craft and globalDESIGN Open Today

After a few years too many, this editor is going to get reacquainted with two shows on tour right in my own backyard. The Buyers Market of American Craft and globalDESIGN open today in Philadelphia, the former run by Wendy Rosen of the Rosen Group and the latter by JCK’s one-time fashion editor Cindy Edelstein, Jewelers Resource Bureau. Quite literally, the shows are behind my house, as Philadelphia city limits are two minutes away and Center City is 20 minutes, but this time of year is generally so busy with shows that some other commitment has prevented me from attending.

But this show marks the start of a new trend in attendance for me (after I finally get plowed out of the driveway, of course). I keep hearing from designers how lucrative the show has become, with more and more retailers making the trip to Philly to shop.

Philly, you know what we’re known for.  Philly has more to it than cheesesteaks, you know.

And in looking at the exhibitors’ and seminars’ lists, I can see why. At the BMAC-which touts itself as “the only trade show for ‘Made in North America’ quality products”-some 1,500 exhibitors will feature handmade crafts like glass, ceramics, jewelry, and more across 12 categories, many “willing to provide ‘exclusivity,’” according to show literature. Educational segments include Wendy Rosen’s invitation to Facebook friends to two roundtable discussions on credit, collections & consignment, while Kristin D. Godsey, executive editor of VMSD, the magazine of the visual merchandising/store design trade, and chairwoman of the 2009 International Retail Design Conference, will talk ‘Store Display on a Shoestring Budget’ (for a complete list of seminars, click here).

Plus, according to BMAC’s exhibitor application, “applicants are required to exhibit in person” and “all products displayed must be designed and produced by the artist/exhibitor or under the direct supervision of the artist/exhibitor.” So, this isn’t really a show that would interest the majors as nothing is made en masse (I don’t even think the word ‘manufactured’ will apply to any of the merchandise on display). This kind of buy-local thinking and socially conscious purchases are right for the times. Of course, this venue is wholesale to the trade (sorry consumers).

Paula Jerome charms

Paula Jerome at BMAC
Classic Atlantic City attractions like the diving horse, rolling chairs, and an elephant-shaped building captivated young Paula Jerome during her family’s day trips to escape the oppressive summer heat of Philadelphia. Now she memorializes the magical 1950s boardwalk in charm bracelets made of 100 percent recycled gold and silver.

Natashia Wozniak in JCK Luxury “The Scholar”

JCK Luxury darling Natasha Wozniak is also at BMAC.

Meanwhile, Edelstein calls her 2010 globalDESIGN, celebrating its 10th year of business, an “international showcase of exceptional jewelers.” It’s a great companion show to BMAC because it features designers whose work is outstanding but isn’t necessarily made in the U.S. (case in point: Gurhan’s jewelry is made in Turkey because 24k gold designs are his niche). globalDESIGN is also for the trade only.

Regarding this edition of globalDESIGN, I think it’s fair to say that Edelstein is proud that longtime designer Lisa Jenks has chosen this venue to relaunch her jewelry business. Jenks suspended her jewelry work three years ago to focus on home accessories but is now reconnecting with her jewelry roots by exhibiting at globalDESIGN.

Lisa Jenks jewelry

Other designers exhibiting include Anthony Lent, Ray Griffiths, Sugarman Frantz Designs, and more.

Rings by Ray Griffiths

globalDESIGN shows for just three days over the weekend-one day less than BMAC-and opens early (9 a.m. versus BMAC’s 10 a.m.) and stays open late (7 p.m. versus BMAC’s 6 p.m.) to help the buyers fit in all their shopping. The show’s style is also reminiscent more of a trunk show than a trade show, and is limited to 18 designers, all with a carefully selected range of jewelry styles to make the experience comfortable, convenient, and manageable. globalDESIGN offers buyers a light breakfast in the morning and a candy bar and wine in the afternoon.

If you can’t dig yourself out to get to the Pennsylvania Convention Center by February 15 (the last day of the BMAC show) or by Sunday February 14 (the last day of  globalDESIGN), you can attend the next BMAC in Baltimore August 23-25, 2010

If you can make it out, here are the hours and address:

Friday, Feb. 12 through Sunday, Feb.14, from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. each day; and Monday, Feb. 15, from 10a.m. – 3 p.m.
BMAC show office: 215-418-2002
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19107, (215) 418-4700 or (800) 428-9000.

Friday February 12 – Sunday February 14, 2010
9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Room 202 on the concourse bridge to the Marriott next to the Buyer’s Market of American Craft at the Philadelphia Convention Center
Cindy Edelstein on site: (914) 953-9227

Eat breakfast at globalDESIGN Eat candy at globalDESIGN  Drink wine at globalDESIGN

Remember: Cindy feeds you-breakfast, candy, and cocktails every day. Rest assured I’ll be reporting on those important show features. See you there!

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