Tales from a Shopkeep : BHM 2019

191109_BHM_7727It’s that time of year again, and man, has it been a year! I mean . . . for us, at Gather and BHM, the year is just beginning, but we’ve been hearing it over and over again – WHAT A YEAR! *deep breaths* So here we are, year 11 under our belts. Boy does it feel good. It feels energizing to walk into the Convention Center and feel at home. It feels . . . comforting, to have a staff there that we can call friends, and do call friends. To know they have your back, and we have theirs. Beyond that, it feels fucking amazing to meet all these new makers year in and year out and have the pleasure, the honor of also calling them our friends! What can I say, BHM is always exhilarating, and I hope it never changes!

This year we brought Allie onto the team to help organize, and boy did she help! I heard from more than one person that I, for one, seemed a whole lot less stressed the weeks leading up to  Market than I usually do, and I feel confident in giving her most of the credit for that stress reduction. Allie took care of nearly all of our social media this year (aside from IG takeovers) as well as reaching out to numerous local businesses for sponsorship opportunities. And Chelsea of course, our rock, took care of IG takeovers and volunteers and keeping me in line, like she does. Sally came back into the fold this year from afar; taking care of most of our digital image needs and various PR related jobs. This team we’ve created here at BHM is stellar and I’m honored to get to work with these ladies.


191109_BHM_76202019 brought BBC, Cardinal Stage, Unveiled and Gather Kids to Bloomington Handmade Market for the first time, and I’m pretty sure we’ve created some life-long friendships in that department too. Talking business with Jeff Mease is always eye-opening;); getting to sing and dance to Newsies with Cardinal Stage pretty much has been a dream of mine (and Allie’s, and Chelsea’s) for as long as I/we can remember; climbing into that bathtub to get my photo taken was not nearly as uncomfortable as I envisioned it being; watching and listening to those Gather Kids making, learning, and selling their own handmade goods – well fellas, that’s just about as good as it gets, let me tell you.

I did get grouchy this year. I won’t lie. Was it from lack of sleep, stress, not enough protein in my diet, or just plain grouchiness? I don’t know. But I apologize. I try to keep the negativity out of my feed as much as possible, but I’m a real person too, with real . . . emotions? Ha! Anyway – I apologize for that lack of filter if you were witness to it.

Bloomington Handmade Market remains a bright light in our lives, in my life, and I am honored to get to host (twice) each year. Thank you for all that came out and supported shopping local and shopping handmade. If you feel so inclined, we’d Love for you to take a survey if you attended the event. We have some new things coming down the pipeline, and we’d for sure Love some feedback. Until then — continue shopping local (always) and especially this holiday season. BHM Summer Fair will return this June (applications to open in March).

may your days be filled up



ps – as always, the beautiful photos from our nearest and dearest Lisa Wilson

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