As of this month, Indie Craft Shows has been up for five years! Sometimes it seems like just yesterday Dawn from Pop Culture Rehab and I set it up, other times it feels like a million years ago.
First, the TL;DR version: We’re 5! And we’ve updated our technology in preparation for building out the site into a full featured community for everyone who attends and organizes craft shows.
Now the long version:
There has been an ebb and flow to the site as Dawn and I have left jobs, started new jobs, been more involved with the craft show scene, taken time out to relax and reclaim our weekends, and otherwise lived our lives. It’s the same for everyone – I stopped doing shows for a while when I went to work at Etsy, and when I returned to the scene in late 2008 I was surprised how the “old guard” of craft fair veterans had given way to a new group. Of course some of the old guard is still around, I still run into Becky from Sweetie Pie Press at about half the events I attend. But just like my own life has changed a lot over the last 5 years, so has the craft show landscape.
On the technical side of things, Indie Craft Shows is on its fourth version. While there are incremental changes with each release, one thing we haven’t managed to find time for is implementing totally new features. I’m excited to say that finally, after years of waiting, I’m finally carving out some time to make the site into what I think the crafting community really needs: a hub for all things craft-show related.
I have a habit of saying “we,” because this site wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of people who contribute to it. Even when I haven’t checked up on it for months at a time, you guys keep the site flowing with new listings. But on the tech side, it’s really just “me.” Indie Craft Shows is a one-woman tech team. The latest version is written in Ruby on Rails and hosted by the fine folks at Heroku.
One of the challenges in running a site like this is making sure it still pays its own bills while keeping it a free resource. As we push into spring we’ll be rolling out some paid features and add-ons, but the directory will always remain a free service at its core. We’ve also moved to a much more mature system for advertising, which lets you control how much you want to pay for visibility, etc. We’re still working out the back end of it, but in the mean time email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to snag one of our sexy sidebar ads.
Thanks for sticking with us, I hope the next 5 years are as successful as the first!