New England Made show, Portland Maine

OVERVIEW

A guided introduction to wholesale and an opportunity to exhibit at the New England Made (NEM) Spring Show in Portland, Maine at a reduced cost. NEM draws more than 2,000 buyers from across the country and provides a primary showcase for New England-made businesses. NEM buyers are eager for new products! MCA is an established exhibitor at NEM and buyers look for our mentor booth each year.

2018 PROGRAM DETAILS

The MCA offers a guided introduction to the wholesale experience for one Professional-level member, preparing one artist each year for the New England Made Spring Show. The MCA NEM Booth Program offers a reduced cost space, subsidized wholesale workshops, booth development and wholesale paperwork design assistance. The selected artist will enter into an agreement with the MCA to prepare for the NEM Spring Show and will meet deadlines for completion of booth design, line sheet, show card, booth poster/signage, wholesale workshop(s) and marketing materials. In return, the MCA will subsidize part of the booth fee and wholesale workshop fees, and provide guidance from mid-September 2017 through the March 2018 show dates.

ELIGIBILITY

Participants must be MCA members at the Professional level and have some experience showing and selling their work in a public setting. No previous wholesale experience is required, but interested artists should have retail/craft fair experience. Preference will be given to artists who have an established business and aspire to make a living from the sale of their work.

HOW TO APPLY

Send an email to dorothy(at)mainecrafts(dot)org by midnight, September 1, 2017 with the subject line NEM Booth Program Application.
Answer the following three questions in the body of the email:
1. Tell us about your business in three sentences or less – give us your elevator speech.
2. Describe one of the products you would like to introduce to the wholesale market. Tell us why you think this product makes sense for wholesale. Include considerations of cost to produce, market appeal, originality, and other factors you feel are relevant.
3. Provide your website address where MCA can view your work.

MCA may invite artists to apply based on a feeling that they may be a good fit for the program. MCA will select one artist from applications received by the deadline of September 1, 2017.

2018 PROGRAM TIMELINE

September 1, 2017
Application deadline

September 11, 2017
Applicants notified of MCA decision/artist selection

Before September 30, 2017
Phone call with Dorothy, who will provide program dates and deadlines and establish an agreement with the artist to complete booth preparation.

September 2017-March 2018
Booth design and build, product selection and pricing, line sheet development, marketing materials development, workshops

March 16 (load-in) through March 19, 2018
New England Made Spring 2018 Show, Portland Sports Complex, Portland Made

Meet the 2017 MCA NEM Booth Artist

EBENEZER AKAKPO
Akakpo & Co
A native of Ghana, Ebenezer Akakpo of South Portland, ME earned diplomas in Jewelry Design and Stone Setting from Le Arti Orafe in Florence, Italy before moving on to the Maine College of Art (MECA) for a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry. A deep-seated desire to solve problems through art led Akakpo to pursue an MFA in industrial design at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Akakpo specializes in using 3D computer modeling and rapid manufacturing processes in conjunction with traditional jewelry making techniques to produce work that explores the intersection between technology, the machine and the hand-made. Akakpo & Co creates everyday and wearable products in polycarbonate, wood, felt and metal. Symbols rooted in African culture and Maine identity drive the simple, elegant and modern designs offering both aesthetic and identity-based connections to the work.