OVERVIEW

Since 2010, MCA has offered a Mentor Booth Program at the New England Made (NEM) Spring Show; alumni of the program have grown the wholesale aspect of their craft business, or have made an educated decision about wholesale in their business plan. Beginning in November 2019, we will replace the Mentor Booth Program with the Wholesale Resource Hub, allowing us to serve all MCA Professional-level Members who are considering wholesale, and/or registered for NEM as a first time exhibitors, as well as MCA Professional-level Members who have a wholesale component to their craft business.

PROGRAM DETAILS

Wholesale Resource HUB is designed for MCA Professional-level members who are curious about wholesale and need guidance getting started, and/or are registered or planning to register for NEM or other wholesale shows, and/or looking for ways to expand the wholesale aspect of their business. The program shares MCA, Maine Made, New England Made Shows and other resources. Offerings are ‘a la carte’  and may include presentations, panel discussions featuring MCA Mentor Booth alumni, workshops hosted by MCA, NEM, SBDC and other related organizations, PDF samples of linesheets, order forms, other successful print materials, advice on booth design and selling/best practices for interacting with buyers. Programming may be free or fee-based.

UPCOMING MCA EVENTS

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES + EVENTS BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

Trade Show Tips from Experienced Exhibitors presented by SBCC Maine

Tuesday, January 14 | Live Online Seminar
12:00 – 1:30 pm

Have you been considering the New England Made show? Or are you exhibiting for the first time? What is the show like? How do you make the show a success? This live, online seminar will feature experienced New England Made exhibitors. They’ll answer frequently asked questions, and will be available to answer questions from the audience. What is the show like? How do you know a show is successful? Learn best practices from those who have been there!

FREE and open to all
REGISTER NOW

Intro to Wholesale presented by Maine Made

Thursday, January 16 | Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center

Wholesale 101
9:30-11:30am
Somerset Room
If you’ve thought about entering the wholesale market, but have a bunch of questions, Maine Made will provide a bunch of answers. In two hours you’ll learn about Booth Design, Photography, Line Sheets, and Product Pricing from industry professionals, and then hear from a Maine Made member who has experienced growing from small local markets to nationwide distribution. Let Maine Made help you with this marketing transition.

Product Pitch 
1-3:00 pm
Somerset Room
Registration Deadline: January 10, 2020 Register here
This is an opportunity for makers of craft foods, soaps, candles, baskets (and other items with a connection to Maine agricultural) to show your product(s) to a panel of buyers from around the state. You’ll get to explain your product(s), ask questions, and get valuable feedback to help you navigate the wholesale process. Spaces are limited and registration is required. Register here.

FREE and open to the public

Break Into Wholesale! with Delia Folk presented by SNAG

Saturday, January 18 | Live online 12-2pm EST

Ready to expand your sales to include the wholesale market, or need a boost for your existing wholesale approach? Join Delia Folk to learn about what you need in your wholesale tool kit. Delia will discuss your lookbook, line sheets, website, social media, collection composition and editing, brand signature and pricing. You’ll also learn how to select target retailers and find their buyers’ contact information. She will demonstrate the best way to reach out to buyers with a live “mock meeting.”

$30 for SNAG members (use discount code CLMEM at checkout)
$50 for non-members
REGISTER NOW

Interested in attending for free? Road 2 Success scholarships are available thanks to a grant from the John and Robyn Horn Foundation. Scholarship amounts vary.

ALL SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION MATERIALS MUST BE RECEIVED AT LEAST 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO THE OFFERING FOR WHICH FUNDING IS REQUESTED. For this Craft Lab that is this Saturday, January 4th. Information & scholarship application

Whole-Lot-A-Wholesale presented by SBDC Maine

Tuesday, January 21 | Live Online Seminar
12:00 – 1:30 pm

Is your business ready for wholesale? This live, online seminar will go through all the important pre-show preparation. It will cover wholesale terms, including effective wholesale pricing, credit, and shipping policies. Learn good business preparation for profitable sales!

FREE and open to all
REGISTER NOW

Trade Show Success presented by SBDC Maine

Tuesday, January 23 | Live Online Seminar
12:00 – 1:30 pm

​Getting ready to participate in a trade show? How do you make the most of your time and investment? This live, online seminar covers pre-show planning, booth design, conduct at the show, common forms and brochures, and after-show practices.

FREE and open to all
REGISTER NOW

PAST EVENTS

Panel Discussion: Preparing for a Wholesale Show

Tuesday, January 7 at 5:30pm | Mechanics Hall Classroom, 519 Congress Street, Portland, ME

The second panel discussion in our Wholesale Resource Hub series will focus on best practices in preparing for a wholesale show. The discussion will be relevant to any wholesale show preparation, but will provide a specific timeline for the New England Made (NEM) Spring Show from January 8 through March 14-16 (show dates). If you are registered for NEM or any wholesale show in 2020, or considering wholesale, join MCA for this opportunity to hear from the experts. Panelists include Whitney Burdsall, Logistics Director New England Made Shows, and Molly Thompson/Pretty Flours.

To register, send an email to: dorothy@mainecrafts.org

All MCA Professional-Level Members: FREE
All others: $25

Panel Discussion: Are You Ready For Wholesale?

Monday, November 18 at 5:30pm | Creative Portland, 84 Free Street, Portland, ME

If you are considering wholesale, interested in expanding the wholesale area of your business, and/or applying to the NEM Spring Show as a first time exhibitor, join MCA for an informative hour with MCA NEM Mentor Booth Alumna Anna Low (Purplebean Bindery), Danielle Gerber (DMG Designs) and Lisa and Scott Cylinder (Chickenscratch).

To register, send an email to: dorothy@mainecrafts.org

All MCA Professional-Level Members: FREE
All others: $25

NEM Mentor Booth Program Alumni

JAMES MCLAUGHLIN, 2019
33 by Hand
James McLaughlin is a Portland-based artist and owner of 33 by Hand. He creates hand made everyday and lasting accessories primarily in leather and canvas. Through a past life as a recording engineer and music producer in Vancouver, BC and Los Angeles, CA, James always held a deep passion for visual and three-dimensional work of all kinds. He established 33 By Hand in 2015, offering high quality, made-to-order leather products with a focus on forward-thinking design. During this time he also worked with Black Point Mercantile, crafting hand painted canvas floor coverings and bags. After leaving BPM and running 33 By Hand for a year, he took a position in the research and development/design department at Hyperlite Mountain Gear in Biddeford, Maine.

ANNA LOW, 2018 
Purplebean Bindery
Anna Low’s passion for book-binding was born in college, where she studied photography and art education. She makes sturdy inviting blank books and limited edition artists books in her one-woman Auburn, ME home studio. Her signature buttonhole binding is one of her favorite ways to stitch together a book – the exposed spine sewing uses no glue and is both decorative and functional. Low’s books have rigid cloth covers and heavy paper that hold up to all types of writing and drawing, and lay open flat without breaking the spine for ease of working. Her collections include accordions, accordions with pockets, coptic bound books with recycled covers, and ‘funky notebooks’ made with ‘stuff that had another life’. She believes that every book she binds is an ongoing collaborative art project between the artist and the viewer/writer/artist who fills its pages.

EBENEZER AKAKPO, 2017
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.