Everyone said that there just isn’t anything like the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. After a week in Santa Fe I would have to agree. It’s hard to imagine an event that draws thousands of visitors from all over the world for just a weekend, brings in artisans from 60 different countries, and attracts hundreds of volunteers from all over the US who actually compete for the opportunity. Our featured artisan, Marcos, just couldn’t believe that someone would direct traffic all day for free, all in an effort to help him promote his weaving art. There were even volunteers who were assigned to make sure we stayed hydrated throughout the long days. The event was massive, yet personal. It felt like the entire community of Santa Fe had turned out for the parade of countries the night before the opening, to cheer each one of the artisans on who had made the effort to be there. When it came time to set up our booth the next day, we were greeted by Ann, a volunteer from Atlanta, who was assigned to help us set up our display. Turns out that she used to set up displays for Nordstrom’s, and we pretty much knew right away that we should just let her work her magic. We started to affectionately call her “la jefa” (the boss), because she managed to transform our booth into a beautifully organized collage of color and design.
Every detail of the festival was worked out ahead of time, from where to park to where and how we would be fed. We were treated to all types of international foods and music, with one of the two of us having enough energy at the end of the day to actually dance. Did I mention that we were invited to stay for the whole week by a shop owner, Uli Campbell and her husband, Blaise, who I had met only once at a gift show in LA? Maybe we were the perfect house guests, since we were hardly there the whole time … Some people came for the incredible artisan treasures. I think in the end I came more for the warmth and hospitality. Thanks for everything, Santa Fe. I hope we will be invited back next year!