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American Craft Enterprises changed it's rules

American Craft Enterprises has changed it’s rules to exclude from
participation in it’s only West Coast show all craftspeople who do
not wholesale or whose wholesale policies aren’t “standard”. Most,
if not all of ACE events support the retail artist as well as those
who wholesale. I don’t believe ACE has another show with this

What impact does that have on the choices and impressions of the
west coast retail customer?

Should they believe that an individual craftsman doing one-of
-a-kind work is no longer valid or available?

That attending a craft show will provide little they can’t find at a
shop or gallery?

If so, then what affect will that have on retail attendance to
future shows?

What impact does that have on development of young artists on the
West Coast?

What message of respect/disrespect does that send about it’s support
of artists who chose not to wholesale (or, at least not to wholesale
in a “standard” way) for whatever reason?

I wanted to send these questions to American Craft Magazine and to
American Craft Enterprises but I couldn’t find an email address for

Marianne Hunter

I would be interested to know what is considered "standard"
wholesale. Can you please fill us in?

Being a west coast original one of a kind only designer and
craftsman, I believe if one door closes it’s usually their loss!
Where there is a will, there will be a way! Places like Pike Street
market in Seattle and other artist shows will always be a venue for
people to connect with originality and retail that doesn’t have the
other expenses to jack the price!


I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and guess that “standard"
wholesale is keystone, where any other type of wholesale is where an
artist would mark 30% off $xx, 40% of $xx - is that correct? I’m
trying to figure out what the difference between wholesale and
"standard” wholesale is here.

Hi Marianne,

I wasn’t aware of this change and I find it reprehensible. What’s
more, I can’t think of any good reason for making the change unless
ACE is turning the ACC SF show into wholesale only. Is that what
they’re doing or will there still be retail days? If the latter,
then the whole thing makes no sense!


I wanted to send these questions to American Craft Magazine and to
American Craft Enterprises but I couldn't find an email address
for either

There have been many changes in the ACC with their shows – some
good some troubling. If you want to connect to other artists who are
passionate about how the shows evolve you could check out:

ACC Policy Discussion Forum at

This forum was founded by artists to discuss (and lobby) their
opinions and I believe that Reed McMillan, Director of Marketing and
Communications, might speak for his org. once in a while, too.

The ACC website is – you can find all
the staff emails for the Shows as well as the magazine.

I don’t think they use “American Craft Enterprises” any longer.

Cindy Edelstein

I am confused. I thought the ACE sponsered the Evanston, Ill show
that is held at the end of August. I didn’t realise that there was a
wholesale side to it. What organization are we talking about?



I’ve not done an ACC show for a year or so, and have never actually
done the SF show, even though I’ve been juried in many times. I do
have a number of friends and acquaintances who do the show, here’s
the problem. Unlike the flagship Baltimore ACC show where there are
three sections, one for wholesale only, one wholesale and retail
and one retail only, the SF show only has one section. Everyone
included in the show has to sell both wholesale and retail.

Is this a change in the rules? I don’t think so. As long as I’ve
juried for the show it was like this; but back in the days when the
craft scene wasn’t in crisis, ACC turned a blind eye to the
situation. Now ACC is cracking down.

The problem is that many artists for whom the SF ACC show is a must,
do not wholesale. Too many artists are willing to sit on their
hands and sell nothing during the wholesale only days just to have
a shot at selling during the retail days. This is unfair to those
who truly depend on both wholesale and retail because it lowers the
interest of wholesale buyers to attend the show.

The jewelers who don’t wholesale might discount the price of their
work by 25 or 30 percent for wholesale orders, but most stores
today won’t accept these terms. They need (want, demand) a higher
markup. The standard wholesale discount (keystone) is half of

The fact is that there’s an explosion of competition in the craft
market today. Store owners can go to any number of shows and buy
goods from around the world. The last couple of years has seen a
lot of jewelers drop shows because they’ve become unprofitable,
even as the number of shows have proliferated. Jewelers who once
sold wholesale only are branching out into retail shows. Jewelers
who sold only at retail shows are trying wholesale while some
jewelers are opening their own retail stores because both the
wholesale and retail show markets have shifted so dramatically.

The jewelry industry, both wholesale and retail, craft and trade is
in flux and there’s no end in sight. I’d suggest that everyone
involved in our industry be ready for change, keep your eyes open
and be prepared. The ride will be a bumpy one!


Hi Catherine,

I'm trying to figure out what the difference between wholesale and
"standard" wholesale is here. 

My guess is that in addition to pricing they mean the ability to
produce multiples. In other words, can a buyer come to your booth
and order 3 of those, 10 of these and 6 of the other thing. If you
create one-of-a-kind pieces, like Marianne and I do, this isn’t
possible, regardless of how you price your work. In my case, I do
have a wholesale/retail (keystone) price structure, but I don’t do
multiples. Why ACC would want to exclude one-of-a-kind work from a
show that welcomes retail customers, I can’t begin to fathom!



Unless I am much mistaken, the only show American Craft Enterprises
puts on is the one in Evanston on the Northwestern campus. I think
we’re talking about the American Craft Council-- ACC.

Doesn’t make this change any less uncool.


B- it sounds like your focus on the definition of whats wholesale? is
the key, sounds like the ACC needs to tell people how they define
wholesale. ive never been to an ACC show but if they arent screening
out those without store fronts, vendors licence etc. then it doesnt
make sense to exclude legitimate one of a kind artist / designer /
craftswomen like yourself. maybe the decision by the rules comittee
was’nt thought thru as extensivley as it could have been. ive been
active in a national club untill recently who’s decisions i couldn’t
understand until i went to the source and asked a few questions.
perhaps the acc has decided to go in a direction thats different than
the past. maybee you could get on the phone w/ somebody ask them for
somthing you can post or get them to submit somthing to the orchid
list it’s to thier benefit - best regards goo