Our Busy Summer of Moroccan Markets!
Whew, after an action-packed summer of selling at markets and fairs, we are finally getting a little time to catch our breath. July was our first time exhibiting at the famed Chilmark Flea Market on Martha's Vineyard, and it did not disappoint. Held outdoors every Wednesday and Saturday during the summer, we would load our car to the gills the night before, then set off to the field in Chilmark at 7am to set up our tent.
It was great to interact with customers in person again, and to share our passion for all things Moroccan and North African. Our Moroccan rugs, Tamegroute pottery, and Moroccan Jewelry all proved very popular. So popular, in fact, that it's time to head back to Morocco to hand-select a new batch of fantastic rugs to add to the Silver Sahara website! (We aren't complaining.)
In August, we headed to New York City for another first -- exhibiting at the HUGE trade show, NYNOW. Hoping to expand our artisans' reach into the American wholesale market, we braved the big city for the first time since the start of the pandemic (and needless to say, we fell in love all over again!). Although the market was greatly reduced in size from its usual masses, we had a wonderful show and learned a great deal about this new opportunity.
The Moroccan items sold by Silver Sahara are all handmade, making each a one-of-a-kind. This makes wholesaling products quite challenging, and requires a bit of a shift in thinking from our artisans. As the tourist market in Morocco has been devastated and is unlikely to fully recover for a very long time, we feel providing these opportunities for growth and income to our artisans is necessary to continue supporting and encouraging the traditional indigenous craft techniques we so treasure!
Hot off the heels of New York City -- and we do mean HOT! -- we set up our tents once again at the outdoor Martha's Vineyard Agriculture Fair, undoubtedly our favorite event every year. For four long days,10am to 11pm, we hunker down in our tent and have the best time talking with neighbors, friends, and visitors to Martha's Vineyard. We hear lots of wonderful stories about trips taken to Morocco (often with very dreamy looks in their eyes), and adore seeing peoples' jaws drop when they first glimpse the booth.
The most rewarding aspect of exhibiting at the fair is when a younger person comes into the booth and marvels over all the beautiful Moroccan things. It gives us a chance to share our love and knowledge of Morocco with new generations, and perhaps even ignite a lifetime love of handmade craftsmanship and cultural diversity.
We wound down the season with a few more jaunts to the Chilmark Flea, even taking our fantastic Moroccan Fountain to really wow the crowds. After setting up and breaking down the whole booth in a 6 hour span, we finally had our last show at the end of August, and took a well-deserved break at the beach. Now it's back to stocking up for the holidays and prepping our annual holiday gift lists!