The Maine Mall in South Portland will host its first Etsy fair featuring all Maine crafters and artisans, July 30-31.

A total of 22 vendors are signed up to participate, including fiber and glass artists, jewelry makers, potters and more.

Etsy is an online marketplace where artisans and crafters can sell their handmade wares.

Lori Ouellette, captain of the Etsy Maine Team, who also runs the Livermore-based BearMtnCrochet on Etsy, said that the purpose of the Etsy fair is “to showcase Maine-made artisans, to get exposure for the wonderful creativity of our members and for customers to meet (and) greet the (people) behind the products.”

She added that “being able to see a real person behind the product you are purchasing gives the customer a feeling that the product is made especially for them. There’s nothing mass-produced. It’s all loving hands.”

On its website, the company said, “an Etsy Economy (is one where) creative entrepreneurs can sell their goods in both global and local markets (and) where thoughtful consumers can discover those goods and build relationships with the people who make and sell them.”

At BearMtnCrochet, Ouellette offers everything from crocheted bedspreads, table runners, shawls, scarves, lace gloves, specialty afghans and more.

Ouellette hopes that the Etsy Maine Team fair becomes an annual event, and she’s also in the process of exploring other venues around the state to offer more such shows.

In all, she said, the Etsy Maine Team includes 890 vendors from Kittery to Fort Kent, creating handmade items and “working toward the same goal – sharing our experiences, trials (and) tribulations in a collaborative way to promote each other and the Maine way.”

See www.etsy.com for more information.

– Kate Irish Collins


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