I can speak for all of us at HandMade in America (HIA) when I say that we are very excited to represent at this year’s Craft Fair of Southern Highlands.  For four days every July and October the US Cellular Center is packed full of fine crafts from over 200 craft artists, selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, metal, and more.  Staff and volunteers of HandMade in America will be at a table to share our latest and greatest news, events, and programs.  This will be our first time representing at the Craft Fair of Southern Highlands.

Did you know that the Southern Highlands Craft Guild was chartered in 1930?  The Guild was created in response to the Great Depression as a way to help craftspeople and generate revenue in the Appalachian regions.  Fast forward 83 years, and the Guild is made up of almost 1,000 craftspeople from 293 counties, spanning 9 states!  They keep busy with many different educational programs, demonstrations, an entire library, 5 craft shops, and 2 of the most highly recognized craft fairs held every year.

 The first Craft Fair of Southern Highlands was in 1948 in Gatlinburg, TN.  It wasn’t until a few years later, in 1951 that they moved the Fair to Asheville, NC.  Back in those days the Fair was a full week-long event that lasted until 10:00 pm every night!  It’s hard to believe that people would’ve been more serious about craft 60 years ago than they are today.  Deb Schillo, Southern Highlands Craft Guild Archivist, explained that back in those days there would be people in lines extending far beyond of the doors to the Fair.  That was one reason the Guild added a second craft fair in the fall of 1960.  They have been offering two craft fairs per year ever since.

 Looking for something fun to do July 18th-21st?  Come down this week to US Cellular Center in Asheville, NC to see craft artistry represent this amazing Southern Highland region that is so rich in craft and culture.  Oh, and say hi to us at HandMade in America too!

Lindsey Mudge,

Operations Manager

HandMade in America


828-252-0121 x303

Craft Fair of Southern Highlands


Dates/Times: July 18th-21st

Thursday-Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 10am-5pm

Location: U.S. Cellular Center

87 Haywood St. Asheville, NC




Save the Date: Saturday, February 9, 2013

2013 Southern Entrepreneurship in the Arts Conference

“Iron Pour” at Jim Gallucci Studios, Friday, February 8, 2013

Morning Keynote: Roy Underhill, Host of PBS’ The Woodright’s Shop + Founder, The Woodwright’s School

Lunch Keynote: Dennis Quaintance, CEO + Chief Design Officer of Quaintance-Weaver Hotels and Restaurants

Conference Collaborative Transcriber: Julia Simmons, Dialogue Matters

Join fellow professionals, emerging and mid-career artists, and students at the 4th annual Southern Entrepreneurship in the Arts Conference. Hosted by the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center and the Entrepreneurship Cross Disciplinary Program at UNCG, the event will feature artists and others talking about how to develop successful ventures. More than 350 people attended the conference in 2012. Join us in 2013 to help create strategies and networks that can result in new opportunities to make a better living following your passion.

More information and to register, please visit the website athttp://seac.uncg.edu.

Contact: Valerie Wiseman, 2013 Conference Coordinator,vawisema@uncg.edu

Growing WNC’s local, social and sustainable industries
From food to fiber, energy to craft brewing and beyond, the AdvantageWest region is making great strides in cultivating thriving local businesses that create quality jobs. If you have a local, social or sustainable enterprise in our region — or are interested in how to support these industries in your community — sign up now for the Venture Local forum on December 7, 8am-5pm at the Asheville Renaissance downtown, presented by AdvantageWest.

Venture Local provides a myriad of opportunities for attendees. Learn from world-class keynote speakers Michael Shuman and Martin Eakes how to accelerate community capital. Gain inspiration from local entrepreneurs making their fast-pitch presentations before a panel of funders (see selected entrepreneurs below). Connect with peers and investors at roundtable discussions. Be the first to hear research on new food product business opportunities for WNC. And, of course, enjoy plentiful networking opportunities and a farm-to-table reception. Venture Local is $70. See the complete agenda andREGISTER HERE.

Seven WNC entrepreneurs to pitch their big idea at Venture Local this Friday…

We are very pleased to announce seven entrepreneurs that will be doing a fast-pitch of their business opportunities in front of the whole Venture Local audience and a rapid response panel of regional funders and experts:

Appalatch Outdoor Apparel Company: Mariano deGuzman
Riverbend Malt House: Brent Manning
Native Touch: Laralyn RiverWind
Noble Cider: Trevor Baker
Asheville Urban Farms: Anthony Coggiola
Theraworx: David Fann
Brightfield Transportation Solutions: Stan Cross
These entrepreneurs were selected from dozens of great applications and we hope that these pitches will help not only these seven, but will also help ignite productive connections for all the entrepreneurs, investors and others in attendance.

A few tickets remaining! Reserve your spot today!
We’re down to the last few remaining tickets. If you’re an entrepreneur, investor, service provider, or otherwise interested in supporting local, social and sustainable businesses in Western North Carolina, we invite you to join us this Friday, December 7 at the Asheville Renaissance. View the full program and get your tickets at the venturelocalwnc.com website.

Thank you to all our partners making Venture Local possible

AdvantageGreen | Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project | Andrews Valley Initiative | Asheville Grown | Blue Ridge Food Ventures | Caldwell Green Commission | Handmade in America | High Country Local First | Land-of-Sky Regional Council | Malaprops | Mountain BizWorks | SBA |SBTDC | Sequoyah Fund | Venture Asheville | Very Small Business Center (Town of Marshall)