Q&A: Jill Colquitt Fisher, Handmade Holiday Trunk Show Organizer

Fisher’s Handmade Holiday Trunk Show is back for the first time since 2010; the third and final show is Dec. 13-16 at 14 Market Square, the former Marble Slab Creamery site.

Fisher’s Handmade Holiday Trunk Show is back for the first time since 2010; the third and final show is Dec. 13-16 at 14 Market Square, the former Marble Slab Creamery site.

Jill Colquitt Fisher’s Handmade Holiday Trunk Show is back for the first time since 2010; the third and final show is Dec. 13-16 at 14 Market Square, the former Marble Slab Creamery site.

You skipped the show last year?

Yes, I took a break in 2011 because of knee surgery that was supposed to take maybe five days and turned out to be months—I couldn’t drive. We just did a tiny online show and called it the “catalog.”

Have things changed much since the first one in 2006?

We have a lot of the same vendors, but every year it seems to grow. We keep a lot of favorites, and also have a range of those who come and go, which keeps it interesting and fresh. Our sponsor list and location changes every year, which is always stressful—but fun, and it’s always worked out great. It’s a “pop-up”—we go in the week before and get out directly after. One of the biggest compliments is getting people to say, “You should do this all the time.” We like to think we’re working towards getting a permanent location.

You advertised crochet wooden teethers, what are those?

Those are great. Those are Kat Bike—she’s a new vendor. She supports the whole handmade movement, so she buys the wooden teething rings from Etsy; they’re coated in beeswax, and then she crochets around them. She recently had a baby, that’s the thing. She started making these amazing crocheted baby things—she sews baby swings, and makes burp cloths.

Burp cloths?

Yes, this is one of my favorite discussions. I asked her what age range they’re for, and she said, “Any.” I use them for our dog, and they’re perfect for me and my husband. She also makes mini-packs of reusable wipes in these really cool patterns, and I’m buying those for my mother-in-law to use as coasters.

Has anything been selling like hotcakes?

Goodness, so much of it. There are these whirligigs—one of them is a moonshine jug that has spinners that move in the wind, and painted folk art signs by Amy Campbell. They crack me up, like the one that reads “This Kitchen Is Sanctified.” And Brandt Womack pottery—he’s been with us every year.

What are you selling?

I do the same planters made from recycled tires, and T-shirts I print on new and “upcycled” shirts—that’s the Etsy word for used. I use old shirts from my husband or brother-in-law, cut out the collars and make them into tunics and print on them.

What’s this about Cruze Farm Ice Cream?

Well, everyone kept coming in, asking where the Marble Slab was. I guess some of them hadn’t been downtown in a while. They were looking a little bewildered—“Can I get ice cream?” Finally we were saying, “Hey, we should get Cruze Farm here!” Kat Bike contacted Colleen Cruze and we were extra happy that she showed up, in her Santa suit and everything. My husband and I came home after and ate whole pint of that Salty Caramel ice cream. We hope they’ll come back this weekend.

Is there a particularly unusual product on sale?

Well, stuff made with bullets. Recycled bullets made into necklaces and keychains—they’re actually really pretty, like brass. The necklaces can look really delicate—you don’t even notice at first that they include bullet casings.

Show hours are Thursday, Dec. 13 4 p.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 12 noon-9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information: duchesscraft.com

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