Thursday, May 23, 2013

We're looking for a Few Good Crafters

Hello friends!

We have recently graduated a new crop of RCM alums, which means it's also time to bring in a fresh round of new faces to our group. Therefore, we are opening up the application process to join the Richmond Craft Mafia!

What is the Richmond Craft Mafia (aka RCM)?

I sure hope you already know the answer to this one! We are a non-profit consortium of independently-owned arts and crafts businesses from the Richmond metro area. We have members from Colonial Heights to Northside to the West End, and everywhere in between. We put on two craft shows each year - Spring Bada-Bing and Handmade Holiday - and provide networking and support for our member businesses as well as the community at large.

What does joining the RCM entail?

 You will be expected to:
  • join us for regular meetings (scheduled at the membership's convenience),
  • participate in the planning for our two annual craft shows + other events
  • contribute to online conversations regarding the group's needs (this primarily occurs on Facebook at the moment)
  • vote on various decisions
  • bring new ideas for events and out-reach projects to the group
  • contribute to our blogs, newsletters, social media, and other marketing efforts
  • assist on various subcommittees (PR, financial, etc...) according to your strengths and the needs of the group

What are we looking for in a new member?

First and foremost, we're looking for new members who will fit well into our organization. You should be friendly, willing to help out, and able to contribute.

We're looking for balance in our membership. This includes the type of business you run, the strength of your business, the new perspectives you'll bring to the group, etc...

Critically, we need you to be able to devote time to RCM, especially in advance of our two craft shows. These two shows have heavy planning periods in February-April, and in October-December each year. We are working out the details of the show, coordinating lots of moving pieces, and trying to construct the best show possible. We need all hands on deck in order to pull it off. Furthermore, we are working on less intense projects throughout the year, like classes and seminars for the community, that will require your input.

[Edited in italics.] Apparently we scared a lot of you guys off with our warnings against being over-committed. Being an RCM member isn’t just about eating bon-bons and jurying applications for craft shows. (Seriously, someone bring bon-bons next time.) We get it – life is busy and full, and rarely do we all get the chance to say “phew, life is slowing down.”  We also know that busy people get things done! There *are* a lot of things to do, but that’s why we need more people to help share the load. If you can make phone calls, write blog posts, attend meetings, and maybe even code a little website action or stay on top of a spreadsheet, then please re-consider! All of us in the craft mafia have busy family lives, busy businesses, and we even try to relax once in awhile. If you did not apply because you were afraid of the time commitment, then reach out to one of us; we’d be happy to chat with you about the realities of being an RCM member.

How many new members are we looking for?

That depends. We're not looking to replace our new alumni on a one-to-one basis, we're trying to round out our group for the future. We're also more than happy to consider partnership businesses, which could influence how many applicants we accept. While we want to accept every phenomenal applicant, we also need to respect the limits of a well-run group, which means limiting the number of members. Finding the perfect number of new members is a little bit of alchemy, as we balance new people with our existing crew.

So who's in the Richmond Craft Mafia, anyway?

Our current members and their businesses are:

Maryellen Kim, Twiststyle
Janet Lundy, Monkeydog Studio
Sarah Turner, Turnerbots
Jay Frank and Bri Bevan, Itty Bitty Press
Nicole Lee, Nicole Lee Designs
Kelly McCants, Modern June
Suzanne Vinson, SilverTree Art
Phil and Meghan Barbato, Phil Barbato

If you're interested...

Please send an email to rvacraftmafia at with the following info:

Your Name(s):
Telephone number:
Email address:
Crafting background:
Business name:
Business website(s):
Business description:
Date business started:
Why do you want to join Richmond Craft Mafia?
What RCM events have you attended or participated in?
What skills do think you would you bring to the group?
What's your opinion of the Richmond craft scene?
Do you have any professional experience working in a group environment? If so, tell us about it.
In a group project setting, do you tend to lead or execute?
Do you have a "day job," or is your crafty business your full time gig?
Have you ever organized a large community event? Or a small one?

What do you like best/least about Richmond?
3 interesting facts about you:
Additional comments:

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