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Growing up in the ’70s and ’80s—long before there were computers and internet in every home and a TV in every room—my parents put me in every type of class offered, hoping to find the prodigy in me. Unfortunately, I was too tall for ballet, too slow for tennis, too uncoordinated for sports, too tone-deaf for choir, and too undisciplined for music.

Along the way, though, I discovered a love for creating things. For “crafting,” you might say. And I didn’t need a class to get me started.

You see, my mom is the original Martha Stewart, and my dad is a second-generation florist. I inherited my love of creating from them. Participating in groups like the Girl Scouts and the 4-H Club taught me the specifics.

Remember macramé? There were plant-holders, belts, clothing and wall art. When I was in 5th grade, my macramé wall-art piece won first place at the county fair and then the Illinois State fair! When I received my blue ribbon and a check for $56 dollars, I was in 5th-grade heaven.

What does this have to do with Shoppe Artisan?

After spending 30 years producing tradeshows and events, I’ve returned to my first love—and just in time for the current resurgence of custom, hands-on production: Shoppe Artisan marries that child-like appreciation for all things handmade with my professional passion for creating exciting events.

In the exhibition world, I’ve done it all—everything from selling exhibit space to managing national events—including four of the top 100 trade shows in the U.S. (two events per year for Surf Expo and California Gift Show). More recently, I was SVP of Apparel for AmericasMart, a 1 million-sq.-ft. wholesale facility featuring more than 550 showrooms of women’s apparel, fashion accessories, fine jewelry, and children’s apparel, accessories and toys. What better foundation to bring into the artisan arena, where I can help support talented artists from around the nation with a thriving public venue?

Shoppe Artisan, brings together independent makers of products with discerning shoppers during the busy holiday season. Market Maker Events is an event production and management firm that sets the standard for quality, success and leadership within an industry. As such, all of our events truly will live up to the name “Market Maker.”

Market Maker Events invites both talented artisans and their discerning fans to be part of the second annual Shoppe Artisan event, Dec. 9-11, 2016. Mark your calendars now, then start making your list—and checking it twice. 😉

Lori Kisner

President, Market Maker Events