New Orleans Craft Mafia –

The members of the New Orleans Craft Mafia (myself included) have decided to kick start holiday giving a little early this year with our Handmade Holiday Gift-Away! Just for signing up for our e-mail newsletter, you’ll be automatically entered to win cool prizes created by NOCM members.

The Handmade Holiday Gift-away runs from November 1st through November 30th, and the winners of the three fabulous prize packages will be chosen on December 1st and announced throughout the month of December via the NOCM newsletter. A special “Loyalty Prize” will be awarded, as well, to one lucky recipient who signed up for our newsletter previous to the November 1, 2006 contest start date.

The Handmade Holiday Gift-away was conceived in appreciation of shoppers who patronize and otherwise support the indie craft artists, designers, and shop owners of the New Orleans Craft Mafia. It is also our hope to raise awareness for all our fellow artists/crafters in New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast.

“It’s important to support independent businesses everywhere, but especially in these regions,” says Rachelle Matherne, owner of and founder of the New Orleans Craft Mafia, adding that small businesses in New Orleans are struggling right now in an economic climate where big business gets governmental preference and the customer base has been cut by more than half. “We are still feeling the hurt from last year’s disaster. Though it may not be in the national consciousness as much as it was before, we still need your love and support.”

You can view the contents of the prize packages, read the contest rules, and enter to win here.

If you’d like to meet the members of the NOCM in person and see their crafty wares up close and personal, the group will also host a “Last Stop Shop” holiday market at The Big Top (1638 Clio Street) on Thursday, December 21 from 6-10pm. It will double as a re-Launch party, since the original Launch Party scheduled for September 2005 was curtailed by the hurricane. This is the official kick-off for monthly NOCM-sponsored craft markets, which will begin in January at The Big Top.

We are currently accepting applications for like-minded crafty guest vendors for our Last Stop Shop Holiday Market as well as the upcoming Monthly Markets. You can apply here to be a guest vendor. We are also always accepting applications for new members of the NOCM.

Some of us will also be present at the Lower Decatur Holiday Craft Bazaar this Saturday, November 11th, and even more of us will be at the Lower Decatur Bazaar on December 16th, so be sure to stop by and say hi!

Remember how important it is to shop local and independent this holiday season! Show your commitment to the local economy by signing the Holiday Pledge.

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