Now it’s your turn to suffer through the decisions…which class to take?…which passion to indulge in? Of course, the obvious answer is to take lots because winters are long and fiber indulgences are never a waste.
We quietly launched the web pages on Saturday before Easter and think that we’ve got all the glitches worked out. Please let us know if you find a hiccup and sign up…choose several and share it with your friends…I follow all the fiber events I can find across New England and not to sound immodest, but we’ve got the best variety and quality you’ll find anywhere across the continent!
With the classes in place, at your request, half of the planning committee is directing its attention to finding the best lodging options for you (as the campground manager, it’s hard for me to imagine you wanting to stay anywhere but Searsport Shores but I know, it’s just an opinion :)) so we’ll find you some good hotel/motel/B&B options too…you’ll see the letter to lodging establishments tonight at the end of this posting.
The other half of the committee is working on finding the best vendors for your shopping pleasure…they’re searching through Etsy vendors of interest, talking with guilds and other festivals…when we’ve got the accommodation page in place, we’ll start posting the wonderful vendors who have already signed up for the best spaces on the Boulevard.
Last but certainly not least, we’ve moved forward with a bit of advertising…the first and second year it was only word of mouth, the third year, Super designer Janice Webster volunteered to create ads for the Fiber Frolic and the NH Sheep and Wool Festival schedule booklets…now we also have postcards featuring the Artist in Residence passed around to all the fiber’holics we run across…and tah dah…this is our next “big” step…the ad that you’ll be seeing in both Spin-Off and Handwoven this summer…we’re growing up each year a little bit each year…isn’t it wonderful? Next year, if the fates are shining on us, we’ll be running similar ads in quilting and woodworking magazines too.
So fear not, we’re working diligently to bring you the bestest, most wonderful Fiber College yet…because we’re committed to educating creative expression…
In case you really are interested, this is the letter that went out tonight to other lodging establishments within 15 minutes of the Fiber College campus…
Dear Lodging Friend,
Last year Fiber College on Penobscot Bay greeted 800 students, friends, shoppers and curious on-lookers the weekend after Labor Day. Many were local visitors but most lived more than a daytrip away and stayed on the grounds of Searsport Shores Ocean Campground or in local B&B’s and motels. As a completely volunteer organization, we hadn’t put very much effort into directing people to specific lodging properties but based on the number of phone calls we’ve received over the past month, we know things need to change. This is the 5th year of successful festivities and we’ve expanded our 2010 program to over 57 classes, 15 free demonstrations and more vendors than ever before. We’ve doubled our marketing efforts and people have been noticing.
Most important to you, fiber artists are asking where they can stay if they don’t camp. So I’ve promised to make the accommodations page on our website (www.FiberCollege.org) a priority and wish to have some information up ASAP…would you like to be included? We will include anyone who asks by providing all of the necessary contact information but will start the page with featured properties…those who offer a special treat for Fiber College attendees. The treats could be as simple as thoughtful gift at check-in (participants love little locally made treats) or a lodging discount to Fiber College participants or as elaborate as a package of coupons and maps directing them to your favorite haunts…to be used during this stay or the next. If you’d like to talk more about the possibilities, please don’t hesitate to ask…the options are as fun as the folks who venture up to take classes and eat their meals by the ocean.
When you think fiber (and not the dietary kind)…think of knitters, spinners, quilters, weavers, woodworkers and cutting edge color designers…don’t back yourself into a corner of imagining these folks to be a “passel of Grannies on an outing!” Fiber people are generally easy going, happy women and couples of upper income brackets. They travel as singles looking for lodging with folks of similar interests or as groups and guilds from the surrounding states. Students and their companions are choosing to come to the Searsport/Belfast area for its natural beauty, the quality of the artists (Fiber College has hosted top instructors from a dozen states and Canada) and organic farming reputation of our area. Did I mention the spectacular weather we generally enjoy once the “season” passes? With notable exceptions, the people we gather with have already visited Maine on many occasions and are now looking to combine a unique education experience while they vacation on the coast…as a host, encourage them to stay long past the last Fiber College class on Sunday afternoon.
Please familiarize yourself with the website and join us for a great weekend…but quickly though, the pressure is on!