Not Another Awkward Party: What You Need to Know About the AHAS Awards

I wanted to share with you an email I sent to out yesterday. First if you didn't get this email-- WHY AREN'T YOU ON OUR LIST? :) I wrote this because I know that introverts make up a huge portion of the handmade demographic-- and I know many are not into parties because they can be cliquey and awkward. I want you to know that is not what our awards are about!

Hi Friends!

If you've been on this newsletter for any length of time, you know that the 3rd Annual AHAS Awards is happening April 23rd in Los Angeles. 

For some of you (I'm looking at you, my introvert friends!), this sounds both awesome and terrifying. You've been burned on awkward parties before (high school, college, young adulthood and beyond... awkward parties can strike at any time!). I know I have.

Awkward parties happen because #1) you have nothing to do unless you have a friend/friends and #2) there is a division of cool kids vs. uncool kids. 

I will address #2 first. I have repeated this unofficial motto of Academy of Handmade again and again, but:

There is no cool kids table.

Except that we are all cool kids and there will be tables for us. ;) But seriously, this isn't how we roll. We are made up of people who have decided that community is important to them, so naturally we attract folks who like to meet and talk with other people who are like them and who are not like them. Academy of Handmade has intentionally sought to attract people who value this for the sake of valuing it-- not because there is clique to join or status ladder to climb. People snobs are not our people.

OK, so now that we have gotten that out of the way, I will now address #1. There arethings to do and occupy your time-- no need to awkwardly hang out by a plant or spend more time than necessary in the restroom! Here are eight things you can do:

  1. Browse the gallery of maker-made raffle items (p.s. if you are a Finalist, previous year's Finalist OR an #ahasmember, you can donate here) that will benefit the very worthy cause of The Downtown Women's Center whose Made by DWC program helps homeless women become handmade entrepreneurs.
  2. Meet people in line to get wine from Barrel + Ink /beer/nonbooze at the bar manned by our vary gracious location hosts, The Wheelhouse
  3.  Buy raffle tickets for said raffle in #1. :)
  4. Enjoy music and light refreshments while touring The Wheelhouse's rad Arts District space that includes a patio.
  5. Take a photo at our step and repeat wall, sponsored by Spoonflower.
  6. Meet nice people whose work is extremely cool. One example: OurCreativeLive Master Maker Robert Mahar's talent is only matched by his niceness. Plus our local chapter leaders will be there, and I only let nice people become leaders!
  7. Meet awesome sponsors who love supporting makers like The UPS Store andPaper Mart.
  8. Support other makers by being there when we announce the winners at the show. Just your mere presence there will be a representation of thousands of other makers who are in support of their work. Of the people who are working hard to make handmade more professional and worthy of recognition.

I realize a trip to Los Angeles isn't in the cards for everyone-- and I am always honored when out-of-staters/towners make the trek. I will celebrate with you in spirit if you can't come!

For those of you who are local and those of you dying to take a fun trip to LA (I hear it's up and coming! ;)), I hope I've convinced you that this event will be a fun night out. Don't wait to get your tickets-- we have a new location with a harder capacity limit

Can't wait to celebrate with everyone-- whether you're present at the show or not!
AHAS Director

Let's Not Awkward Party Together