Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Rug Catalog

by John Aldrich

Early in the history of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program Linda realized that one of the important ways of helping Elders support themselves in their traditional way of life was to help create a market for their rugs. This came about when several weavers asked Linda to take their rugs to Park City and try to sell them. This effort evolved into the annual rug show which will be in its 21st iteration this November.

Although the rug show provides the largest outlet for the textiles of our Elders, this is a once-a-year event. To provide a market for rugs throughout the year the rug catalog was developed to facilitate additional sales.

The inventory of rugs held by the Program constitutes "the catalog". Rugs are added to the catalog continuously, but the bulk of the new weavings are acquired during the spring and fall food runs when Elders bring their rugs to the events. Most are purchased outright although a few are taken on consignment.

This photograph shows Elders and their families displaying their crafts at the conclusion of the Big Mountain food run this spring. Many items will be purchased by volunteers attending the run and Linda will acquire many of the remaining rugs for the catalog.

At any one time there are typically 250 to 300 rugs available for purchase. The weaver determines the price for the rug, and the Program adds no mark up. So every dollar spent on a rug purchase ends up in the hands of the weaver.

A printed rug catalog is produced once a year after the rugs that were acquired at the spring food runs have been processed. This tradition started years ago, and the Elders take great pride in seeing their rugs in a printed book. The current version of the catalog is sixty pages and contains pictures of all the rugs in our inventory when it was created in late June. The book can be purchased through the Trading Post section of the web site.

But since rugs are being added and sold throughout the year, the printed catalog is not the most up-to-date source of information. The web site's Rug Catalog represents the most current listing of available rugs.

In addition to the on-line rug catalog and the rug show, sales are made at a variety of special events such as the Park City Farmers' Market, annual sheep dog trials at Soldier Hollow, and other sales events.

Here rugs are offered for sale at a one-day sales event at the 10,000 Villages store in Sugar House last year.

1 comment:

  1. I like the fact that when I buy a rug, the money goes straight to the weaver.