2020 was a tough year for fiber vendors — and their customers! While cancelling in-person fiber shows was (and still is) necessary, it has also been a huge loss for everyone.
One of the things we love most about this industry is our incredible community, ans it has been amazing to watch that community come together to support each other during these difficult times.
Back in the early days of the pandemic, Fiberworld’s founder Kel Bachus wanted to help too. Kel is a game developer and a professor of game design at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. As a creator of virtual worlds they knew that a really good virtual experience could be not just an “almost as good as” replacement for in person events, but its own awesome, immersive, rewarding experience. They pulled some awesome game development students together, and spent the summer creating a show meant to be just virtual.
The thing is, there’s a lot of advantages to a virtual-only show. The biggest one is accessibility. Anyone can attend, be a vendor, or instruct, no matter where in the world they are. We made this show as a website, so that attendees could experience it no matter what device they were using, without any additional apps or software.
As we open up that access, it also makes sense to revisit what we want from these shows. Our content includes not just crafting but also what we call “lifestyle,” the idea of ourselves where we live, how we live — that our art is deeply connected to not just home and family but also community. We also want to have truly representative content, from all the people and voices and experiences that are a part of fiber.
In our first year, the majority of our vendors and instructors were from the US; that’s who we know so that’s where we started. We have many plans to continue expanding our line-up of vendors and instructors until we have a truly world wide show.
So welcome to Fiberworld. We’re over the moon to have you!