I would like to extend my condolences to Carol Sedestrom Ross's family and friends. Carol died suddenly from a heart attack on June 14. Her passing marks an important milestone in the business of the nation's fine craft shows. She was probably the most consequential figure, bringing craftspeople into the mainstream and creating quality marketplaces so they could earn a living.
Carol was the founder of the American Craft Council, who started the first wholesale craft market in the U.S. in 1973 at the fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY. Carol's idea at that time was "If I could just figure out how to start some craft markets we could have beautiful things made in our own country.
Probably 90% of the 500 people who showed in that first fair I organised at Rhinebeck in the early 1970's had some other job. When I left Rhinebeck ten years later probably 90% of the exhibitors were making their living from selling their craft."
Read more from her co-worker Mary Strope in this discussion:
Here is an excellent article from 1998 where Carol was interviewed on the business of crafts:
You should read it!