For the past six years the owners of fancy home furnishings shops from all over the world have journeyed to Washington to shop at the Heritage Market of American Crafts. Then last year Operation Desert Storm started just before the show, and many buyers stayed away.
"Everyone was hesitant to come into Washington, afraid they were going to be bombed," says show organizer Barbara Pitt. "The hotel had a fire drill, and I never saw a room clear out so fast in my life."
This year, as compensation for the 150 craftspeople exhibiting, Ms. Pitt decided to open the show -- formerly to the trade only -- to the public on February 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to give the craftspeople a chance to sell their show samples.