Featured Retailer of the Month

In 2001, right out of college, Karissa Masse, owner of The League Of NH Craftsmen North Conway Gallery, built a studio on Seavey Street in North Conway Village with another artist and opened her own pottery business. She also taught art at Fryeburg Academy in nearby Fryeburg, Maine.

As their business grew, Karissa and her partner started looking for a larger commercial space to buy and, as luck would have it, the then-owners of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Gallery, also in North Conway Village, decided that they wanted to sell their business. 

Karissa, now with a young son, had been planning to put him in day care and continue teaching, However, when the League’s headquarters in Concord, NH, decided that the building should be sold with the business, Karissa and her partner decided this was the opportunity they had been looking for. That was in 2006. 

              As a toddler, her son Noah was a fixture in the store, from helping at the
jewelry display cases to actually checking customers out!

Karissa bought out her partner in 2016, expanded the store, and renovated and enlarged the studios downstairs. Prior to Covid, she hosted numerous craft classes, including basket weaving, silk dying, and stained glass, in addition to pottery classes. She does plan to bring all these classes back, but for now she’s concentrating on the pottery classes, with five teachers helping to manage the load. The pottery classes are very popular and well attended. 

Pottery classes are held in the Gallery’s Studio, Fall though Spring.

Karissa has been managing the North Conway League gallery since 2006, but it has been in operation in North Conway since 1932! It started during the Great Depression, as one of the first League galleries to open when the League of NH Craftsmen organization first began as part of the Cottage Industries Movement. Karissa is proud to be the current caretaker of this historical place.

The non-profit League of NH Craftsmen organization has been jurying craftspeople since its inception, and it holds the country’s oldest craft fair each summer. New craftsmen are juried every year, as others retire.

“It’s wise to be impulsive when shopping here,” advises Karrissa, “because so much of what we carry is one-of-a-kind. What you see and love today might be gone next week, never to return.”  

A significant amount of Karissa’s business is now online. Started during COVID, online sales have continued to grow every year. Jewelry is probably her biggest seller, with a diverse selection from at least 50 NH jewelers.  Hand-blown glass, framed prints, pottery, and fiber arts are big sellers too. 

Karissa is especially excited to have the amazing Blair Labella back in the gallery,
with a brand-new shipment of beautiful bezel-set beach stone jewelry.

 At the Gallery, you can find lots of fabulous handmade Christmas presents across multiple mediums for your loved ones.

Support local artists this holiday season!