However, a certain percentage of the work is neither creative nor
handcrafted and when that type of work is in the same show I think
it can definitely effects sales and also effect the look and
reputation of the show.
I know my post yesterday came off sounding really, really defensive.
I know you don’t have a problem with beaded jewelry. I think I have a
problem with beaded jewelry. I agree with you and I am also
extremely frustrated, but I think my point is, what can
artists/exhibitors do that will actually affect change? Talking about
it here is not really going to do anything. It’s possible someone
from the ACC show may be watching, but I doubt anyone from any of the
local shows you are in are going to find out.
I don’t know what your jewelry looks like, so it’s hard to say
anything helpful. I tried to look up some of the Art Fairs and Craft
Shows in your area, but there are a ton. You probably know all the
advice anyone could give already anyway…things like visit the show
if you can to find out what it’s like before you apply, talk to other
previous exhibitors to find if they had a good/bad experience, look
at what you have to offer and compare it to what people are buying
nowadays. We’ve all heard this stuff before and I empathize. You feel
like you’re doing everything you can and then tax time comes and it’s
not all it’s cracked up to be.
I have been applying to this really big, really profitable (if you
can get in) show in New York state for (I think) 4 years. I try
everything I can. I make my jewelry look as interesting as I can. I
show things to the jury that I know sell well. I have beautiful
slides. I have a nice booth. I am always waitlisted. I go to the show
and everything I think I am doing right is wrong. There are
exhibitors who have mass produced components in their jewelry (stuff
right out of Rio and my jewelry does too, but if they can do it, why
can’t I?), there are strung things all over the place (they don’t
cost the customer 15 but probably 1500 dollars) and the things I see
(sorry) lack any kind of individuality or creativity. What do I do?
Well, I continue to apply. I continue to try every strategy I can. I
actually call the organizer/juror of the show and ask her what I can
do. That’s all I can do. It’s frustrating but, it is what it is. I
choose to still try and you better believe that I will not give up
until I reach my objective. I am #6 on the waitlist for a show on
May25. If the phone rings, I will be ready. I am determined.
I actually do know of someone who does (and I don’t think should be
allowed to) do the ACC Baltimore show, but what can I say? It says
right on the website “the highest quality handmade craft available in
America”. Buying a clasp, beadalon, and a bunch of beads and
stringing them together does not meet that criteria.
My husband says “they have to have that in the show, people buy it
and the promoters want the show to be successful” I know I’m starting
to ramble now. Some things in life just aren’t fair, but you do what
you can do. That’s all anyone can do.
I wish you the best of luck in everything and wish there was
something I could do to help…maybe I’ll organize my own show
sometime and give these people a real run for their money. You never