Richard Hart, in Baltimore after doing the ACC show for the first
time. Experiencing a steep and expensive learnig curve, but I am
building a foundation for success. That's my story and I am
sticking to it.
Please share your experience with us. Inquisitive minds would like to
i have recently returned from acc baltimore and the buyer’s market
of american craft in philly.
my experience was fabulous, for me.
BMAC: buyer’s were professional, looking for type of work and price
point. businesslike, but real, down to earth and friendly. i got 11
new galleries, all high quality, professional, with promise of
future relationships. i am THRILLED about my experience there,
especially as a 1st timer.
ACC: buyers for the most part lacked professionalism. the show is
over-run by women who say they are “designers” or “corporate art
buyers” who actually are looking to buy jewelry at half price. it
was essential for me to say that my minimum is $500 OR 10 pieces.
meaning, you are not allowed to buy a one of a kind piece for $500
and meet my minimum, you must buy a group of work to sell at your
shop. not just one item for yourself at half price. and the thing
that gets me is that these ladies actually copped an attitude with
me when i would not sell to them at wholesale or discount! argh!
however, i did acquire 2 new very high quality galleries at ACC,
which i am SUPER excited to work with. therefore, the show was worth
the money, time, and effort for me. this is the 7th time i have done
this show and the best ever. (10X the previous money.) i also saw
several galleries there who had just ordered form me in Philly, so i
know there are some great galleries that come through the Baltimore
the retail portion of ACC for me was so-so. it has potential for
people, as i know other jewelers who had a great show. who knows the
reasons for this? the quality of work, the popularity, the price
point, etc all play roles, i think.
but i have to say that i am super glad i did BOTH shows.
i would talk money with you, but i have learned that a great show
for me is a crappy show for someone else, financially speaking. so
it is all relative. i am thrilled overall with my 2 wholesale shows.
i got more business, more positive feedback, more learning, than i
have had in a long time.
I have been involved in the Baltimore show since 1986, either working
for someone or doing it myself. being from maryland I was born and
raised on the show. Not only has the show gotten too big but the
crowds just do not come anymore. There are many reasons for it. Most
people that I know did half of what they normaly do. Combine the
weather with the economy and you have a pretty mediocre show to say
the least. Do not take it personaly.
Philly was awful for high end. Price of gold terrified the small
galleries. Large galleries were already overstocked.
ACC? Their wholesale is so pathetic I tossed my now 9 year tenure
back to them, informing them that I had no intention of ever doing
the show again unless they lost the Wholesale-Only section, checked
to see that those they juried in were actually wholesalers, and
checked that the so called “buyers” were actually storefronts and
I always rock in ACC retail…When I get in…lol. This year I made
private appointments instead. Its looking more and more like the end
of an era show-wise.
Lisa, (My arucana chickens are laying blue eggs and the parrot even
got into the act…white egg and an I-will-keel-yew-if-yew-touch-mah-
egg attitude…sheesh!) Topanga, CA USA
I have never had the pleasure of being admitted as an artist into
ACC or BMAC. I have, however attended each year for the past 7 as a
buyer… I have had the priveledge of assisting a local gallery
owner with her buying each year at these shows.
We would arrive at each show with a pretty aggressive plan of
attack. We would know exactly which artists we needed to see from
our existing inventory after a thorough analysis of what has been
selling, price points, etc. We would know in which media we needed
to find how many new artists, and would aggressively look for them.
We would know how much we wanted to commit in orders to each artist.
We always would really have to run to get every artist’s order
written in the 2-3 days we had to spend.
We, too, find the "personal shoppers’’ to be a real pain, because
these shows for us are serious business and these folks many times
would keep us from being able to place an order while they dithered
over a single purchase.
Overall, we have found that BMAC does not have the quality that this
particular gallery was looking for. ACC does, but not like it did 5
years ago. It is more and more of a challenge to find fresh work and
well grounded, business like artists. The part I always found
amazing was that this gallery owner always wrote a couple of extra
orders in each media beyond what she needed, because of the amazing
phenomenon of at least 3 or 4 artists who never fill their orders
Just a little insight from the buyer’s perspective