Blackout nightmare

Hello folks: Hopefully most of you did not have to deal with the
horrible black out that hit the east coast last week. I was suppose
to do a Trunk Show on Thursday night (and yes I got stuck downtown
with my diplay cases and jewelry for a short while) and then I had a
shopping Party Friday night. My main source of income now are
designer markets and shopping parties that I pay to attend- however I
usually make at least 5-10 times what I pay for attending these
events so its worth it. Since July and August sales are not really
fantastic I heard that these two events I was going to attend were
big money makers from other designers. The serve free booze at these
parties and they give away lots of free goodies to get shoppers in
the mood to spend.

The cost of the two shows combined was $700. The contracts
specified that there will be no cancelations or date changes. Well
the promoters for these two diffent shows (and they are different
promoters) are not rescheduling these events and they are not
refunding money to vendors. To make matters worse my sales on
Saturday were ZIP because no one in NYC ventured out to shop. A
triple whammy on my part. Like most designers I live hand to mouth
and I was depending on the income to pay off bills and I am really
upset. For the future I was thinking about trying to get some kind of
insurance coverage for sudden loss of income and projected income if
there is such a thing. If anyone has such a policy please share your
experiences with it.

Right now I am so upset I am trying to think of how on earth I can
raised thousands of dollars by the end of the month to pay my bills!

Bye for now,

Right now I am so upset I am trying to think of how on earth I can
raised thousands of dollars by the end of the month to pay my

Hi DeDe, I don’t know anything about the insurance issue, but you
might qualify for aid from CERF (Craft Emergency Relief Fund). Check

PS. This is no comfort for those who suffered during the blackout
and I wish you all a full recovery, but this is worth a look:


De why don’t you try selling on the street a few times this week it
looks to be nice thru fri. as long as the humidity stays off people
will be out, and loving the weather change! All you need is the tax
id # you could make a few hundred or more anyway. I prefer 68th and
mad. area it is especially good when work is getting out until 9 pm
to say the least, it is packed with women and if you got the good
stuff you will get many hits just don’t stand directly in front of
jewelry/accessories stores they will complain and you will have to
move. The private police force they use up there is very friendly,
but they do pander to the stores’ wishes.dp

Dede, What a horrible incident. I would check out insurance coverage

Tell them you saw them on Orchid via the SF SNAG conference. They
were one of the vendors there. See whether or not they would
provide coverage for this kind of incident.

Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph: 781/891-3854
Fx: 781/891-3857
email: @Karen_Christians
Board Member of SNAG

DeDe, Look into ‘event insurance’. I believe that is what its called.
Alot of retailers use it as an advertising gimmick. Lets say, I run
an ad in the media that says “If you buy your engagement ring on
August 18, and it rains at least 1/2” inch on Aug 29, your purchase
is free." For this promo ,I would buy a policy that pays off on any
purchases that were made on Aug 18 that fits the spelled out
criterea. I understand that there are specific companies that write
these polocies,as they keep weather charts ,and statistics. I know
that this is not the same type of situation that you have
experienced, but it at least might get you pointed in the right
direction. Sorry for your tuff turn of events. That was certainly a
rare scenario that evolved there, and I’m sure alot of financial
damage was done many,large and small, that will never be recovered.
Our area was hit with freak flooding during the 4th of July weekend.
We received over 10" of rain in 1 evening, and hundreds of families
lost everything they owned, never to be recovered, because this being
an area not prone to flooding, practically noone carries flood

As for the promoter(s) of the 2 events that you were burned on,
thats a rather crappy way for him to do business. ALL OF THE VENDORS
should get together and let him know about their consideration for
future events of his , knowing that he has NO CONCERN FOR ANYONE!
Just a thought. Ed

Hello Everyone:

thanks for the advice and input. One of the promoters will
reimburse vendors he says within 60 days. The other promoter I was
dealing with I am going to have to eat it.

Take care

DeDe - I am so sorry about your devastating experience. CERF might
help, and if not you might try to make arrangements with your
creditors so as to pay them over time - many times when an event
occurs which is both not foreseeable and beyond your control (and
well known to the whole nation) you can do yourself what people in
the credit repair business do: call your creditors and indicate that
you have X amount of total debt, X amount of income with more to
come, and that you can pay each creditor a proportionate share of
your income until the debt is paid or until you are back to your
typical monthly or periodic amount owed - ie, until you get back to

For the future, there are coverages for both individuals and
businesses which have various terms: “disaster” insurance, "hazzard"
insurance, “casualty” insurance - I am not at all sure what might
apply but hopefully SNAG or JBT, or Am. Craft Council, or any of the
other jeweler/craftworker organizations available or to which you
might be a member could help you find coverage for the cancellation
of shows or other income opportunities which are suddenly cancelled
and for which you have spent money. Sheridan

Hello Dede, Really sorry to hear about your bad experience due to
the black out in N.Y. ruining two shows. The promoter is certainly
out some money already spent on things like postage, advertising
expenses (at least I’d HOPE there were some expenses on that item),
and renting the space. BUT, it would be fair to prorate and return
the rest to the disappointed vendors like you. IMHO even if the
entry form said something about no refunds, it is not ethical for the
vendor to keep that money. It really says something about that
person’s values (or lack there of). I’d at least send the promoter a
letter expressing your disappointment, recognizing the outlay of
funds for promotion, and requesting either a rescheduled event or a
proportional refund of your fee. End with something like “None of us
were at fault for the black out. A partial refund not only is a fair
resolution, but preserves goodwill.” Can’t hurt; might help. Hang in
there Dede. Most creditors will work with a person to resolve a
temporary set-back that has created cash-flow problems. Let them
know about your situation, and request some flexibility in how to
meet the debt. You’ll be OK. Judy in Kansas

 As for the promoter(s) of the 2 events that you were burned on,
thats a rather crappy way for him to do business. ALL OF THE
VENDORS should get together and let him know about their
consideration for future events of his, knowing that he has NO

Keep in mind that the promoters may be in the same situation as
DeDe. They probably had money already spent to pay for the venue,
and advertising that they can’t recoup either. Perhaps a partial
refund is in order or a discounted booth fee at another show.


Have any of you all ever tried to contact CERF in an emergency?? On
my 40th birthday, the outdoor show I was doing in the Outer
Banks of NC got hit by a microburst or small tornado at night and
many of us, including myself, lost our entire displays. My tent
ended up in a tree, weights and all!! Fortunately, there was no
jewelry in the booth. CERF was always one of the charities I gave to
on a yearly basis, and when I tried to contact them for help, they
told me that I was out of luck. The catastrophe wasn’t big enough,

Wendy Newman

Ya know, I have never been one to sympathize overly with the ‘big
guy’ out there who leaves us ‘little guys’ hanging in a situation
like this. Most of us can ill afford to lose an entry fee and the
income from a show. But, lets take a fair look at the other side,
too. Perhaps this promoter (perhaps not, too) has a large investment
into leasing a venue and contracting with security people, etc. Not
to mention advertising, and a host of other expenses. When something
like this happens, he doesn’t necessarily recoup any of his costs,
either. Hopefully a good promoter would find a way to help the
artists, too. Share the burden, as it were. I hate that DeDe took
such a hit, but those risks are part of our business. We all take
them, we all have to learn from them, we all have to do our best to
prepare for them. Jim

Hello Everybody:

What I learned from my big fall out was not to put all your eggs in
one basket which I do from time to time- I have to stop living from
week to week and try to plan better so when something bad does happen
I am not out of luck. I have been talking to a lot of different
designers (clothings- shoes- who do the same kind of shopping events
I do) and the contracts for some of these events are all the same.
If weather or a disaster stikes the promoter is NOT responsible and
money will not be refunded because I guess they end up losing a lot
of money too. I just hate the fact that the designer always ends up
eatting things. We are where the buck stops as they say. I tried
going to CERF once and the fact from time to time I will take on an
industrial design freelance projects to help pay the bills
disqualified me from help.

Oh well- may we call have a profitable and happy FALL!!


CERF I hope people don’t have the impresion that CERF doesn’t come
through in a crises.( there are two posting in which people seem
disappointed in theor effort to get assitance) Cerf is a great
orgainization with limited resources. They do have to choose among
those who need help for those who need it most. They respond to
losses of studios & homes and to medical crises. If one loses a show
to a blackout, how is that different (In result) to just having a
really bad show? CERF certainly can’t back us up because we’ve had a
bad month! A booth lost to bad weather? That is a financial loss
and a big inconvenience, but not life altering. Back in the old
days, none of us had tents to lose , but what did we know?. CERF is
there for us when we are in desperate need, not just bummed out or
hurt. They are back up for the times when our own resourcefulness
and strength has reached it’s limit.

So here’s a big THANK YOU !!! to CERF for all the people they’ve
helped and hopes that none would ever need them again. Be well out
there! Marianne Hunter

I really do feel bad for DeDe and anyone else who loses out as a
result of uncontollable circumstances. What has bothered me about
this whole thread, though, is the feeling that some here (as in any
walk of life) seem to have what has become known as the ‘entitlement
mentality’. We are all in this (risky) business by choice. Nobody
is holding a gun to our heads and making us do this. It is risky.
If you don’t like risks, go work in Walmart or corporate America.
Risks there, too, you say? Yup. I guess the point of this rant is
that we are each responsible for our own lives. Nasty things happen,
whether it is blackouts, gallery consignment ripoffs, or whatever. It
is up to each of us to recover and learn, not to sit and wonder who
we can hit up for relief. DeDe, it sounds from this latest post like
you are recovering from the emotional blow. I hope you will soon
recover from the financial one, too. I can empathize and sympathize.
I spend way too much time wondering how I am going to make the car
payment or the rent because of slow payments, too. Sadly, it is a
situation I have limited control over, but I somehow muddle through
and get on with it. Thank goodness for my trade accounts, who do pay
quickly. If I always had to rely on the retail side, I’d be in
really deep. Jim


This is in replay to Jim’s last email. I don’t think most of us
feel self entitled- I just think when the sh#t hits the fan you need
to vent and let off steam and that was what I was doing (please note
I am not challenging what you said- I am just throwing in my point of
view) Now I am getting back into gear and yes I do love what I do but
I had a second career that went down the tubes with 9/11. In fact
most of my friends who were in the same biz as I was left New York
and left their old career behind because the work was not there- I am
not asking for pitty- its just normal to get mad at yourself and
sometimes at the world then you pick your self back up - put on a
smile and go out and tackle the world again. Those are my thoughts
anyway. I wouldn’t trade my ups and downs for the world I guess- it
makes me - me.

Thanks for all the banter on this subject everyone- I think its
really healthy that we all have this chance to discuss and share!

Good things for us all!

Take care everybody!

dedemetal jewelry