Experience with the Rosen show

Hello all.

This is directed to anyone with experience with the Rosen show

I was juried into the Summer show last year and had a great show. I
reapplied for the Winter show and was rejected. Not enough space in
my category. I was told that you have to do the summer show to do
the winter show, and that the winter show is supposed to be the
"good" show. Some people have told me that they do 10 times the
amount of business at the winter show, it’s a bigger show, more
buyers, etc…

I called my contact at the BMAC and she said that my chances of
getting into the winter show were slim. Someone in my category would
have to cancel for me to even have a chance of getting in. So, here’s
my problem… do I continue to do the Summer Rosen show indefinately
and hope to get in the Winter, or do I cut my losses and find another
show? Does anyone have any experience with the Rosen show and have
any pointers on how to get in to the Winter show. Am I missing

I’ve heard a lot from friends: cut your losses, why bother? My
response is, because I did really well last summer. A lot of people
at the show said, you won’t break even because it’s your first show
here and it’s summer and very slow. But I did more than break even
and the accounts that I picked up are asking why I’m not doing the
winter show. I really really want to do the winter show, I like the
Rosen vibe very much but, I’m afraid it’s going to become a matter of
money. There’s another show (2ce a year) that I can’t do if I do the
summer Rosen, and then I think hmm… 2 shows or 1? It makes more
sense to do two… more exposure, more orders, etc…

So, do I just hang in there and wait for someone to cancel for a spot
to open? And how long should I wait? If anyone has any suggestions,
please let me know!


Personally, I’m a little surprised to read this. I haven’t yet
applied to the Rosen show, but had thought it was a juried show -
meaning that a jury reviews the slides and picks those artists whose
work they feel meets the requirements, is interesting, and sometimes
new and fresh ideas are nice thing to include in a show. This doesn’t
make sense to me. Why are people sending in slides for an application
if it’s run like this?

I’d like more on this because my concern is “why bother
applying” if they only accept new artists if an older artist gives
up their spot. For some reason, I can’t see this being the actual
case. Plus, from a buyer’s perspective, I would think they would
welcome new artists with fresh ideas - along with the established
artist. I thought the show was based on the quality of an artist’s
work, not seniority. Granted, I’m sure the work there is outstanding,
but I’ve also seen work from new artist’s that was also outstanding.

I’d like to hear more on this (hopefully from those that run the
show), because I’m having a hard time believing this is how it’s run

  • although I could very well be wrong. But I hope not.

Hi Amery:

I don’t have any specific info on the Rosen show, but on waiting for
a spot to open… The payoff can sometimes be really big for waiting
in the wings. I was put on the waitlist for one of the Artrider fall
shows last year. I was number three. I got the call 6 days before the
show. I didn’t do the right thing though. when I knew I made the
waitlist I thought “yeah right, I probably won’t get called” I did
other things (which worked out very good but…)I have heard from
other artists who do this particular show that it’s a buying frenzy.
I went to the show and saw people spending everywhere. This year,
I’ll be ready. Hopefully, I’ll get juried right in, but if I have to
be a second-stringer, I will be totally prepared to get the call.

Good luck and if I find anything specific about the rosen show, I
will let you know.

Kim Starbard

p.s. I have heard of artists going to shows and just hanging out by
the gates, hoping for someone to get stuck in traffic or something I

I interviewed Wendy Rosen last spring when I wrote an article about
craft shows as a market for designer jewelry for Colored Stone
magazine. (You can read the entire article in Ganoksin’s archives at

Unlike most shows, the Buyers’ Market “grandfathers” artists who have
exhibited at the show before. They do this because Wendy believes
artists need consistency to establish their business, and she
believes waiting on tenterhooks each year to see if you jury into a
show you’ve done for years is unfair to the artist, and hurts their
business. When vacancies open up, new artists are juried in.

I encourage you to check out her comments on this in the Colored
Stone article – I think it will answer your question. While her
approach does limit the number of new artists that appear in the
show each year, she has a valid point about the difficulty for the
artist of having to start each year fresh. Whether it’s better than
the traditional jury system, I’ll let you and the artists who do
exhibit at the show be the judges.


Suzanne Wade
(508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255

Hi Catherine,

I thought the show was based on the quality of an artist's work,
not seniority. 


There are two types of juried shows: those juried by a panel and
those juried by the promoters. The Rosen show (and quite a few
others) fall into the latter category.

The Rosen show also has a contract/seniority system. That’s just how
it works. You could check with them for the details.

The jurying occurs when a space opens up. That’s when the promoters
would check slides and decide who will get the open slots. It’s not a
first come, first served system so your slides are still very


Once you are in the Winter Rosen, you are in… forevere… Thus
can establish a client base. My suggestion, since you made money in
the Summer show, is tell your customers that you will see them in the
summer, and if there is an opening, mail postcards FAST so that they
will know where to find you in Feb. If you want to do wholesale, it
is a great place to be. They really are true to their people. ACC you
never know if you will get in from one year to another.

I say, go for summer, and soon you will be doing both.

Joan Dulla

Hi Kim,

The payoff can sometimes be really big for waiting in the wings. I
was put on the waitlist for one of the Artrider fall shows last
year. I was number three. 

I know, waiting in the wings is probably what I’ll have to do.
Patience, grasshopper.

But, it also boils down to a question of cold, hard cash. If I get a
call at the last minute, it would cost me an arm and a leg to ship,
fly, get a hotel, etc… I’m in California and the Rosen show is on
the East Coast. But, if that would secure me a spot in the future, I
guess I would take it. Oh my, how desperate do I sound?

p.s. I have heard of artists going to shows and just hanging out by
the gates, hoping for someone to get stuck in traffic or something
I guess. 

I toyed with the idea of actually planning to go, book a hotel, ship
some stuff, get a ticket and just go and show up and see are there
any no-shows. Another Rosen artist recommended that and I crunched
the numbers. If I don’t get in, yikes, it would be an expensive
experiment. If I lived closer, I would do that, without a doubt. Or,
if I had more cash! Ahhh, to be independently wealthy!

Just so everyone knows, I am not really established yet. I just quit
my day job- managing a jewelry store to pursue this full time. My
client list is small, mostly on the West Coast, and I really need to
do more trade shows (I’ve done Cal Gift for a few years now, it’s
local and a good show). I like wholesaling, it suits me. I am also
looking into doing some local retail shows as well.

It’s totally possible that I’m being impatient, my husband tells me
that I need to trust that it’ll work out, that my jewelry is
beautiful and that it does sell. Just to do my best and it’ll
happen. It’s really, really scary out there, though, and I feel like
I’m doing this “for real” now, it’s not just a hobby and I need to
sell, sell, sell! I know, I need to chill!

Thanks for listening everyone!


The Rosen show is a juried wholesale crafts show, it is run like a
business for other businesses. Note: It is not a crafts fair. Rosen’s
contention is: if you are good enough to get juried in, then why the
heck shouldn’t your customers, (meaning stores, galleries, boutiques
etc…), be able to find you there next year? If you don’t make
jewelry for a hobby, this is a very helpful set up in planning your
projected income. If you do make jewelry for a hobby, no offense, but
why should you be taking up the space of an artist who’s only
business is filling repeat orders and consistently doing repeat
business with their customers at a professional wholesale show?
There are other venues for very new artists.

Jewelry is my only source of income. Because I am not a manufacturer,
(some of a kind mostly), and I loathe retail, I rely on certain shows
for a steady income. Rosen is one of those shows. The Rosen show IS,
“based on the quality of the artist’s work”. They figure if your work
is good enough to get in once, unless your work alters radically for
the worse, you have earned your spot. If your work does decline, or
ceases to meet their standards, then they will notify you that
something has to change. If nothing changes for the better by the
next show, then adios.

As far as the summer show, it is not as good, but then no summer
wholesale show is all that successful. You scratch their back, they
will scratch yours. In other words, you need to support their shows.
They are very supportive of their artists, and they make it a very
easy show to do. They stay open late on set up days, and are very
helpful in other ways. One very hot summer found Wendy Rosen driving
around on a cart passing out beers during a very late running set up

From what I have seen, preferred booths and show spaces at Rosen are
awarded on quality, volume and tenure. I have been on the front wall
for many years near the entrance, even though I do not do great
volume. Because of a mix up this year when they changed staff, and I
changed to the Premier section, I ended up in the middle of the pack
again. However, I am hoping that my new work in gold, will make me
stand out enough to have a good show. I will let you know.

If Rosen didn’t run a good show, then there would be plenty of space
for everyone, as people would be dropping out all of the time, but
they don’t. Some do drop out for many different reasons each year,
and then there are always new faces to take their place.

I also do the ACC shows. I have done Baltimore wholesale for many
years as well. Although I have to say that the ACC show is much more
beautiful, both in overall look of the show, booths and in the
quality of work in general,than Rosen, it is not run for anyone who
has a serious business. There is no guarantee that you will be in
next year, regardless of tenure or quality of work. This poses loads
of scheduling and ordering problems for both stores and artists.

One year, a jeweler pal’s husband walked around at the ACC Baltimore
show one year, asking questions of jewelers. He basically took an
informal poll. Turned out that by his reckoning, 70 % of the jewelers
at ACC were either supported by a spouse, or jewelry was not their
main source of income. That very well known jeweler does not bother
to do any ACC shows anymore. That is not to say that the work that
those artist did wasn’t beautiful and technically awesome in some
cases, but who the heck can compete with someone who is being
subsidized? Also, many stores don’t like to deal with amateurs no
matter how spectacular their work as, their orders sometimes don’t
get filled, and it takes up the space of a professional jeweler who
will send them the goods. As for me, if the ACC wholesale does not
change for the better, then I will be skipping their show in the
future. I do less than half there of what I do at Rosen. At this
point, I mostly go to spend time with my sister and her family who
lives just outside of Baltimore.

If you are a new face, you of course get swamped the first show out
no matter where it is. I have not been at Rosen where anyone was
buying “hand over fist”, for some time, but then I haven’t been at
any show like that for some time. In fact, this last summer Rosen
show was the worst show I have done there ever. A combination of
space change and dreadful placement, (only booth at the end of an
aisle, next to the drink cart). I looked like the Great and Powerful
OZ, all by myself, and no one would come up to the booth. We won’t
be doing that again.

Oh…there are also “alternative” shows for both Rosen and ACC. The
one in Baltimore is run by Olga Ganoudis, and is really good, but
really long hours.

Lisa, (had the clothes dryer fixed today. Its in the workshop. Turned
out mouse nests had jammed something inside. When the workman took
the dryer apart and pulled out the nests, all kinds of missing stones
fell out…those theiving little mousie bastards…lol…lol…lol!
Mouse “home decorating”.) Topanga, CA USA

I have encountered difficulties with the Rosen Group, the same ones
who sponsor the Rosen Show. I can understand the frustration.

As an artist, I too have been rejected from shows where I did well -
one time- and found that I could never get in again.

My difficulties with the Rosen Group stem from signing up to be a
Preferred gallery. I paid several hundreds of US Dollars, to be
listed as a Preferred Gallery. I sent my check last March, didn’t
see any listing until June (05), the only thing that showed up (in
June) was the name of my gallery and my e-mail address. Yet, I had
supplied them with all the they requested. Web address,
current artists, picture of the gallery, etc. None of this
showed up until I contacted them again, in early
December (05) which is nearly a year later.

The listings are supposed to be alphabetical, by state. But, not in
my case. My gallery is at the very end of the list.
www.AmericanStyle.com look under OHIO, then try and find Eye Candy

I have contacted various people during the year without
satisfaction. The last contact resulted in getting my web page
address listed, but still not alphabetically.

I found them to be unprofessional in their response to my delema,
and am not surprised that they don’t spond to artist’s problems

Not happy. . .

I'd like more on this because my concern is "why
bother applying" if they only accept new artists if an older artist
gives up their spot. 

I can’t speak to the Rosen Show, but I have a little experience with
One of a Kind in Chicago. You must be juried in, to attend, but
after that, you can keep coming simply by signing your contract and
paying on time. Actually, you can get away with paying pretty late,
if you do pay. This show is run much more like a business
proposition that the typical art fair. This means that services are
pretty much provided as expected, and things run pretty efficiently.
It also means, in this case, that there is not really all that much
awareness of or concern with matters of art and craft. For example,
the promoters wouldn’t recognize buy/sell merchandise if it bit them
on the butt, though they seemed concerned when it was pointed out.

But I digress-- I haven’t been to a Rosen show in years, and don’t
know what the quality is. But, as a business decision, I think it
probably makes sense to keep artists who want to return. More
efficient for the promoters, more predictable for buyers (unless
they’re looking for something fresh), more predictable for artists
who get in and want to keep up their accounts.

Unfortunately, that means that there may not be much room for new
applicants. I suspect that this is true at a lot of ostensibly
re-juried shows-- why else would they be mostly the same artists,
year after year? At least One of a Kind and Rosen are up front about

There will always be artists who don’t find these expensive shows
profitable enough, and drop out. The best shows are always tough to
get into. At least with the “business” shows, as I think of them (as
opposed to the “art” shows, like Smithsonian, Philadelphia Museum,
etc), you know if you get in, you’ll get to stay if you want to. My
big peeve is the shows that somehow select the same 100 artists
every year (and I’m not one of them), even though they claim not to
pre-screen, but that’s a different can of worms.

Noel, feeling a little peevish in Evanston (hint)


First of all, I would like to state that I am not trashing the Rosen
show. I love this show, it has been my dream to be in this show for
a long time and I’m just grateful that they even accepted me into the
Summer show. I’m hoping that this thread doesn’t seem like I’m
bashing the show, I’m just trying to see if others have more
or insight to share. I am more than willing to wait my
turn to get into the Winter show, but I feel like I don’t know all
the rules yet and was wondering if anyone out there has more
experience with this that they can share.

but had thought it was a juried show - meaning that a jury reviews
the slides and picks those artists whose work they feel meets the
requirements, is interesting, and sometimes new and fresh ideas are
nice thing to include in a show. 

It is a juried show, but you have to get juried in for each show,
individually. While there was space for me in the summer show (I’ll
explain in a minute), there wasn’t space in the winter show. My
understanding is: once you’re in, you’re in, unless they revoke your
space. But, it’s done by season. Meaning, I didn’t have to jury in
again for the summer show in '06.

Now, this is all word of mouth from other artists that have done
this show for a while, so please if anyone knows anything different
chime in. This is all hearsay. What I’ve been told has happened with
this show is that the Winter buyer attendance was up and the Summer
buyer attendance was down. So, of course the artists followed, with
less artists doing the summer show and more artists doing the Winter
show. The two shows were very unbalanced and think about it, if you
were one of those buyers coming to the summer show and every year
there were fewer and fewer vendors, you’d probably stop coming as
well, correct? Well, to keep the Summer show alive, the new rule is
if you do Winter, you must do Summer. Artists that have been doing
the show for a while (maybe up to that point) are grandfathered in—
they don’t have to do the Summer to do the Winter.

So, there’s actually many more artists (and buyers) in the Winter
show, I think they use the attached hall next door and they expand
their square footage from the Summer show.

I'd like more on this because my concern is "why
bother applying" if they only accept new artists if an older artist
gives up their spot. For some reason, I can't see this being the
actual case. 

Yes, that is my concern as well. I was told by the rep for my
section (jewelry) that my section is currently full, and I could be
wait listed. But my chances are very slim. I was told that someone
has to cancel for me get moved up on the wait list.

Plus, from a buyer's perspective, I would think they would welcome
new artists with fresh ideas - along with the established artist. I
thought the show was based on the quality of an artist's work, not
seniority. Granted, I'm sure the work there is outstanding, but I've
also seen work from new artist's that was also outstanding. 

Well, here’s the thing. Something for me to consider is that perhaps
my jewelry is good enough for the Summer show but not up to the
caliber that they’re looking for in a Winter show participant.
There’s much more competition for the Winter show slots and maybe
I’m just not up to par yet. Keep in mind that my wholesale show
experience is limited to the Handmade section of the California Gift
Show, so I would consider myself a newbie when it comes to trade
shows. And I have a lot to learn, and this is part of it!

I am totally willing to accept that my line is just not good enough
right now for the Winter show. And I asked that question. Because if
I will never be in the Winter show (with my line the way it is now)
and someone tells me that I can make an informed decision as to what
I want to do. But I’m not sure I was asking the right person. I’m not
sure how to find the right person. Any suggestions?

Also, I think the summer show is attracting buyers because of the
newness of some of the artists. In a way, it’s a plus because I did
have some buyers that said they like doing the summer show because
there is a lot of new things that they might not necessarily see in
the Winter Show. And, as I said, I liked the summer show, a lot. I
did really well for my first show on the other coast.

Once again, this is a great show. I am willing to wait my turn for
the Winter show, just wondering if anyone else has found themselves
in the same boat as I’m in right now and what their experiences were.
I guess I’m looking for a story with a happy Hollywood ending! Hee


Thanks for the great info, Lisa. I also sell full-time. Jewelry is
my only means of supporting myself and my daughter, so I understand
your comments about the frustration of participating in shows with
others that don’t necessarily rely on the income. It can sometimes be
as bad as trying to compete with the import sellers - I sometimes
don’t see any difference.

Knowing what I know now from the responses is wonderful. Now I know
that come next September there won’t necessarily be 200 available
spots to jury for - there may only be 5, 10 or 15. I’ll go ahead and
apply for some of the retail festivals I was interested in and in the
meantime hope that one of these years I can possibly get juried into
the Rosen Show. The deadlines for the retail shows are coming up in
the next 60 days, so I’m glad to know this now.

This was invaluable. Thanks again.

Oh...there are also "alternative" shows for both Rosen and ACC.
The one in Baltimore is run by Olga Ganoudis, and is really good,
but really long hours

Speaking of the alternative Balitmore show, does anyone have the
contact info for the promoter?

While we are on the topic of wholesale shows I thought I’d ask a few
questions of my own. I have been doing retail shows for about 8 years
and would like to try my hand at one of the wholesale shows next
season. What suggestions would you give to s.omeone making the
switchover in terms of display, catalog (how polished does that need
to be?). Is there any written info on what kind of terms to establish
the first time around and how do you deal with one-of-a-kind pieces?
Any basic info from the experienced people would be most welcome.
Thanks for the input.


I feel I should clarify a couple of things regarding my post on the
Rosen Show the past couple of days. I understand why the Rosen Group
runs the show the way they do and it was interesting reading the
article that was posted in one of the threads. I don’t have any
issues with how they jury in artists, only that the information
wasn’t more widely available to potential artists who may be
planning their yearly shows, etc. It would have been helpful if this
would have been provided in their application packet so
that new artists are aware that the chances of getting in are slim
to none.

I sure wish there were more shows available like this one. It’s
really difficult to wholesale your work through any of the other
shows. Most of the other wholesale shows available to artists are
full of imports. The last show I sold wholesale at (and no… I do
not make beaded jewelry and I use all handmade components) I was set
up next to a booth that sold chip bead earrings for $2.00 - and I
paid $5,000 for the booth - and all the buyers were buying the $2.00
chip bead earrings…

I have read on this forum, as well as another, references to the
"Alternative Shows" held during the BMAC and the ACC. My web
searches could not come up with anything. Does anyone have a link or
a contact for these alternative shows? Thanks. :slight_smile:



The last show I sold wholesale at (and no... I do not make beaded
jewelry and I use all handmade components) I was set up next to a
booth that sold chip bead earrings for $2.00 - and I paid $5,000
for the booth - and all the buyers were buying the $2.00 chip bead

Please tell me what show this was so I don’t get involved!


Hmmmm…maybe I didn’t put something in the right words. I didn’t
mean at all to discourage applications from viable wholesalers, just
giving you the particulars. Really, it depends on what medium you are
in, and your work overall.

For example, if you made beautiful inlaid knives, or small handcast
fountains, chances are you would get in right away as there aren’t
many who do that. But do you have any idea how many jewelers apply to
just about any show? Go and count the ratio sometime. I think there
must be about 2 jewelers to 1 of any other medium, at Rosen. That’s
why it is harder to get in making jewelry.

Some jewelers get in immediately, because their work is so unique
that it stands out, (in a good way). Some get in after doing a summer
show or two. Some don’t get in because their work simply does not fit
the venue, or because it looks like someone’s work who is more
established, (amazing how many variations we all come up with using
the same materials isn’t it?), or because it isn’t good enough for
the judges that year, or that your slides are lousy, or that the work
just isn’t good enough period, no matter what your friends and your
mom have told you.

Other than Baltimore, the ACC still hates me…one of them told me
that my work was, “too organic”. (It was good enough for Cherry Creek
though, the one time I applied).

I got lucky a long time ago. I had not been in business for very
long, and had only done retail shows. Not all that successfully. My
best friend of six years made picture frames, and had been selling
wholesale for some time, although not at Rosen. She talked me into
applying to Rosen, with the idea that she she would apply too, and
help me through the whole process. I scraped together the money, did
the slides and sent in my application.

I got in, she did not. She was furious. Called up Rosen and told them
that I was a rank newbie, and could never do a show without her. I
even called to try to get her in, (I was green ok…?). They did not
let her in for another two years. She pretty much stopped speaking to

I went and did the show. It was a summer show that was then in
Boston. It was horrible! I was at the end of a row at the back of
the hall, and several booths around me were last minute no-shows. On
the up side, a cute guy jeweler down the aisle asked me out for
dinner that night.

By the end of the first day with the help of that silly, "New Face"
banner, 37 stores had placed orders with me. ( I worked my tail off
to fill those orders. I was a single mom, newly divorced with no
source of income and no degree. Yikes!)

The cute guy told me that he couldn’t go out with anyone that was
more successful than he was, my relationship with my best friend was
over, (oh…she went on to produce a million dollar a year picture
frame business), but boy was this wholesale business easy!!
Lol…lol…lol…Turned out that I wasn’t quite so slick without
the banner at the next show…Winter, but I have done well enough in
jewelry do to nothing else but that for the past 13 years.

So what the heck…apply…you never know what will happen…You
might end up in the wholesale business…Oh yeah…I did go back
to school and got the degree.

Lisa, (couldn’t figure out why the heck the 22k medium solder wasn’t
melting around my bezels. Turns out I had inadvertently grabbed the
hard solder. I must have been distracted by the owls hooting right
outside the studio window…Yeah right! Excuse me while I go bang my
head against something! ) Topanga, CA USA

Hello All,

When we talk about “Wholesale Show” what exactly does it mean.
Importers-Wholesalers-Chain Stores go to Bangkok Show in Thailand
(For Silver), Hong Kong Show (For Silver & Diamonds), Vicenza Oro
(for Gold) etc. to import items from manufactures. A Manufacturer
(source) to wholesale (bulk) could be considered as a true Wholesale
show. For example several wholesaler-manufacturers in Thailand have
a minimum of 100 peices per design, minimum order US$ 1000.

Several Wholesalers then take part in their country’s Wholesale to
Retailers show, For Example Iberjoya in Spain (items imported from
source is sold at this show by Spanish Wholesalers to retailers)
Similarly there is JIS in Florida USA, IJL London, Macef Italy, JCK
Las Vegas, Inhorgenta in Germany etc. Different shows in Different

Though there are exceptions and mix and match, several
manufacturers-suppliers from source countries take part in JCK, IJL,
Basel etc.

There are also small wholesalers or retailers who purchase in good
number, usually having a medium size business or from interior parts
in their country who rather go to their country’s main trade show
and meet manufacturers from other countries, rather than going
abroad (Thailand/India/Italy/HK) to source their needs).

Then there are these retailers/wholesalers to the smaller retailers
or open public shows, as per the city, states etc.

The most important thing is hardly any Wholesale or the largest
Business to Business Trade Shows in the world can claim to have the
highest visitor mix or leading buyers!

For example : exhibitors at JIS Florida meet many
wholesale/retailers from Dominian Republic, a few Indian Exhibitors
had made good contacts with Scottish and buyers from Ireland at the
International Jewelry London! Lot of buyers from Cyprus flock to the
Istanbul Show! While lot of Gold Jewerly buyers from Gulf (United
Arab Emirates) flock to the IIJS (India International Jewelry
Show)!! A few Thai exporters met buyers from Poland and Hungary at
Inhorgenta in Germany!!!

Hence none of the trade fairs even the leading ones like JCK or
Basel or Tucson could have complet range of buyers from around the

So in which Category does the Rosen Show fall in!?

Vivek Shah
for Karma

Just got this from Olga…

February 21, 22,& 23
Baltimore Hyatt Regency , Inner harbor
3 big days of wholesale
90 artists

The Annual Baltimore Craft Show takes place the same time as the
ACC-Baltimore Wholesale Market and is located at the Baltimore
Hyatt Regency which is connected to the Convention Center where the
ACC show takes place. Booth space is very affordable and set-up and
take down is a breeze. We average 3-4,000 wholesale buyers, most of
whom also shop the ACC show.

For application contact:
Olga Ganoudis
302 421 9820