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How's the show business where you are?

Hi All. Here is southern California, it SUCKS! I recently had my
third losing show in a row at what is (was?) one of the best venues
in the area. And this show used to be killer. Then I talked to a
prominent gold guy who has had three ZERO shows in a row at this
location! I don’t know about him, but I’m taking a year or two off-
I can’t afford another expensive crapfest. This is crazy! Is it just
us in SoCal?


Shows in the Carolinas are down also. I’m relying on teaching right
now, not selling :frowning:

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

Had two really great shows here in Wisconsin. Sold several pieces
+500$ which has been hard to do in the past two years. Was pinching
myself that maybe people where starting to relax a little and get
comfortable with our new economy…???

Will see what the rest of summer brings? Have heard through
whisperings that shows are becoming less attended just as a trend?
Any thoughts anyone?

:slight_smile: joy kruse

Allen- No it’s just not just So Cal. It’s all over. Folks who do
shows are in the same bag as the fancy brick and morter retailers.

The internet has changed everything. The old business models don’t
work any more. The economy has also driven out many middle class
shoppers as well.

Time to reinvent your business.

There is plenty of money to be made out there. It’s just not like the
old days.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

Alaska is in bad shape. The great tour companies have decided to
reduce the number of buses, and ship most everyone by train. Here is
the tourist outlook. They tourist come in on ship or commercial
airline. Picked up by a tour company, taken to their hotel, taken to
their train car, to their hotel, back to their train, down to their
ship. They have in house charging at their gift shops, and in house
charging at their hotels, meals free. Gift shops on the train. Hence
they may never step more than 3-4 hours on Alaska soil…and they
object to a Bed tax? It gets one worse. Grayline was absorbed by
Holland, Holland was absorbed by Princess, Princess was absorbed by
Royal Caribian, Royal Carribian was absorbed by Carnival. So even
though it looks like 5 separate tour operations, it is all owned by

Tourism is good if you have a shop beside the railroad tracks in
Seward, Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali Park. Otherwise you just watch
the trains and few buses go by.

Now on the home front, people are buying more locally. Right now my
target customer is Alaskans because they are travelling around their
own home, weekend or day tripping.

We have one of the biggest art shows in the south where I live and I
have watched it and other shows change. Maybe this is just me but I
remember art shows used to be art shows, now they are activities to
do on a weekend. Its like they think of things for the kids to do,
music dancing etc etc etc. In my feeble little mind I would rather
have 2000 buyers come to a show than 100,000 there just to see their
kids dancing, walk the dogs and eat a funnel cake.

Of course there is much more to it than that, Obama’s economy isn’t
helping but you can’t blame it all on whatever president is in
office. When every town is jumping on the band wagon to put on an
art show and they are weeks apart its going to saturate the market
and take the uniqueness out of good shows.

Bill Wismar

Hi Allen, I live in Mpls, mn. and have been doing shows for a while
and had my first show of the year last weekend…Zero! It is
normally a good show for me. It’s been like that up here the last few
years. I have one in Duluth, Mn. next weekend and that is normally a
very good show. We’ll see what happpens. Between the set up and tear
down and lost weekend…it’s not worth it. I hope it turns around
soon. Good luck! Scott

Scott Verson

I’m also in the Carolinas and agree. Shows are way down and I’m
also teaching to make ends meet.

Molly Sharp
Hand in Hand Gallery

I am in Portland Or., and participated in two shows, one in March,
and the other in May. To my delight, and the delight of others in
the shows, sales were up.

It will be interesting to learn what the variation in sales is in
different parts of the country. Alma

Dear Bill, I think the problem is that the original 2000 going to
see art, are not going, so the entertainment is to draw more people,
not just the art world, but anyone with a penny extra to spend.

I watch people, and i notice that there are almost no shopping bags,
and the only thing people are buying are food related. I went to a
fundraiser show for battered kids. I sat there all day, and made
$10, my booth partner did a little better, she made $15 selling dog
biscuits. But the food booths beside and in front of us made huge
bucks. And the sad thing about them, there wasnot one that had a
healthy food or a healthy beverage.

I’ve been making jewelry full time 22 years this month. Within the
first 7 or 8 months I was doing a lot of Indian Markets (Native
American) all over the country. If you were good at your
craftsmanship, we were rockin’! Many of us, including me, sold out,
or came very close to selling out at these shows around the country,
for a long time. Times sure changed. One of my good silversmith
friends from that time found his niche in setting up at major horse
shows for a whole lot of years.

After I became single about 7 yrs ago, I got into that in the Ft.
Worth , TX area for about 6 yrs. They pretty much continued to go
down for most people each year. The last one I did ended Dec. 2010. I
was honored to be invited to exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art last
summer & sold more in two days than I had in a very long time. I also
had an invitation to set up at a Dallas police convention for the
week, where I did a little over break even…same town, obviously
different clientel & less people. About 6 or 7 yrs ago I sat up at a
juried, yes juried, Farmers Market in Waxahachie TX. I never dreamed
I’d set up at a Farmers Market, but was happily shocked at my sales &
mostly cash. I’m now setting up at the small town I live in, at their
Farmers Market every other Sat. What I used to would not have
considered, now I’m thankful for the sales opportunity…3 miles from
my home, $25 for the season of 2012. I can’t beat that. I’m now a
single Sr. Citizen, responsible for 3 animals, don’t travel like I
used to, would consider some travel occassionally, but cautious due
to the economy. I think the sales are pretty much the same all over
the country. It’s our responsibility to do the best we can in our
work, expectations & yes I firmly believe prayer helps.

Sharon Perdasofpy

Here in Middle America (Kansas), it’s not so hot either… show
sales, I mean. (The weather is plenty hot!!)

My first show of the season was OK and I had some repeat customers
plus a very nice cash award (patting self on the back). Good traffic
and people seemed to be buying. This area has an ecomony based on oil
and natural gas as well as ag.

Next show was in a traditionally economically flush county - made
expenses plus a bit. Nothing to brag about. Last week was a small
local show that is trying to upgrade from a mix of resale stuff to
artist-made work. Abysmal - and there were still many resalers. I’m
removing those last two from my show list.

On a positive note, I’m getting more custom orders and
repurposing/repairs. I’m thinking that when people aren’t buying new
stuff, they are more interested in reworking what they already have.

Judy in Kansas, where the yellow squash are coming on and tomatoes
are loading up. Can’t wait for them to ripen.