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[Show] ACC show in Charlotte


#1

For anyone in driving distance, I highly recommend attending this
tomorrow. The link to the show site is
http://www.craftcouncil.org/charlotte/travel.php

I went with a friend today, and we spent the entire day at the show!
It was truly inspirational. Lovely glass, wood, ceramics and more,
plus tons of jewelry. Everything from strung beads that did nothing
for me to Pat Pruitt’s work, including the necklace he just blogged
about - phenomenal in person! I am now the proud owner of a Pat
Pruitt stainless steel bracelet (not the one I really wanted, but
the one I could just barely afford!).

Erica from the list was there with her fabulous textured silver
pieces. There was a great jeweler from Asheville with a $44,000
pendant. I saw everything from stuff for under $30 to the pendant.
What a huge range of techniques and vision!

A very inspired…

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


#2
I saw everything from stuff for under $30 to the pendant. What a
huge range of techniques and vision! 

But-- were people buying? I didn’t apply to that one because the
reviews suggested poor sales. What was your sense of how the show
was going for the artists? Was it crowded? Were people carrying
parcels? Was the mood upbeat?

Noel


#3
But-- were people buying? I didn't apply to that one because the
reviews suggested poor sales. What was your sense of how the show
was going for the artists? Was it crowded? Were people carrying
parcels? Was the mood upbeat? 

Well, my friend and I bought ! I thought the crowd was on the
sparse side, but one of the glass artists we spoke to said it was a
much bigger crowd than last year. His feeling, based on customer
comments, was that the ACC had done a lousy job with promo last
year, and a much better job this year. I can’t speak to that, as I
only found out about it because my fiber artist friend is an ACC
member and got the notice. I never saw anything in our local paper.
Now, I AM 2 hours away - but the big Charlotte shows know to
advertise down here, because we DO go to Charlotte to shop!

I did see a good many bags, and people waiting in line at some
booths to buy…

We had lunch with 4 folks who had driven up from Columbia, SC for
the show, and they were buying too. In fact the lady had on earrings
and a necklace her fiance had bought her earlier, and we made a point
of looking for the booth with the earrings - and my friend bought a
necklace.

We also both are now proud owners of original Pat Pruitt work! I got
a bangle bracelet and my friend got a ring. Lovely, lovely work!

Plus I got a wonderful American Indian pot from an artist from New
Mexico, that is to be my husband’s birthday present. He will love
it!

One thing I did notice, and overheard once, was that a lot of the
prices were over - in many cases well over - $100, and people were
looking for less expensive items. The overheard comment was to the
effect that she had not found anything to “wear every day”. A lot of
the jewelry was the huge artsty stuff that makes a statement - but
that most folks would not wear on a day to day basis. There was
plenty of other jewelry too, but the big stuff kind of “yelled” at
you and was the most noticeable.

Maybe once Pat and Erica get home and online they can give us report
from the vendor’s side.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


http://bethwicker.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#4
But-- were people buying?

Of the four artists that I spoke to who went to Charlotte, three did
not make expenses. I am in Charlotte for next year, and now am not
looking forward to it. Lets all hope the economy picks up after the
election.

Lisa, Topanga, CA USA


#5

Lisa,

Of the four artists that I spoke to who went to Charlotte, three
did not make expenses. I am in Charlotte for next year, and now am
not looking forward to it. Lets all hope the economy picks up after
the election.

I assume you know these artists and are familiar with their track
record at shows. I understand about the economy. Can you assume that
if the other artists did not do well that your work would not sell
any better? Is the fact that they did not do well pretty much a
guarantee you would not do well or is it not worth taking a chance
based on what your shows have been recently if the economy does not
change much for a year? A trend I have noticed in retail is that
prior to an election people stop purchasing although repair and
custom stay strong.

Thanks in advance,
Richard Hart G.G.
Jewelers Gallery
Denver, Co


#6
But-- were people buying? I didn't apply to that one because the
reviews suggested poor sales. What was your sense of how the show
was going for the artists? Was it crowded? Were people carrying
parcels? Was the mood upbeat? 

After finally getting back last night after 12 hours of travel, and
an unexpected 5 hour layover in Minneapolis, which lead to an amazing
dinner at Chino Latino (chinolatino.com) with a good buddy of mine
that I called last minute to kill some time, so he picked me up at
the airport we chilled, and got to visit their studio as
well…Aside from meeting Beth and her friend, seeing Michael
Jordan and Bob Dole (and drinking with Mr.Doles personal assistant)
at the hotel, those were pretty much the highlights of the weekend. I
will say MJ is one tall dude…

As for the ACC show itself…what can I say, it was quite a few
days with lots of idle time on our hands. Attendance was fair at
best, the isles were never packed full of consumers, and the only
rush of people came in at opening with a hundred (or two) or so
people on friday and saturday. Sunday people kind of dribbled in
after church and the like.

Sales for me were extremely low, with the exception of the support
by Beth and her buddy (Thanks!!), I made only two other sales, one to
the husband of another jeweler, and one to another artist, so the bro
deals were given all around. Needless to say, this show was a major
loss for me when travel/hotel/food were all taken into account.

Id have to say, all in all advertising for the event was marginal,
lots of freebie listings in various events calendars, but no real
print advertising was to be found in local publications. A couple of
articles were found as well. As for actual paid for advertising, Id
be curious to see what was actually out there. I did hear of a front
page article in the local paper that weekend about the show, but
never saw it personally. Posters at the bus stops, small banners
around the convention center, and postcards at the Mint Museum were
the only other advertising I saw while footing it around the place. I
personally dropped off a stack of post cards to the hotel concerige
where I was staying.

On the online side of things, I only saw 36 individual click thrus
from the ACC site to my site for the entire month of October and
currently 7 in November. Im guessing these were mostly other artists
viewing stuff like me, but I could be wrong. Personally I think the
ACC needs to highligh the next show on their site by making it the
front page of the site for that time frame…having to click thru a
number of pages to get to the current show is a lot of work.

Some of the vendors had a decent show and were able to clear cost,
but it was very apparent that monies were not being spent in volume
at this show and this could be attributed to a number of things. Come
to find out Charlotte is the largest financial district second only
to NYC. This being said, with the stock market going to crap, those
that did have money were very skeptical about spending any of it. The
best quote from a trustee for that weekend was I cant spend any
money until the stock market rebounds
that pretty much said I wasnt
going to be seeing any high dollar sales there. Weather wasnt a
factor as it was beautiful the entire weekend. Location may play into
this…granted its downtown, but downtown is a financial district
with the only other major draw being the sports stadiums. Plenty of
good eats, but everything seems to shut down about 5-7pm, not much of
a night life there other than food and a few bars and pubs…given
the fact that the election was a couple days away could have played
into it as well.

Overall, I had a lot of interest in my work as it was unlike any
other jewelers work there, and hoping to land some commissions with
individuals that I chatted with extensively, but in the be all end
all, it was a trying show for me. Will I sign up for this particular
show again? Not positive, being the newbie I know it takes a few
shows to develop a following for your work, but these shows are far
away, a major expense, and quite frankly I dont even know if the ACC
will be the right venue for my work either. If I do this show again,
I will take advertising into my own hands and not rely on the ACC.

Well, up next on the ACC circuit is in Sarasota, FL. One can only
hope its a different market there and have a much better turn out
with sales that can at least cover expenses.

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#7

Hi Richard,

I assume you know these artists and are familiar with their track
record at shows. 

Yes, I know them very well. One for 14 years. She and her husband
have always made plenty of money at shows. This time at Charlotte,
it was a complete bust for them. A few weeks ago I did Sedona.
Usually a great venue. Although I won Best in Show, I did not make
expenses. Very unusual. I do custom. It is not strong.

I and others just got a note from the Cherry Creek staff expressing
concern for the craft industry in general, and their intention to
restructure their event in some ways. These are interesting times.

Lisa, (It’s raining, it’s not, it’s raining, it’s not…huh?)
Topanga, CA USA


#8
Of the four artists that I spoke to who went to Charlotte, three
did not make expenses. I am in Charlotte for next year, and now am
not looking forward to it. Lets all hope the economy picks up
after the election. 

I would be curious to know the price points of the artists who did
not make expenses, versus the one who did. My sense was that there
was a LOT of expensive jewelry and other items, and not a lot of
"impulse" level pricing. Also a lot of the “big” look work… and
that was not what I saw people actually buying…

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


http://bethwicker.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#9
Sales for me were extremely low, with the exception of the support
by Beth and her buddy (Thanks!!), I made only two other sales 

Wow! Thanks, Pat, sorry to hear it was so poor. Guess I dodged a
bullet on that one. I’m determined to regard the shows I’m not being
accepted to as doing me a favor, this year. Aside from running out of
money, that is. I may have to revert to my old mantra from before I
became an empty nester and started traveling far for shows-- “Why go
across country to go broke, I can go broke right here at home!”

Noel


#10
I would be curious to know the price points of the artists who did
not make expenses, versus the one who did. 

Their prices ranged from about $25 to the hundreds. I didn’t say
that the one who made expenses did well. I just said that they made
expenses.

Lisa, (translating news stories from Holland for fun. ) Topanga,
California, USA