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[Show] Rosen Group Wholesale Show

I’ll be at the Rosen Group Wholesale Show, in Philadelphia, PA
from February 18th, through the 22nd. It is called: “The Buyer’s
Market of American Crafts”. It will be held at the Convention
Center on Arch Street. There will be around 1200 exhibitors I
think, its a pretty impressive show, just for its size alone.
Tons of jewelers, glass blowers, woodworkers, textiles and
ceramics as well as a lot of other stuff. All duking it out for
the same gallery dollar…sigh…What a way to make a
living…I would love to meet Orchid members that might be
attending. My booth # is 800. If you’ll need a badge to get in,
e-mail me off line.

Lisa,(rain stopped, its just hot, and cold and foggy now…woo woo) Topanga, CA USA

Lisa, I would very much like to see a revue of the show, when
you are done. I’ve considered the Rosen Group, myself, and would
be interested in traffic, quality of exhibitors, show personnel,
profitability, etc. Thanks, Curtis

 I would very much like to see a revue of the show, when
you are done.  I've considered the Rosen Group, myself, and would
be interested in traffic, quality of exhibitors, show personnel,
profitability, etc. 

Hi Curtis, I’ve done this show for about five or six years, and
I’ll give you the revue now if you’d like? To begin with:…The
initial paperwork to gain entry, is daunting. You have to submit
things like your top selling stores, store references, amounts
sold etc… There are slides to be taken, and pictures of your
booth to be submitted for revue. This is to hopefully weed out
the professionals from the hobbyists. It works most of the time.
Entry is not automatic, and it is competitive. If you indeed gain
entry, it is a permanent placement if you’d like it to be. That
is, if you are consistently attending, and following through
with the light submission paperwork each year. Unless you go off
the edge, and decide to alter your work so much, that it includes
something like flying bunny pins made out of real rabbit
fur…my profound apologies to any of you that make anything
like that.[grin] Or, you do something truly dreadful, like
manufacturing on a massive scale, (in which case you have no
business at this particular show competing with us small fry, in
the first place), they will not remove you from the show. I feel,
that this is one of the few dependable wholesale shows that
treats the vendor with any respect. Paperwork is clear and
concise, staff is friendly and helpful, and it is run like a
business…Your buyers can rely on you being there, and you are
able to schedule your shows because of this. Some shows…who
will remain unmentioned because they let me in too, [thank you],
have yearly judging, and there is no reliability in the resulting
admissions. Very difficult to run your business that way. Also, I
should mention, that all of the staff, including Wendy Rosen,
are accessible and available at all times. Quite a help, when you
get there, and the person next to you has decided that the wee
storage area that you’ve carved out of your 10x10’ space, will
fit her detritus quite nicely thank you. Just my opinion, but
because the vendor population is somewhat static, the quality of
the work tends to be a little erratic at times. You see work
that takes your breath away, as you scurry in closer, to see how
the heck they made that exquisite bit of stuff…next to work
that takes your breath away, as you scurry in closer, to verify,
that that is what anyone in their right mind has actually
presented for sale. Of course this describes most shows. There is
an awful lot of variety…woodworkers, glassblowers, jewelers,
textiles, sculpture, kaleidoscopes, ceramics, and a few that
have most likely slipped my mind for good reason. As well as
jewelry sub categories. “Fashion Jewelry”, “General Jewelry”,
(Yuck ! What a description. This is my category), and “Fine
Jewelry”, where a significant percentage of your work must be
gold. Surprise! There is far more jewelry than anything else! The
February show is far and away better than the summer show, but
I’ve done well at both. In February, the traffic is steady.
Populated by buyers ,“burdened”, by all of that Christmas cash.
If you have what they like, they will be five deep to buy it. If
you are selling those real-fur Beaster Bunny pins that I
mentioned, you can stand in your booth and light yourself on
fire, and they’ll stroll right by, and admire the drapery in the
booth next door. By August, the buyers seem to be holding on to
those greenbacks a lot more tightly. Profitability is never
certain. First time vendor attendees, are given a , “New
Exhibitor” banner to hang from their booth. Don’t waste it. The
buyers look for those banners like cats on the prowl for
something mouse-like to rend asunder. If you’re lucky, its you.
You only get that banner once. My first Rosen show, I was placed
at the end of the last aisle, and two exhibitors on either side
of me failed to show. I figured that I was doomed. Up went the
banner, and on came the buyers. I took orders from 37 galleries
in four days. “Well!” I thought, “that was easy”…It allowed
me to start my business full time…had to fill those orders. The
next year, without the banner, I found that I had to rely a heck
of a lot more on originality, and salesmanship. Darn! It just
depends on what you’re selling. Expense: (its about time she got
to that!)…it is NOT inexpensive…$1345 this year for a 10x10’
booth, that is not a corner. It goes up from there. Add that to
the initial cost of the booth and the lights for it, rental for
electricity, furniture rental, rug rental, cases if you need
them, shipping to and from, printing costs. Plus… the air fare,
hotel cost, the food cost, taxi’s, tips, and who only knows
what-all else, and by the time you add it up, and look at the
total,…Yikes! John in New Zealand, (G’day mate), will be able
to hear the shriek that you’ll certainly make. Be well prepared,
it’s a huge risk, that could be well rewarded…Or not… It
can’t be all bad, over 1000 exhibitors will be there with me, as
well as 5000or so registered buyers. I happen to have had very
good experiences with this company. Perhaps, we can hear a
counterpoint? Good luck if you decide to do it. I’d like very
much, to hear what you think.

Lisa, (came home at noon to find an enormous spotted bobcat,
sitting nonchalantly in my driveway), Topanga, CA USA