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Does anyone have any feedback on the following shows? I am looking
at these since they are either in my area or convinient for me to
get to.

  1. Rio Grande Arts and Crafts show in March in Albuquerque, NM

  2. Zia Arts and Crafts Festival in Nov in Albuquerque, NM

  3. Eagle Rock Cultural Center’s Spring Arts Festival - Dahlia Days
    in March in LA, CA

  4. Atlanta Dogwood Festival in April

  5. La Plata City Fairground in Nov in Durango, CO

  6. 4th Avenue Street Fain in Dec in Tucson, AZ

any help would be welcome…thanks Lori Swartz

  Does anyone have any feedback on the following shows? 3)  Eagle
Rock Cultural Center's Spring Arts Festival - Dahlia Days in March
in LA, CA 

Lori, I live in LA and have never heard of this show, but this does
not necessarily mean it isn’t worthwhile, depending on the type of
jewelry you sell. There are dozens of crafts shows in the LA area
but only a few that feature high end, fine crafts so, if it were that
kind of show, I’m sure I would have heard of it. However many of the
broader-based, outdoor craft shows here can be very lucrative for low
to mid-range vendors. Perhaps someone else will have more for you on
this particular one.


All, A note on being a dealer at shows. I generally break shows into
three categories. Club shows, promoter Art shows, and promoter Gem
and Jewelry shows. Separating the shows into types allows a dealer
to better assess the results and expectations of the show.
Assessing the results of a show takes at least three years of well
documented data. From this data you can make judgments as to your
potential for success at the show.

At every show a few dealers will be very successful. I define a
successful dealer as one whom makes a “Middle Class Living” off
their business. About $50,000-$75,000 per year profit. Make sure
that you are talking with a dealer that you can trust. Look at the
successful dealers stock and determine why they were successful.
Learn from them. Each show will be slightly different. Successful
dealers are business people who very carefully select which shows
clientele and promoter allows them a chance at success.

Personally shows have been a disappointment in the last 5 years.
Successful dealers have inventories which consist mostly of items
they have purchased to retail. They manufacture very little of
their stock. Being a manufacturer of items has proven unsuccessful
at obtaining the “Middle Class Living.” I started changing my way
of doing business about three years ago and am still in the process.

I advise anyone who wants to be a show dealer to closely track their
money. Determining your success will depend upon the amount of money
you can generate. Artists will call this cold hearted. So be it.
Show promoters are the only people guaranteed success at a show.

Gerry Galarneau

Hi Gerry,

Thanks for your insight on your show experience. I think we need to
make a distinction between they types of shows we’re discussing. I
think the thread was previously pertaining to art or art/craft shows
appealing to the general public, collectors, everyday consumers. Many
of us jewelry makers use them as a venue to sell our wares, meet the
public, increase visibility, etc.

I believe you were primarily discussing gem shows, gem and jewelry
shows, gem and mineral shows, etc. As an avid fan and consumer at
these shows, I wouldn’t stand a chance of selling at one of them.
Primarily for the reasons you pointed out, too! Lots of mass produced
offshore finished jewelry purchased for resale, cut-throat pricing,
thin margins, etc.

I think the type of shows you do cater more to me, my peers and my
competition than they do to my target market. The shows I do cater
more to people who would have a tough time figuring out which end of
the torch to light, but who marvel at my ability to turn stone and
metal into wearable art. Thankfully, it seems there are at least a
few of those people out there!

Still found your post interesting and valuable… but felt the
distinction was pretty important since the nature of these shows
seems quite different to me.

All the best,


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

All, Distinctions between types of shows can be made in many
different ways. My start in shows was with the Gem and Mineral, but
has shifted to the Arts and Crafts. It does not matter which venue
you chose the economic principles still apply. Analyze the
promoter, the area, the customers, and your competition. Compare
the results to your own expectations, inventory, and profit. After
dealing in many shows. I still arrive at the conclusion that most
dealers will not be successful at promoter shows. Success awaits
dealers only when we organize into a Cooperative Management
Oganization and sponsor our own shows. That is what AGTA has done. As
a side note I am noting more of a cross mingling at the high end
shows. JA and JCK are becoming a curious mix of finished jewelry,
loose colored gemstone and loose diamond dealers. Many loose stone
dealers are now mounting their stones and competing in the jewelry
market. AGTA is considering installing a jewelry manufacturers
section. Anyone have any new ideas?

Gerry Galarneau

In terms of quality and originality of the work, the shows run by
the American Crafts Council are some of the best. This coming year
there are three, two in Baltimore, and one in San Francisco. The
jewelers who participate in these shows are usually people who do one
of a kind and limited production work. These shows are juried and
entry into them is very competitive. The quality of the work
exhibited is generally exceptional. As far as I know, these shows
have wholesale only and retail only days.

If anyone needs detailed contact the American Crafts
Council, 1-800-836-3470.

Joel Schwalb

There are actually more than three ACC shows:

Baltimore - February
Atlanta -  March
St. Paul - April
Chicago - April
Baltimore - July
San Francisco - August
Sarasota - December
Charlotte - December

I think the three Joel mentioned (two Baltimore, one S.F.) are the
shows that do both wholesale and retail… the remainder are just
retail. I just discovered the deadline to submit slides for the
entire 2002 ACC season passed last September. Guess I’ll have to wait
until 2003! :frowning:

You can also visit the ACC Web site:

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Dave, to further correct your excellent correction, it is not too
late for all the ACC shows. You can jury for the entire year in one
fell swoop or you can do 2 applications if you are only jurying for
the SF, Sarasota and Charlotte shows. I got my results from ACC and
got into every show I juried for with the exception of those three
shows the results of which are still open. These fall shows are
announced later after the final jury. So call ACC and find out when
the deadline is for the fall shows and put in your application! You
still have the possibilty to get into 3 shows for 2002, including

Larry Seiger (first time getting into St. Paul ACC after 3 years of
applications and also got into another show in Austin, TX that is
the same weekend – AAArrrrggh!! It is making me crazy.)

Hi Larry! I think there has been a recent change in the application
process for ACC shows. There is one process to submit slides and have
them evaluated (scored), then two periods for applying to shows
(early and late). All the show applications are based on the
previously evaluated slide submission.

It seems that in the past there might have been two times a year to
submit slides. Now they are down to one slide submission time per
year, and if you miss it, you’re… umm… hosed… for the whole
next year.

I may owe it to myself to call the ACC and see if my understanding
is correct, or if there is any way to wheedle myself into any shows,
but the I printed from their applications last week seems
to be pretty cut-and-dried.

I would love to find out I’m wrong about this and can still apply
for Charlotte and Sarasota next fall, but I don’t think so. I’ll call
today and let you folks know if there is any change in my

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

 it is not too late for all the ACC shows.  You can jury for the
entire year in one fell swoop or you can do 2 applications if you
are only jurying fo r the SF, Sarasota and Charlotte shows. 

Larry, You’re only half right. It is too late to jury for the ACC
2002 shows AD all of them. There is only one jury session per year
and it’s over, so Dav e is correct about having missed out. However,
it’s true that the results fo r the three shows you named will not be
announced until next year, for the reason that ACC gives already
juried applicants a second chance to decide if they even want to be
considered for these shows. You’ve misunderstood th e prospectus.


Hello, I am a designer from India, and wish to know about how to
exhibit at the ACC SHOWS. I would really appreciate your kind
response. Regards Sonali Shah

There’s little need for me to look at the ACC show prospectus, I
probably did misinterpret the rules for applying to the shows. I
normally just apply for every show and then hope for the best. So
it is entirely probable that I was confused. This is not a totally
unfamiliar state of mind here in the studio. Sorry for any
mison my part and thanks for the gentle clarification,