I loved doing good shows, especially the out-door summer arts
festivals. Shows were much better 20 -30 years ago. I think they are
still viable at some level, but not nearly as good a way to make a
living as they once were. Yes, the economy is poor, but there has
been some cultural changes that are huge factors. More shows for the
public to choose or ignore as well as the fact that it is no longer
a new and exciting shopping opportunity. It is easy to forget the
thrill and wonder that these shows buzzed with back when the public
was first being introduced to fine creative handmade crafts.
My own business got much better when I stopped relying on shows for
my primary income. The funny thing is that most of my crafts colleges
assumed that the only alternative was wholesale. It was retail
mail-order and internet sales that did it for me in the 1990s, but
now it is traditional storefront retailing that keeps the wolf from
Now the only shows I do are local ones to promote my store and to
support the community culture.