Sunday, July 12, 2009



Yesterday, Saturday, July 11th, I exhibited in the 34th Annual Lake Country Art Festival which is sponsored by the Lake Country Women's Club of Delafield, WI.
Before the show opened

This was my 3rd show of the 2009 season and was looking forward to seeing how this show would go as far as sales, etc., since the first two shows I had done weren't the greatest for sales. In fact, they were way down from previous years.

I had exhibited at the show in years past when it was held on the grounds of St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, WI., but the show's location has since been changed to Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield.

When my sister arrived at my house at 5:30 a.m. in the morning, it was pouring rain, and we looked at each other and thought "oh, no"!! After days of beautiful weather, wouldn't you know it was raining! Luckily, the weather turned out to be fantastic. Not too hot, breezy, and sunny!!

The Lake Country Women's Club ladies run a very organized show. We found our spot with no trouble, and the big plus of this show was that you can drive right up to your booth and unload!! How great is that! Anyone that does shows, and has had to lug their tents, artwork, and other supplies any distance, knows how wonderful this is!

Section of my booth setup

My sister, Dianne, friend, my booth layout artist, and firm supporter!

Everything was going smoothly and we were looking forward to a great day! After we had the booth set up, we took a stroll around to see how the show had changed in the 3 years since we had been there. Much to our disappointment, the show had turned into a "craft show".

Now don't get me wrong, craft shows are great, but what had once been an "art" and "craft" show, with the two mediums separated at the old location, it was now about 80% crafts. It has been my experience in the 12+ years of doing shows, that higher end "art" can't compete with those selling crafts. This was proven, as the day wore on and my sales were the worst of any show I've done in say the last 8 years! At the end of the show, I ended up with about $88.00 after the booth fee of $90.00. Hard not to get depressed with those kind of figures. The economy is definitely affecting sales, big time!

The several artists I know from previous shows, with higher end jewelry, metal sculpture, etc. weren't doing good either. The booths that had the more crafty items had more people in them. Even, with that, one didn't see a lot of bought merchandise going by one's booth. Lower end jewelry and yard art, was what one saw the most.

I'm thinking maybe I should get in to selling "kettle korn" at shows instead of art, as that is where people were spending their money! That, and $6.00 bottles of beer, and $3.00 bottles of water.

This artist was the "featured artist" of the show!

This big guy was getting a lot of attention!

His owner said he was a big "baby"!

Some of my fairies catching the breeze!

Here I am all ready for business!! Where is everybody??

To sum it up, I definitely believe that the economy and the uncertainty of when it will get better is making it very hard for artists and crafters, to break even doing shows. My next show will be coming up on August, 1st & 2nd, at the FIREFLY ART SHOW in Wauwatosa, WI. Since this has always been one of my best and consistent shows as far as sales go, I can hardly wait to see what this year's show will be like. So stay tuned, I'll be back with more info on that show. ONE OF MY FAVORITES!

I'd love to hear how other artists and crafters are doing in other parts of the world, so be sure to leave a comment.


Baroness Bijoutery said...

Sorry to hear your show went so badly, but I do believe the economy has alot to do with it. My jewelry is more expensive so don't know if I will be doing any shows this season...Hope your one in August goes so much better for you...


Hi, Baroness Bijoutery

Thanks for your comment. Yes, the economy is definitely having a big impact on all types of shows....!

Rachel O said...

In many cases I'm hesitating about even going to shows as an attendee. The ones that charge are really low on my list now since I probably won't be able to buy anything anyway, and also, I don't want to be tempted since the economy is a real problem. I'm sorry - it must be very discouraging for you the artist.


Thanks for your comment, Rachel are right, it isn't much fun to go to a show, and just "look", especially if you have to pay to get in.

Instead of show promoters realizing this and having free admission, some that I'm doing have even raised their admittance fees! One show went from $3.00 to $5.00 this year. They also make money from the artists by having silient auctions where the artist each donate a piece of their work.