I participated in an Art Fair in Neenah, Wisconsin last Sunday. It was sponsored by the Bergstrom Mahler Museum which has a collection of vintage paper weights. If you find yourself nearby, take the time to see their exhibit, especially if you like things made of glass. Entry fee is a donation.
Across the street from the museum is a park with very old trees and a river view. The lake can be seen from the back of the museum which is on a peninsula. My booth was at the far end with the back of my tent to the main events as all tents faced out so they could use the street or sidewalks as a path for the people. Lots of people attended the show. They even arrived about an hour early to see the show. A lot of fancy/expensive cars were on display as the Bergstrom family has more than a few auto dealerships in southeastern Wisconsin.
I brought items under $300 along with my jury items. The people seemed to understand what I did, that it was labor intense, and overall enjoyed it. I was successful in bringing beauty to the people who visited my booth. The management of the show did a visual inspection of my booth to make sure I brought what I juried. First show that checked that! I was too busy to see the judge, just found the dot on my name card; there was no fanfare with the presentation of the awards, either.
Most of the family groups that visited had a budget which I'm sure was less than my price points. I didn't even sell a pair of earrings, despite bringing a second earring display and starting my prices at $30/pair instead of $40. I've determined that I will find another way to sell the items I consider being my lower price points, as they take more time to set up and maintain in shiny silvery condition than my beaded bracelets and necklaces. As usual, the day was humid and ended up with rain, so I will be polishing the earwires and putting them in antitarnish plastic bags...my least favorite activity.
I have two sales from the effort which is almost enough to cover the expenses, considering two nights in a bargain rate hotel and 461 miles at 28 mpg. We took both sets of weights (8 bags) because the forecast had been for thunderstorms which did not materialize. Unfortunately, some of the artists thought it was going to rain, and started packing up around 1 p.m. Seems the numerous volunteers left early, but I was not the last artist out of the park, packing up a wet tent, etc. and pulling out of the park just past 6 p.m. from a show end of 4 p.m. The tent is now cleaned and dry, put away in the garage, having dried set up in the garage for a day.
It was hard to travel to this show because breakfast was not available before set up and most restaurants served brunch on Sunday and closed early. The items available at the event were not on my diet, although my husband thought they had the best kettle corn. I found raw almonds were most satisfying from my choice of water, cherries, a Lara bar and almonds. Prices in the restaurants were reasonable, with 6 oz. meat portions readily available.
I learned I need to check out restaurants and their hours of service, to find a place close to the event that has tea and to accept that my lowest prices are not within the reach of many of the show visitors. Need to learn to use my phone's camera! Sorry no pics!!!
My next shows will probably be in September, as I am wait listed for two shows until then. I am planning on attending the Illinois State Fair to see my necklace on display.