I'm linking this to my little Really Neat Rocks book because --
1. I sold one copy.
2. One copy almost left in the hands of a young lady who thought it was free.
3. One copy did leave in someone else's hands without being paid for.
Such is life on the art show circuit!
I'm actually very lucky that I have had very few thefts in all the years I've been doing this, but they do happen.
Now, the full report, or at least what I dare put out for the public!!
The venue wasn't supposed to be open for set-up until 7:00 a.m., but when I arrived at 6:40, the gates were already open. I drove to my space, unloaded everything, then drove to the (distant) parking lot, since vendors aren't allowed to park anywhere that might be convenient. The explanation is that the venue needs those spaces for "paying" customers, even though they seem to forget that we are also "paying" a hefty percentage of our sales.
I had some help with the most awkward part of the set-up, which is erecting the canopy. I can do it myself, but it takes longer. With one person to help, it takes just a couple of minutes. So that was nice. And then I proceeded to put up the tables, throw on the covers, lay out the jewelry, etc.
This was one of several favorite pieces I had to bid farewell to. Even though I tell myself over and over that I'm making them to sell, I still want to keep all of them. My customers assure me, "It's going to a good home where it will be well loved." ;-)
Though the weather forecast on Saturday night was for a high of only 90, it must have got considerably warmer than that. By closing time of 3:00, I was feeling the effects of dehydration. I had brought three frozen bottles of water, but they weren't melting fast enough to produce enough to drink. Despite the fact that I enjoyed good sales, I was glad to see 3:00 arrive and begin the process of packing up. I've become pretty proficient at that, having it down to a routine of what goes first and where. Putting it all in the car is another issue.
But again, I had very welcome help with that task which saved a huge amount of time, or I probably would not have left the venue until much later than I did. Normally it takes about an hour to pack and load; even with help yesterday it took almost 90 minutes. Both of us were pretty wiped out by the heat . . . and the dust.
The venue is incredibly dusty. I literally have to hose off my legs and feet and shoes before I can walk into the house or I will leave dirty footprints. It also means all the table covers have to be washed -- no surprise -- but also each and every piece of jewelry has to be rinsed off. Since this is always the first show of the season, I don't bother to clean the pieces before it, even though they've been sitting over the six months of the summer and some of the silver is a bit tarnished. I'll do all of it in the four weeks between now and the Studio Tour.
Ah, the Studio Tour. . . . . .
There were some glitches with yesterday's show due to the person-in-charge not doing her job. (One report said she had gone out of town and was refusing to answer phone calls or emails at all.) At least two artists who had registered for the show were not on the list and had to be squeezed in after they arrived. Another artist who had come in Saturday night for early set-up had decided they didn't like the spot they were given and so just took someone else's. The person suddenly left in charge was left to scramble and try to work everything out. There were some hard feelings as a result.
Most important, however, was that the Studio Tour chairperson who had volunteered to spend the day handing out Studio Tour maps and other literature for the group found out at the last minute that the maps weren't ready and some of the other promotional literature for the Studio Tour hadn't even been ordered, again because someone else wasn't doing their job. To say she was frustrated is to put it mildly.
The Studio Tour is our biggest event of the year, and by far our biggest money-maker. This year, for various reasons not all of us agree with, a large number of artists from outside our immediate area will be participating, with the hope that they will bring in more visitors, more customers, more buyers. Our next group meeting is this coming Wednesday, and traditionally that's the day when all the participating artists pick up their packets of maps to hand out and other promo items, as well as the posters that are to be distributed to various area businesses.
As of Saturday, the posters hadn't even been ordered. Only a few maps had been delivered, 250 out of the thousands that will be needed for distribution. Whether the rest will be ready for Wednesday's meeting is questionable. All of this is because people who were supposed to do something, who knew well in advance that they were supposed to do it, and who knew HOW and WHY they were supposed to do it, just plain didn't do it.
So Wednesday's meeting promises to be . . . interesting.
I am not permitted to help with any of this, because certain people don't like me. My advice is not taken, because certain people don't like me and therefore don't even want to acknowledge that maybe I know what I'm doing and may know more than they do. My "I.T.Y.S." rubber stamp gets a good work-out over this.
The reasons they don't like me are well known, and there is nothing I can do about it. It boils down to the simple fact that they were intensely loyal to someone who then shit on them -- to put it bluntly -- and they can't bring themselves to admit they were duped. I was the one who pointed it out, so I'm the bad guy. That's okay; I can live with that, at least to a certain extent. But their personal dislike of me is ruining the event even they admit is our showcase.
One of those people, and maybe the one who has disliked me the most for the longest time, suddenly started kissing up to me yesterday. Do I think this will lead to better cooperation and an admission that gee, the person they looked up to for so long wasn't really operating in their best interests?
We'll see. We'll see.
And now, I have to order more business cards. I just about ran out yesterday!