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Pls help! Has anyone done Orchard Lake, MI? Need to decide by tomorrow.

I am doing Ann Arbor the week before and i am not sure if I should come back the following week for Orchard Lake? I know nothing about this show. The person who shot slides for me told me that he had heard good things about this show but my friends in MI haven't heard about it. i am a jeweler and have a broad price range. Pls. help a newbie! Thanks.

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Hi Lisa,

I'm from Flint, MI and this will be my first time doing the Orchard Lake show also.

This is my second year applying. I was on the wait list last year. I have only heard good things about the show. It's in a nice, upscale area and it is difficult to get into. I've heard the jury is pretty selective.

Not that this tells you much other than, my feelings are that it is worth trying. I'm not sure how far you have to travel, but if it's not out of state it should be worth trying.

Brenda
Hi Lisa,

I'm trying to get you some more feedback. I have never participated nor visited this show. I do hear good things about the quality. I looked at the website and the 2008 artist list and many of the artists are members here. They just seem to be asleep today. My guess is that if you don't live too far away and you can keep your expenses down it would be worth a try. I recognized a few of the jewelers on the list--Cynthia Mann, David Smallcombe, Sharon Spry are members, and you can contact them through the members list on this site. Cynthia is local, David comes from K'zoo and Sharon travels all year, maybe has a mobile home.
Lisa, this message just came into my personal mailbox:

"Last year and it was awful. They made a good effort but it seemed the only thing selling was lawn ornament and it is wayyyy over priced. Jim W."
We did this show last year and it was great, also did A2 the week before and was low on stock but it turned out to be in my top 5 last year for earning. I think it also depends on what your medium is, I do functional wood turning and cutting boards and had a lot of people buying for Christmas gifts. We are also doing it again this year. Patty is a doll and will work with you and the opening party on Friday is good. Food and wine & drinks free!
LOL. Confused yet, Lisa? It sounds like this event is like even the best ones, some artists make a killing, some sell nothing and others get by. It looks as though this boils down to your tolerance for risk. But then you wouldn't be in this business if you didn't have a pretty good tolerance for that. Let us know what you decide.
Thanks everyone for replying so quickly. I am going to do it. It is my first retail show season (I've done wholesale for many years). This year is all about taking risks. Who knows what it all will bring. By doing Orchard Lake, I will be doing 5 shows in 4 weeks (Lincolnshire, Ann Arbor State Street, Orchard Lake, Gold Coast?, and Uptown). I appreciate this forum so much because I have learned so much from it. Connie thanks for all that you do! Hopefully, I'll meet you all at the shows! anyone know about Sedona or Partadise City Northampton? they're on the same weekend and I need to choose between them?
Dear Friend:

Anything in MI (especially near Detroit) is a huge risk until the economy turns around, but if you have some "affordable" quality merchandise I would highly recommend this show. The promoter is excellent, and we had a great crowd of patrons on Friday night due to aggressive marketing. This is a beautiful show with great amenities, but because I am a musician and not selling a similar product I can't predict how you'll do. I quit doing Ann Arbor in favor of this show. The clientele here is different from Ann Arbor which is in your favor. My sales numbers last year were slightly below my weekly average (which was very low last year) but the professionalism and quality of the show has drawn me to give it a second chance. I think it's a chance worth taking.

(...and send all your friends who haven't heard about this gem of a show the postcards that are included in your acceptance package so they come. Pls don't braodcast this, but you can also give 'em to your customers the week before...)
What I have read and done is go and check out the show first and speak with some of the vendors. If it looks like a good show the next year send in the application.
I was in a first time show in a small town that has a big festival going on and the show was a flop. I learned my lesson.
Good Luck :0)
I did the show a couple of years ago. Fantastic organization. Great support to the artists. Friendly, Brought water and snacks around several times a day. Great artist breakfast. Great location. Everything great except for sales. Attendance was low and not many sales. Don' tremember for sure but don't think I made expenses. There is an Octoberfest there which draws thousands but can't seem to get people there for this show. Things may have improved since.
Goood luck in deciding

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