Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
We went to New Iberia, LA, for an art and craft show that is all handmade. We have done it before and loved it. However it had been about a year since we did it because of the demise of our tent in early 2016.
New Iberia is a quaint little town in south Louisiana in the heart of Cajun country. It is within 30 minutes of all the action at Lafayette, LA where USL is located.
Shadows on the Teche is a historic home that is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. I have not been in the home itself but attendees of the show are able to tour the home with docents. It is a public building, no longer a private residence.
The show is the smallest show we do, with about 100-120 booths. The local art guild participates by obtaining booths for (at least some) it's members. All the booths are on the grounds of the home. Booths are the standard 10x10 and are $60 each. Electricity is available for an extra fee, which I cannot remember off the top of my head.
Admission is $5 for those 12 and over and $3 for kids ages 3-11.
You'll find brick and gravel pathways that allow you to walk most of the property. A center sidewalk leads from the street to the front door.
The staff has always been very professional in communication, running the event, etc. They are willing to answer questions via email, etc.
Due to the nature of the property is not possible to drive up to your booth for unloading/loading. Everything must be hand-trucked or brought in by wagon, etc. At least part of the loading/unloading will be done over a gravel path. We parked across the street from the front of the house, the closest we could get. It was about a 100 yard trek according to John (dh).
I should mention here that the weather was very up in the air, no pun intended. We had our eyes on Nate in the gulf and New Iberia is about 1.5 hours from our home.
Set up is available on Friday afternoon or you can arrive early on Saturday morning. Set up was uneventful. We decided to set up our new tent, including sides, drapes for the inside, lighting, and shelves. We did not want to risk our product in the tent due to Nate.
We stayed at a local Ramada Inn. We, well I, had a mishap at the motel. I was trying to clean up via a shower before going to dinner. I felt like the tub was getting slippery and looked down to see water accumulating in the tub. Somehow I missed seeing the stopper in the down position. I called dh to help because I feared falling. He came running and was trying to get it unplugged ... and down I went. I am so thankful he was there because I know God used him to keep me from hitting my head on the faucet. The ONLY injury was that my middle finger hurt. It was not broken, due to my swift lay medical assessment. LOL We made it to dinner and I favored my right hand due to my small injury but was able get eat a good meal with John and Ashley (dd).
Apparently my hand hit the side of the tub while trying to break my fall and bruised that finger and caused a little swelling. I did report the incident to the desk clerk and told them it's not because I wanted something from them. I just wanted others to be safe.
Saturday we showed up early to finish our set up. In the course of setting up we got word that only about 1/2 the artists would be there. The others were dealing with preparing for Nate, some lived in New Orleans and were fearful of flooding, etc. We also got word that they totally understood if we felt the need to leave early. There would be no penalty for leaving early.
A few that had started set up on Friday, and some who arrived on Saturday, decided to opt out first thing. We decided to try it till about lunch time. It started at 9:00 AM and would give us about 3 hours.
Attendance of shoppers was very low, much lower than we had experienced in the past. Oh, the staff decided that since so many booths were vacant they would institute a one time policy ... shoppers were not charged a gate fee. If they wanted to make a donation on the way out, the staff would be there to assist. I do not know how many donated since I could not see the gate from our booth.
We started tearing down about 12:30 or 1:00 PM. As we were tearing down a few people trickled through. They were very understanding. I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. I told them they could shop what was still left out. If they were looking for something specific and it was packed, I'd unpack it. I also gave out plenty of cards so they could visit my online shop.
I remember before we started tearing down, a group of 4 ladies came by and one them, first thing, asked, "Do you have a store?" In the way she asked, I knew she liked the way my booth the way it was set up and could imagine a store front. Very pleasing to me. She and her friends all took cards when I said I had an online store. Most people understood what was happening.
Shadows is going to have a reschedule date. It will probably be the 2nd Saturday in December. Most of the vendors said they were took booked to return in November. Those who return will not be charged for a booth. They did not have to do this but I suppose they want to make the best of the situation.
Even if we cannot return for the reschedule date, we will go back in the spring. The spring date is the first Saturday of March.
If anyone here at AFI will be in the area and are looking for an all hand-crafted event that is on the smaller side, this would be a great show. I know sometimes y'all are looking for fillers. This would be a good filler for those passing through either direction in Louisiana. New Iberia is just a short distance from I-10 and Hwy 90, which is all 4-lane. Speed limit on Hwy 90 is between 65 and 70 depending on where you are on it.
There are several hotels to pick from as well as local and chain restaurants.
I guess that is it. If something does not make sense, just ask ... I got interrupted a time or two typing this up.
I do love that booth space fee, Cindy. You can earn that back pretty fast, I'd think at a classy event like this, usually that would be, not this time. Good to set up on Friday, of course, and you have lighting for an outdoor booth?
Sounds like the organizers really know how to keep the exhibitors happy, what a nice policy to offer spaces for another event. It is unusual.
I'd bet there is a lot of nice work here and too bad about that old weather. A nice job opening came about a few years ago and I asked a couple of former show organizers if they were going to apply for it but they both said "never again will I run an outdoor show." We all kind of take it in stride, but if it is your only event and/or the event that supports your organization, like this fine plantation show, that weather can be a killer and put you in the red.
Hope you get those "be-backs" to your online store, Cindy. What is its url?
Here is something I found online about the show: http://www.iberianet.com/news/despite-light-rain-biannual-arts-and-...
Thanks for your response, Connie. My url is www.cynthiawelchdesigns.com. I have uploaded a lot of my stuff but not nearly all.
I know the fee can throw a lot of people who are accustomed to paying more for an all handmade show. There was some beautiful wood work, real precious gemstone jewelry, poured concrete art that had a stain applied to it, a lady who makes beautiful rosaries, and so much more. I did not get to visit many booths for which I am sorry.
Pat, the lady in charge, seems to take everything in stride. I am sure there was stress. These homes often do depend on these shows as fundraisers. They garner the booth fees and admission fees to help defer the costs of running the home. Their insurance and upkeep can be quite expensive, especially with having to keep things historically correct.
We never know what those connections will turn in to when passing out cards. There is never a guarantee but we can always hope it turns in to sales.
Cindy...Where do you apply to do the show? We would like to do the spring show.
Greg, the spring app is not up yet but I think they are normally up by or around early December. You can call them if you need to know more specifically. The app is posted to their website and it is http://www.shadowsontheteche.org. They are also on facebook.
Thanks Cindy... I didn't know if they were on Zapp or through their own website. Just checked out their website) We want to start doing some shows that are an hour or so from home in addition to the ones we drive long distances to participate.
No, they are not on Zapp. You'll be able to print the app, fill it out and send it in. Fees are due with the app.