Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I have applied to a couple of shows put on by the group Vintage Market Days . I found out a few weeks ago that I am waitlisted for the spring 2017 show in Amite, LA (3/10-3/12, 2017).
However I just got notification yesterday afternoon of acceptance at the one in Brandon, Miss., just outside Jackson. This is one is a couple of weeks after the one in Amite (3/31-4/2, 2017).
I am wondering if any of have done any of their shows? What should I expect? Any advice?
Did you do the show in Brandon and how was it?
Yes, I did the show. The dates for the show I did were Nov. 10-12, 2017. I did the show in Brandon, Miss., a burb of Jackson.
The show is a mix of vintage, antiques, vintage inspired, hand crafted/handmade, art, and some commercial. Actually VMD is a franchise event with an "endorsement" from Country Living magazine as a show not to miss.
I struggled at the beginning when I did this show because of the commercial stuff there. It is really more of a "market" than an art or craft show that allows several types of products. That is how it is run. The rules say 10% or less in the booth can be commercial. However, after walking some booths I know *some* had more. These booths had too much of the same item and they were too identical, too 'perfect', and some items were found in multiple booths.
Ours had a *tiny* l amount ... some coaster holders to go with our handcrafted coasters and a few tea towels but the rest was all painted, distressed, altered, or had something done to it by us. Our percentage of commercial was certainly in line with the rules. Though something was sent out saying they were going around to look at booths for compliance I never saw any booths that had commercial stuff removed.
The way we saw it, we were signed up for it. To not attend meant forfeiting our booth fee and possibly burning bridges for this show and others put on by the franchise. I know promoters talk to each other just as we artists/craftsmen do here and in other forums. We knew we could attend and do our best to present handcrafted, altered, distressed and repurposed home decor. We provided full disclosure about our items.
We will do more of these shows in the future, along with some other more traditional shows. We will not sell out concerning the commercial products. I will continue to paint, alter, distress and repurpose and present the best product I can, no matter where I show it. My stock of commercial stuff will be severely limited as it is now. I consider the coaster holders add-on's to something customers would already be purchasing.
Thanks for the input. We are just accepted to our first VMD event and wanting to make sure it's a good fit for us.
We have done 2 VMD shows this spring, Mobile, AL and Amite, LA. If you want to talk more about it, feel free to PM me. You can find me on Facebook as well.
Cindy, It is interesting to see this since someone just last week sent me an email link about the VMD shows in amite and Sulphur. their website doesn't seem to post a lot of photos or other work in these shows. No booth fee info etc. Are there any other details you might provide for me? They both seem interesting and not far of a drive.
Greg, I will message you.
Greg, message sent via AFI!
Greg, look for us under the name Cynthia Welch Designs. Last year I was in the second building. There are signs directing everyone to the additional space that says, "Additional Vendors" with arrows. Very easy to see.
There are food trucks that have some great food so I hope you'll check them out as well. Southern Spoon was good and they are from Louisiana.
I'd so much love to attend one of these events, Cindy. Besides having a serious shopping gene, they sound like interesting events with a lot of variety and not stratospheric prices. I don' think they have anything like these around here. Keeping the commercial out of the shows encourages better buyers and more likely people who are interested in the handmade. I'll bet your work stands out in this atmosphere. How many exhibitors are there usually? I'd think one of the other good things about VMD is that if they like you and you like them back that the shows are something you can pencil into your schedule regularly, giving you some security. Is that true?
They do offer easier entry fees than shows out there. This is not fine art and does not pretend to be. If anyone reading here is looking for fine art, then stay home. However for those looking for the things offered here, it is a great place to have lots of booths to choose from. There are around 100 different booths, give or take, available for shopping.
They keep out things like Scentsy and those type mlm, direct sales, etc. However there will be some items that are commercial. However there is a lot of things built from scratch, or altered things like I do. I don't fault those who join mlm or direct sales who are just trying to scratch out a living. However I do not like having them in shows at all.
We do have to apply for each show. No one is guaranteed readmission to have a booth. However, I believe there is an atmosphere of "loyalty" that is rewarded, so to speak. I am sure the promoters/franchisees talk amongst themselves just as we craftspeople and artist do. I figure they are up to date (as much as they want to be) on who are the trouble makers and those who are rule followers. ;D I have not seen anyone with their wares for sale to act out, no blatant rule breaking or scenes.
If you want to see where they have shows, just go to www.vintagemarketdays.com. You can see them listed by date.
Connie, I am going to PM you some additional information.