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Anyone here go Bling show in Highland Park Illinois ... total bust

Just got back from Bling show in Highland Park..Amdur productions show..I don't know what to think about her shows.She did a nice show, had munchies for artists and if they needed anything, they were accommodating..can't complain about that.. Amy even went through and purchased a few things from cheaper artists to help out..

Jury fee was only $15, we paid $450 for the space and $75 for electricity, inside venue, but half the exhibit space you'd have in a normal set up.. Good thing I got electricity, because it was the "black hole of Calcutta" where I was, 40 watt can lights in selling..

I kid you not, they went around changing out 40 watt bulbs, to 75 watt on Sunday,  due to complaints.. Sadly we showed Friday and Saturday in low light..

I've done two of her Chicago area shows and sold absolutely "zipp, zero, nada".

The crowds at GoldCoast were bored stoller pushing folks , not a spending crowd..I even threw in a couple $30 items and couldn't sell..

Bling was at Highland Park, an affluent area, jewelry and accessories..at the golf club.. Houses the size of hotels nearby,so hoped for the best.. We got there, at the entrance was a guy on the right selling vacation packages, on the left was a guy selling Anderson Replacement windows..

The show ended up smaller than first anticipated.. lots of buy/sell again mixed in with high end..items that were assembled from supplies bought at Micheals or Hobby Lobby.. A lot of assembled component  jewelry,not real hand made..

Amy Amdur walked someone by and called the booth next to me "high end" jewelry,it was all assembled from mass produced components, chains and beads from Fire Mountain Gems... silver and gold fill...

I had 18kt and platinum.. she called mine "funky".. If the promoter doesn't know the difference, between high end and hobby, how can she promote fine art.

Also not adhering to their rules, buy sell in shows, but one exibitor called and asked about a space, she never applied though Juried Art Services, paid a jury fee, just got in.. It was a low jury fee , only $15, but the point is, all the rest of us paid,except a few and if buy sell gets in and others get in just by calling, she gouged the rest of us for jury fee..

The crowd was a mix of old and really old with an occasional soccer mom thrown in.. I heard people saying $50 was too much..Most people sold items in the $30-$50 range.. Most sold nothing,especially if they didn't have any low end..

I threw in an old tray of $30- $50 items and still heard "oh,I can't afford it"..I said I do lay away... just to see and she still walked away.. when you can't get a sale with offering lay away on a $45 ring, all hope is lost..

Most of the artists ended up congregating at tables nearby drinking coffee and talking about all the lack of sales at the shows..

Talked about how jury fees go up, booth fees are up, buy sell booths, increasing and fewer high end artists coming.. how so far, they've lost their asses at Amdur shows and won't be coming back to any of them..just can't afford to travel and pay and pay and not sell, no matter how nice the Amdurs treat us, we just can't afford it..

We were counting the wheel chairs and walkers and commenting on one woman who whipped through on a Segway! 

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Comment by Kathleen V. Smith on November 18, 2015 at 2:29pm

Some Artists told me they felt they needed to "change their work" for the area.  That may work for some, but I always felt if I don't sell in that area, it is NOT my market . I go only where patrons LIKE what I have, but I won't pay Amdur prices because her shows aren't that great from what I have seen & heard.I WILL pay it for other promoters tho. Also, being NICE is NOT poor placement, but that's my feeling.

Comment by Carol Musial on November 18, 2015 at 2:03pm
I stepped into Amdur shows this summer just to see if they could work for me. I have been doing shows at various levels for the past 13 years and thought I'd try some of her events. I had nothing to base my decision on and no sales record to consider. I did two shows, and while they were nice events with helpful staff, the sales just didn't pan out. I was thinking it was me or my product. I'm in the process of rethinking my work and expanding my glass work so I can have something new to offer next season. I show primarily in the Chicago area and have had a very slow year. So now I wonder is it more the market & not me or my product. Trying to regroup for 2016 and it's quite a challenge!!
Comment by Jan Raven on November 18, 2015 at 1:43pm

I tried Amy's shows again two years ago and will never, ever do any of them again. Poor sales, high fees, WAY too many jewelers (when I did the Highland Park show two years ago 53% of the booths were jewelry!!!!), poor placement of booths relative to the paid sponsor booths. She and her staff are nice, but nice doesn't pay my mortgage.

Comment by Colin Murray on November 18, 2015 at 9:43am

We have totally dropped all Chicago Art Shows. We lost money all the time. Sad to say. 

Comment by Kathleen V. Smith on November 17, 2015 at 1:46am

From my comment above, I see now that you did NOT have a sponsor on both sides-that's good! I couldn't edit this-sorry!!

Comment by Kathleen V. Smith on November 17, 2015 at 1:43am

Michelle, I'm so sorry about your low sales here. It looks like you came all the way from Ohio too, so that also means hotel expenses. I am not sure how long you have been making jewelry, but one thing as a Jeweler I have learned thru the years is that just because you are in a bit of a higher-end area, does not always mean your sales will be better-generally they should be, but then it depends on the promoter-how she advertises it~if she is a refreshing new promoter, or one you see everywhere! You have very Unique Jewelry~I personally would say NOT FUNKY!!  You have good range prices with some upper-end & your work looks too fine to be anywhere where there is buy/sell & having a sponsor on either side of you! My God, that alone would have pissed me off.  Alot of shows do have to have sponsors to keep the cost down, but your booth fee was $450 + $75.00 electric?!  That Michelle is HIGH!  I will e-mail you a few shows later this week for you if you are interested after I find the info. we do well at them & think you will too! Again, I really love your rings!  That's what we specialize in too!  Good luck to you down the road!

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