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Swinging down through the Chicago Loop with the great Cher and Christina belting out about burlesque("show a little more, show a little less, let them know what's in store, welcome to burlesque!), we started out our journey to Gold Coast in high spirits.

When we reached the lake we could open the windows and feel the great breeze off Lake Michigan.

 

And that's what my tent has: a great view of the magnificent fountain in Grant Park and a cool breeze. Our booth is backed by huge trees that offer total relief from the noon sun. Amy handed out water jugs to everyone and there are tons of ice and water available at all times for us.

 

We were the first group to set up(we pulled in right by our booth. I owe that all to a fellow AFIer named Robert Campbell. He stalled unloading  and saved a loading space until my husband arrived. Thanks, great guy!)

 

We left at 4 pm as the next group was arriving. I must say it was an impressive sight to see all those white tents....and that was just half the number.

 

I feel like Christmas Eve. I just can't wait to wake up tomorrow. 

Views: 184

Comment by Linda A Shields on July 9, 2011 at 11:26pm

Well, Linda woke up!

She just didn't get the present she wanted.

 

What a day! Let me tell you about the one my husband and I are still shaking our heads over:

1) Two middle aged friends enter my booth.

2) They try on numerous pieces, making Linda run around in the 90 degree heat.

3) They settle on three pieces that they MUST have.... credit cards are out.

4) One of the ladies becomes hot. She says she's okay. But we fuss.

5) We sit her down.

6) Dan gets her Gatorade and some ice for the back of her neck.

7) As Dan is ringing up another customer and I am going for more Gatorade....

THEY LEAVE.

 

THIS IS HOW THE DAY WENT!

A nun came in(she had her habit on) and we looked at several pairs of earrings. On one expensive pair I told her, "Sister, I will give you $10 off of that." So, she settles on a $25 pair and asks for a discount!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I asked her in disbelief, you want a discount on $25? She said she would be back later. You know what happened.......never returned.

 

The heat, I think, made people NUTS! Including me.......I just fell into the air-conditioned hotel bed and moaned. Dan and I are forgetting the Art World for the rest of the night.

Tomorrow....

I'll just pray for better weather and saner customers.

Comment by Annette Piper on July 10, 2011 at 4:59am
Oh Linda, it sounded so picturesque...and then reality hit!   I hope tomorrow is cooler and with lots of customers!
Comment by Linda A Shields on July 11, 2011 at 6:23pm

So, I'm calm and cool today.

Trying to rationalize Gold Coast.

Here are some extremely negative conditions about those two days:

1) Outside our tent, in the full sun, the temperature at 1 pm was 92 degrees and rose to 95 by 3 pm. On Saturday, there was little wind and no cloud cover. On Sunday, we felt little gusts off THE CITY and there were times when the sun was covered. The temperature at 3pm on Sunday was 91 degrees. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, you know what it was like selling for 10 hours daily in the tent!

2) The heat caused the people to make comments like, "Oh, it's too hot to shop", "I can't try anything on, I'm too sweaty," "My brain is just fried, I cant decide."

3) I would say that 1% of the crowd were upper, upper middle class. How did I get to that fact?

 We counted how many people entered our tent each day and divided by 10. Thus, on average, 49.5 people(no kids), entered our booth PER HOUR EACH DAY. I though that having almost 1,000 people travel over my carpet in two days was phenomenal and owe that to Amy Amdur.

Now only 10 people WOULD have bought in the $200-$500 range with no questions. One man bought two necklace sets that totaled $475, a woman bought a necklace set for $375, another a set for $299,  another five items for $235, two friends bought matching silver leaves for $175. I told you about the Gatorade "Slip Queens", Then a man entered with his wife. He wanted onlythe most expensive necklaces I had: She was FICKLE and I lost the sale. I great man came in and wanted ssome male jewelry. I may do a consignment for him. He had no limit on price. RATS and BLUE BLAZES!!!!

Comment by Amy Furgiuele on July 11, 2011 at 6:26pm
So was it financially successful for you and would you do it again?
Comment by Linda A Shields on July 11, 2011 at 6:30pm

Sorry, I didn't finish!

4) Everyone wanted a deal.....I was so sick of hearing the words, "So, what can you bring this down to, really?"  I remember the great discussion in the blog:"What is the worst thing someone has said to you?...."

 

And BARRY, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!

YOU CAN"T EAT COMPLIMENTS.

I still said 'Thank you' a lot because my husband says that if people can't afford to buy and they can only afford to tell you that your work is beautiful, then you should still be grateful because they gave you what they could give.

Comment by Linda A Shields on July 11, 2011 at 6:57pm

Also,

5) Getting out and in wasn't so bad considering there were so many people. Again, Amy and her staff are superb professionals.

6)Amy came around and shook hands thanking people. Today I received an email of thanks from Amdur Productions for our patience and resilience through some tough conditions(paraphrasing.) The email also asked sincerely for any comments that would improve the Show.

 

Let me tell you about something I saw. Sunday morning they gave out awards. The man right across from me won the award for 2-D. What an honor, right!

When Dan went for food at lunch, he came over to talk to me. He did not speak English perfectly but it was understandable for a limited conversation. I congratulated him on the award. He shrugged his shoulders and said,"No care." He said, "terrible show......stupid people." I said,"Oh, it's been so hot." Thank heavens his phone went off just then. The show lasted until seven pm. At 6:20, this man began to take down his tent.

BUT HE THREW everything around loudly. Metal poles went CRASHING and rolling, one after another after another. We all grew quiet it was so violent. This man was very angry.

 

I guess, his actions set me straight.

We made our fees and all expenses and about 1K more.

 

I set my expectations too high and the weather ruined it.

 

This is a tough business. This was a tough weekend. This is our life.

Comment by Linda A Shields on July 11, 2011 at 7:00pm
Amy, I would do any Amdur Production.
Comment by Linda A Shields on July 11, 2011 at 7:45pm

MAJOR CORRECTION:

The AFIer would held a car space for us was ROBERT COPELAND!!

 

Hey, that reminds me.....where were my fellow AFIers at 11 am on Sunday morning?

Comment by Christine Freeburn on July 11, 2011 at 8:45pm
I too was at Gold Coast, sorry I missed 11am on Sunday morning.  We had a very good show.  It was one of the best shows that we did in the last 10 years.  I don't know exactly why things worked well for us, they just did.  Everything seemed to fall into place.  It was hot and uncomfortable and gatorade probably saved my life.  I would most certainly do the show again, and was happy to be part of it this year.  All the best at your next show.  Chris
Comment by Annette Piper on July 11, 2011 at 11:38pm

Linda I'm glad you had a decent show and you're right, the organisers can't do anything about the weather and people being too hot to buy!  Making $1K over expenses isn't bad - you may not be able to live on it at that level all the time, but a profit is a profit!  

 

Christine, glad you had a great show and that the moon and stars seemed to align for you this year!

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