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Hi there,  Still looking for feedback from anyone who may have done this show in the past.  It is coming up the second weekend of October.  Their package indicates the expected volume of visitors this year is 400,000 to 450,000.  The jurors are from Colombus Gift Mart.  I would just love to hear about your experiences, advice, etc.  It is our first time being juried into the event, and seeing that the size of the event is huge I would imagine someone out there has some knowledge.  I would value your feedback.

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Comment by Larry Berman on October 1, 2013 at 4:10pm

I did it once about 20 years ago and I don't think it's changed much since then. Back then I had super commercial photography that at a normal art show, people would line up for (http://bermanbears.com), but I was barely able to make expenses. The country crafters have a great show there and if your work fits you'll do well. It's (was then) a grandfathered show and once the people in the next booth found out I wasn't interested in returning, they took me to the check in area where they signed up to have my booth for the following year so they would have a double space.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

Comment by Erin-Lynn McAleer on October 2, 2013 at 10:08am

This will be my 2nd year at Sauerkraut. Last year was amazing! Even with a storm hitting Sunday afternoon I did good.  They are not lying, I've never seen so many people at a show! Be there early!!  People were there at 8am ready to go with shopping carts! Parking is a bitch! That's the big downside. People who live in the area charge people to park in their yard (I can't imagine the amount of money they make off this show). I had 3 people helping me and at one point we were ALL busy.  I do steampunk jewelry, if you have something "different" from the norm, they love it. The key is to have all price ranges as well. I have pieces that are $5 and ones that are $80. I hope you do well! It's a great show!

Comment by Genmarie Stiber on October 2, 2013 at 11:01am

I am on the "wait list" and emailing them daily.  I've heard Sauerkraut is a great show but you have to bring your patience with you !

Hopefully, I'll get in on a cancellation.  Good luck to you !

Comment by Debbie McMaster on October 2, 2013 at 4:35pm
I did this show for 12 years. We took a break about 10 years ago and changed a few things. We did handpainted wood and personalized all our items....this was the best of shows! I liked to be able to pay for next year on Sunday. They come around and jury on Saturday. I now do linked jewelry and hand painted pendants. I am so glad to get back into this show!! You have to get there about. 7:30 and be set up. One can remember on year it rained on Saturday morning and the people were there with umbrellas!!! In the Dayton paper on Sunday they always take a picture at one end of the show with the sea of people. You just wonder where they all come from! I know of a group of women that save all year for this show. They shop on Saturday then go back to their rooms and show everyone what they bought.....them the next day the come back for more! You have to make sure you have the inventory and you should do wonderful! I will post after the show is done...good selling to those that are doing it.
Comment by Barbara Pitorak Bloom on October 7, 2013 at 11:03am

Thank you all for your responses.  We are very excited to be part of this event, anticipating every need, are bringing help with us, and watching the weather, which seems to be looking favorable.  I promise a full report when it is done... and hopefully we will be bringing  home an almost empty truck!  

Comment by Genmarie Stiber on October 15, 2013 at 1:27pm

I'm looking forward to hearing about your Sauerkraut Festival experience.  I was so close to being a vendor. I got a call Tuesday, 10/8/13 telling me there was space available...I'm thinking "Yahoo !" I took the day off work, booked a hotel and the next day received a call from the same promoter who said the opening was "not in my category". Really?? I'm 3-D mixed media, no openings? Not a one? I wonder what happened?

I will apply again next year and see what happens.  Oh, this crazy business we're in sheesh !

Comment by Barbara Pitorak Bloom on October 15, 2013 at 2:35pm

Genmarie, i submitted a review today, however it is moderated so the post has not gone up yet.  Overall they live up to their expectation of drawing large crowds.  They said estimated a half million over the two days.  Weather was lovely bright sunshine and mid 70s both days.  Crowds began swelling before the event even started.  They were very organized with the loading in and set up... as you arrived at your entrance (they gave you specific numbered entrances that varied by vendor) we were met with high school kids with radios... they got the approval and we were dispatched to our location.  Goal was to not have traffic blocked, and keep one lane open for vendors moving through.  The entire event had over 450 vendors, lining both sides of the 6 blocks of main street, and half blocks of the side streets.  Food vendors were tucked between artist booths.  As the foot traffic picked up we did see people with shopping carts doing their shopping, filling the carts up.  But that was sporatic, not usual.  I posted some of the photos on my blog at: http://imagesinbloom.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/the-ohio-sauerkraut-f...

I must tell you i was surprised by one thing - while there was lovely higher end art, there were also some booths that seemed to belong in a church craft show instead... and there was someone selling what a friend calls "stuff on a stick" - yard art, which all looked like it came from a pat catan or walmart... and did not look hand made. There were a lot of repetitions of same genre - i counted 6 vendors who slump glass bottles and make them into serving pieces.  Another repetition was jewelry made from silverware....  Half of our business is handcrafted vegan soap... well there were a total of 11 soap vendors there, breaking the threshold of what the market could bear.  But my hand dyed silk carried the weekend, selling all but one piece.  

We are weighting out the profitability.... drive from Cleveland, rented a uhaul, hotel room for 2 nights, living expenses, gas, entrance fee, and jury fee... Did we make money - yes.  Was it profitable? somewhat.  

Comment by Genmarie Stiber on October 15, 2013 at 3:14pm

Thanks for the great review! I too, am from Cleveland and wondered it the show would be profitable.

It's nice to hear of an organized show, I love that !

Gee, I can see why my category was full.............wait :) not !

Congrats on a good show. An empty van for the return trip is a very good thing.

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