Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Well, I'm packed and ready to head down toward the Windy City way and my first Promenade of Art in Arlington Heights, Illinois. I'm excited, I can tell you.

 

Altthough this past Tuesday, Mukwonago had such high winds, hail and lighting that it shattered the boys plexiglass basketball hoop(good thing it fell to the right. Dan's antique refurbished 1963 Fury was to the left! Whew.) And it split our largest tree right down the middle......that was the one my oldest tried to saw down when he was a toddler! I thought it had nine lives....guess only two. Willow, my sober Maltese, and I were under the heavy computer desk in the basement. Too many tornadoes that are not in Kansas to suit me!

 

Anyway, if Connie asks, that's were I will be.

And I'll keep you posted.

Course, I'm no Nels....so don't expect a raconteur.

 

I'll do my best.

Anyone else going?

 

Views: 203

Comment by Patty Tiry on June 24, 2011 at 5:44pm
Hi Linda, I'll be there too.
Comment by Annette Piper on June 24, 2011 at 8:40pm
Hope it goes well for you Linda - don't forget photos afterwards!
Comment by patti stern on June 25, 2011 at 8:40pm
Hi Linda~ our daughter went to Camp Beber In Mukwonago for years...what a beautiful area and used to go to the Elegant Farmer...think that is what it is called!
Comment by Connie Mettler on June 25, 2011 at 9:54pm

Glad you got through that storm, Linda - and that the storm was before the show.

Oh now I wish I was going to be in Arlington to hang out with you Linda, Carla, Geri, Patty, Diana and Anita! How much fun to meet each other. You've been such a great communicator on this site -- and I've not met any of you.

This for sure, I'll be at the Krasl Art Fair in St. Joe, MI, on July 9 & 10-- who else will be there? Any of this Arlington group?

Comment by Donna Sauers on June 25, 2011 at 10:38pm

I'm there!  #352 - my usual spot in front of the Metropolis. 

We also had storms come through here Tues.  Some still out of power.  A big limb came down (after flying over the house and landing in the driveway).  Luckily it didn't land on the car.  Squished car would be bad.. but since my car is always packed with my booth it would have made the week a little more hectic!

Comment by Linda A Shields on June 26, 2011 at 12:19am

HI GUYS!

After much hassle, we finally have our computer up at the motel and I can report on our experiences so far!

Dan and I arrived at our scheduled check-in time, received our packet and circled the Fair until we finally found the correct route inbound(if only Linda had not thought that booth space 352.5 looked like 331.5 on the map, her poor husband would not have had to go back around the town so many times!)

 

Our gratitude at finding our tent spot lasted ten minutes........a ROCK BAND was doing their thing in the park across from our booth site. Dan and I were quiet(how could we hear anything) as we set up and closed the tent. As we pulled away, I told Dan to head for the nearest store that carried aspirin and ear plugs. Man, we had ringing ears and aching heads. I was a little deflated. I did NOT want to be across from that band all weekend.

When I was in my nightgown and looking at all the information about the show again before bed, I noticed that there was a spot for a harpist to play. I thought it illogical that a harpist be scheduled with this crazy loud band. On closer viewing, I could not find any music scheduled in that park space at all.

HOPE!

Yup, I never needed those ear plugs after all! Silly me.

We were eager to get started on Saturday. The weather cooperated the entire day with either full sun or partial and a nice breeze. The crowds were steady and sometimes my booth was packed.

My first customers were a couple celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. He bought her two stunning necklaces and I started off the morning with a nice $750 sale. My customers were a varied lot of people. Early in the morning, this lady arrived, very excited. She had worked very hard to win an Amdur $50 gift certificate and she wanted to spend it in my booth!

She is happy wearing her new necklace! We were happy she picked us.

Traffic was steady until the last minutes. I didn't have time to seek out my fellow AFI friends. Something I will try to do tomorrow.

People were exceptionally interested in my craft today. The question of the day was, "SO, did you make this jewelry yourself?" I went to great lengths to be nice and explain PMC, kilns, patinas, cabachons, lampworking....well, you know how it goes.

Here are two of my sweetest customers:

 

 

After hours, Amy Amdur hosted a party for the artists at a local restaurant. I had met Amy as she came around to each of the booths, during Fair hours, to introduce herself to each artist in her show. At the party, we talked more. I found her witty, charming, pretty, intelligent, engaging and passionate about Art Fairs. I related our encounter with the loud band music Friday while setting up. She said, very ernestly,"I'd never do that to you."

I really was impressed by Amy's style and her ethics when she discussed the Festival scene today. This is no easy job. This is a woman I liked personally and professionally.

We put 2K in the cash box and we are tired and happy.

Looking forward to tomorrow.. the weather's suppose to be good again!

Keep your fingers crossed.

 

Comment by Annette Piper on June 26, 2011 at 12:36am
Linda, I'm so pleased you had a great first day - what a lovely sale to start your day off!  I'm glad the rock music disappeared too :)    Hope tomorrow is even better!
Comment by Donna Sauers on June 27, 2011 at 9:29am
Glad you had a good weekend!  The music is part of an Arlington Heights event that happens on that weekend.  I'm far enough from the stage so the music actually gives me some energy during set up! 
Comment by Linda A Shields on June 27, 2011 at 6:20pm

Well, we are home and have ourselves settled.

I wanted to get back and finish about the Promenade of Art in Arlington Heights.,

My feelings are pretty succimct:

 

WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!!!

 

Sorry for all that emotion...I just had to get it out.

Dan and I did a verbal inventory on why this festival is now one of our favorites:

 

1) It was run professionally.  Other shows are run by the Chamber of Commerce, Womens Clubs, Art Groups or Sponsors of some Organization. NONE of them ran this smoothly with their parking, in/out procedures(Amy actually directed traffic closing night), cleanliness, security, etc.

 

2) The professional mood was easy, pleasant and personal. Staff were there to assist you at any time. You tied a green neon strip to your tent, and help came a running!  Amy personally came around to every artist to chat and ask how you were doing. Judges actually came around to inspect your booth. I asked a question and received a detailed response from her. I was impressed after reading some of the horror stories on AFI. Not so here.

 

3) The music turned out to be sensational, Donna. It was a great mood inhancer.

 

4) The people were a hoot. What a range in styles, shapes, ages and characters. I was amused and entertained both days.

 

5) The local businesses weren't artistic. They were mostly food based which the customers seemed to have come to enjoy as well as the Fair.

 

6) We loved our fellow artists. But it was so crowded we just had the morning and evening to give each other mental high fives or encouagements.

 

7) We packed up slowly because we were tired. Even then, we were on the highway home in 90 minutes and being welcomed by an ecstatic Willow at our door in another 75. So, in less than three hours from the end of the Fair, we were unpacked at home. Time to hit the hot tub, shower and fix a great dinner on the road to full relaxation.

 

8) We made great money on day one. Day two we pulled in about half that. Taking out the fees, the gas, the hotel and food left us with around $2,300. I'm happy. Dan's happy. Willow's happy.

 

So now we prepare for Gold Coast in two weeks.

Who's going?

Comment by Patty Tiry on June 27, 2011 at 7:11pm

Great Report Linda,  I love Amy and her shows.  She is good at what she does and supports and respects the artists. 

It was a great show for me too.  Did better on Saturday then compared to Sunday, but still walked away happy with my sales.

 

I'll also be at Gold Coast, Booth # 408 on the North East Corner of Lakeshore Drive.

 

It was a pleasure to meet you.

 

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