Art Fair Insiders

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

Strawberry Days- Still not working for me

This will be my fourth and hopefully last time to give Strawberry Days in Glenwood Springs CO a chance to be a decent show.  When I did this show back in 2002 I was disappointed in sales compared to booth fee but if I could have made close to what I did back then I would have been thrilled.  

I know this show has a new promoter and it seemed she was doing her best and working very hard to be sure there wasn't any buy sell and that the artists/crafts people were showing what they juried in with. The quality of the show was decent though I didn't get a chance to walk the full show (even at a slow show I tend to stick to my booth because I would hate to miss a sale or opportunity).

I heard comments that the work was better than past years but really the key issue is the demographics of the show goers.  Generally they were very young and didn't have any inclination to buy even the lowest price pieces.  But they were very engaged and interested in my work- when they were there.  There were many hours of not a person in my booth... which to me is just no fun- even if I'm not selling I would like to at least be showing my work and talking to people.  

The hours are very long and the three days just drag on.  At least I had great neighbors to chat with and could work on my clay.  But I can tell when I have a terribly slow show because I get too much done- not enough breaks to wrap up works of art for customers.

I would love to see this show come back- it fits very well into a CO show schedule and it's in a wonderful community but I think I will wait awhile to see if these young art show attendees can eventually turn into young art buyers.  

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Comment by Noreen Gug on July 21, 2014 at 6:23pm

I am the new hire of the Glenwood Springs show..   I am not the promoter, although I am one , the Chamber still is, so they do have the final say on everything I do, and can over ride me..  The show is much cleaner than it was two years ago.. I  will def attest to that!  I did horrible last year (2013) myself as a vendor, but this year I did very well..  If I was just a vendor  and not the hired help.. I would do it again.   It has to turn around, and is as far as vendors are concerned.  They still allowed in 4 commercial booths, which I argued against.. but  they were not put in with the Arts and crafts area, which I run, but put in what they call the family fest area.  .. I know a lot of people who did very well.. and then some who didn't.. that's the luck of the draw at any show.  My prices are on average of 25.00 to 120.00  and all $$ levels did sell, of my work.  I do lapidary, not a silver smith or fine art jeweler by any means,  but work with rock.    The show still needs some cleaning up, I agree.. many do these days. But if we don't try/support the ones we want to see cleaned up, they never will, and will be lost to the wind!  I do think that the advertising was a bit confusing as to where the FA&C area was, and have spoken to the Chamber about that as well to fix for 2015.. They need to step that up.  I am not responsible for that myself, like I am at the show I put on.. 

I would give it another shot as a vendor, even if they didn't hire me for 2015.  I had a great show.. and I look at at least 10 times my booth amount..    Just my experience    

Comment by Weldon Lee on June 25, 2014 at 3:12pm

The Vail show that my wife and I will be doing is on the Lionshead Mall by the Vail Square hotel. They call it the Vail Arts Festival. I had a friend do the show in Edwards. Based on how he was treated, I do not plan on doing it. Thanks for the input regarding Golden. I may reconsider applying to it in the future.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on June 25, 2014 at 2:12pm
Weldon, is the Vail show the one in Edwards- Art on the Rockies? Good luck. I wouldn't give up on Golden. I got out my file on Strawberry Days and found booth photos. I bet I didn't have 20 belts on the wall back then, and they were just plain leftovers from what I sold to geologists. Now I have over 600 on the wall and 400 in reserve - shocking. It was a learning curve for me.
Comment by Weldon Lee on June 25, 2014 at 1:51pm

Sorry that Glenwood Springs didn't work out for you, Layl. Richard, it looks like I be seeing you in Steamboat. As for Golden, this is the second year in a row that I've been rejected. Although I'm new in the art festival business, I've already been accepted in a couple of shows bigger and more widely known than Golden. There will not be a third time. Heck, they even misplaced my booth fee check. Lori and I are leaving early tomorrow morning for the art festival in Vail. I, too, am anxious to hear more about CB.

Comment by S Brian Berkun on June 25, 2014 at 11:17am

Years ago I audited Strawberry Days, just to see what it was about, I could tell from the visit that it wasn't a show worth my time.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on June 24, 2014 at 3:26pm
I want to hear about CB.
Comment by steve appel on June 24, 2014 at 2:00pm

Thanks for review,  i too did it once and told myself would not return,  the promoter who i met at winter park last said she was going to change the show, oh well,  it may be a cleaner show but i did not make enough money to warrant going back, plus it is a two day drive from AZ.  oh well guess i will see a few of you in winter park and golden.  But in between i am going to CB

Comment by Layl McDill on June 24, 2014 at 11:17am

Richard- I'll be at Winter Park and maybe we'll see each other!

It's funny that this show needs to mature since it is 116 years in the running but that is what it needs.  Maybe it will come back.

Comment by Christina L. Towell on June 24, 2014 at 8:59am

Thanks for sharing, Layl...sorry you didn't have a better outcome but it sounds like the attendees were too young and inexperienced to be purchasing art.  I guess we'd better give this show some time to mature...

Comment by Pam sharp on June 23, 2014 at 6:39pm

once was enough for me on this show.

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