Well, we lost 2 of our shows (almost lost a third) this year. It focuses the mind you might say. I hope to say at that it was the best thing that ever happened to us but that would be premature at this point. It definitely makes you take a long hard look at your work and where you want to go. There's no doubt when you do the same shows year after year and you get to know what sells and what doesn't, that you become complacent. We've re-evaluated our work and added some new stuff that I hope to have on the website soon.
The thing is that you don't get any reason why you were rejected from most of these shows. all they'll say is "there were a limited number of booths available and the competition was strong". It's difficult in this business to really get any constructive criticism from qualified people. So we decided to try to enter the Kentucky Crafts Marketing Program, http://kycraft.ky.gov/
The program was started back in the 70s to get the work of Kentucky's craftspeople to a larger audience. The idea being to introduce artists and craftspeople to the owners of galleries and shops all over the country to whom they could wholesale their work.
We were in it either the first or second year, I forget, but the entire wholesale thing really threw us; you have to either cut your retail price in half to the shop owners or double it to the retail customer. We felt we had gotten our price as low as it would go for our retail buyers. And in our business, it takes just as long to make a particular piece if we're making 12 as if we're making 1. Mostly we want the feed-back. So we're going to Frankfort for their jury session on Monday.
Hey, if anyone wants to comment on our stuff and tell us what's right or wrong with it, feel free. http://www.homestudioartglass.com