Well last weekend was my first formal foray into the world of fine arts and craft shows. I participated in the Merrimack Valley Artisans show--bringing jackets, free lace scarves and art cards. It was a lovely show and I felt proud to be a part of it.
As a "newbie" with primarily pricey merchandise, my goal for the show was to gain experience and exposure. I definitely did both and even made some sales, so I was a happy woman at the end of the weekend. There is so much more to doing these things than you ever realize when you start out. Just managing to get your booth set up and taken down without major mishap is a major accomplishment. I'd purchased a black metal gridwall system thinking that it would look nice and give me a great deal of flexibility for future shows.
It proved more difficult to set up and take down than I anticipated, but I think the look is worth it. I got many compliments on how nice my booth looked. Thankfully I learned several tricks that I think will make it easier to manage the next time I do this.
Response to my jackets and scarves was heartening, giving me good motivation to keep going and looking for appropriate venues for getting my work out there. Another artist who's a colleague of my husband, Jacqui Hawk, encouraged me to participate in the Women's Works event sponsored by UMass Lowell's Center for Women and Work on December 1. I'd considered it before, but the personal encouragement was just what I needed to make the decision to go for it. It'll be held at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center in downtown Lowell from 2-7 p.m. If you're in the area, stop by to say hello.