Tuesday, August 21, 2012

AWM Presence at the Annual Stockbridge Arts and Crafts Show

Craft shows can be a lot of fun if you're lucky to have good tent neighbors or friends at the show.  I had both in Stockbridge.  Across the aisle from me was Beth Russo, fellow jeweler, and her friend Ellen who kept me entertained most of the day.  And several members of the Artisans of Western Mass. were in attendance as well.

Bethany was there to help me, as usual, so I got a chance to walk around and chat with people.  And she was nice enough to booth sit for Amy Love and Steve Nartowitz who were doing the show alone.

Amy had a nice spot in the shade.

I saw Steve a lot as he was near 2 of the most popular places at the show--the food court and the bathrooms.

Jody was situated behind Beth Russo so I could see her colorful clothing from my tent.

Tony is always so happy to have his picture taken.

I'm really going to be needing friends at the craft shows I set up at in the future.  Bethany, who has done every show with me for the last 4 years, will be moving away and, as children should do, will be moving on with her life.  These four years she's made it possible for me to get started selling at craft shows and, while at them, to walk around when I get antsy and to visit other vendors and network a little.

Bethany, I will miss you and the time we spend together.  I hope Denmark is the beginning of a lifetime of wonderful new experiences.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stockbridge Arts, Crafts and Infomercial Show

There are a lot of arts and craft shows in the Berkshires, three in Lilac Park alone. It's a great place for them with tourist traffic all year long so there are new customers every week.

This weekend we were in Stockbridge.  Two great days--sunshine, warm temps, and  low humidity.  The show takes place in the center of town, walking distance from the Red Lion Inn in a town filled with tourists.  And they love to bring home local art.  So we were busy both days with customers who appreciated the work that went into the silver pieces and the creativity that went into the steampunk.  Most sales were made with credit cards and there was no shortage of American Express cards.

I was a bit disappointed, however, to find yet another show that had too many jewelers.  But it didn't seem to matter as we were all different and everyone seemed to be doing well.   We were situated across from Beth Russo jewelry, next to The Silver Web, and there were other vendors near us with jewelry as part of their inventory.  I had seen Beth at other shows but never really had a chance to talk to her much.  Being across the aisle she and her friend, Ellen, came over to compare impressions of the "garlic girl" in the next tent who has infiltrated yet another craft show.   I've mentioned her and her infomercial spiel before in this blog.  And while she professes to make each and every one of her graters herself, no one really believes it.  She is still very animated but she has dropped the volume of her routine and offends less by using less garlic and more carrots. She's been doing this for so long she has now added some comic one-liners and a Julia Child impression.  Ellen & I were amazed at the number of people who stopped by (and brought friends over) just to listen.  Is she an actress, a stand-up comedian, or just a natural talent?  OMG, she's plain annoying!   And, yes, she was selling them -- for $20!

I think we've succeeded in getting her removed from at least one show, probably 2.  But it's very frustrating for people who work hard creating from scratch their own artistic products to have what amounts to a carnival barker included in the mix.  As I've said before, she belongs at the home show next to the guy selling Vegamatics.