March 31, 2019: On The Road Again
“Here we go, on the road again
Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turnin’ our way.” Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson
This past weekend, we had our first show for the 2019 season. It’s the earliest we have ever begun, but felt that it was a great way to get a jump start on the season. We usually begin in May and go through December. The few months off in between give us time to refresh, regroup and be re-inspired.
At the onset of every season, we take stock of our inventory, both in jewelry pieces, but also our booth displays. Our booth has evolved over the years Our first show ever was in northern Maine in 2009, with a 2 by 8 foot table at a local Summerfest, Now our 10 by 10 booth is set up like a boutique, with multi-levels, whimsical displays and themed sections. It takes us three hours to set it up and two hours to break down. There are times when we are envious of other artists who set up and break down in 15 minutes, but we wanted our booth to be unique, reflecting who we are as artists and what we create.
Booth set-up is literally setting the stage. We begin with an empty space and then the transformation begins. We’re constantly on the lookout for displays that fit the criteria of having both aesthetic and practical values. From stores like TJ Maxx and Home Goods , to boutiques and second hand stores, finding a piece that will “fit” our overall vision for our booth is always fun.
Like our jewelry, our booth is constantly evolving in our efforts to showcase our work. Some displays that have been utilized before, need to be changed. Others have wear and tear and need to be discarded. New signs need to be made and tattered ones replaced.
Space is at a premium, and critical decisions are made on where to place each piece and collection. For example, during this time of year, we’ve put away our snowflake/winter pieces and brought out the paddle boards and beach themed jewelry. Even during a two-day show, I’ll shift pieces around to where it has the best advantage to be seen. As pieces are sold, more changes are made in the design of our “little shop”. This can be confusing to a customer who returns a second day and can’t find the piece they came back to buy in the same spot. Fortunately, if it hasn’t sold, I know where it is located.
We also have to make sure our displays are weather secure, especially during outdoor shows. Living in New England, the weather can be so unpredictable. While we have a weatherproof tent, gusts of wind can wreck havoc on displays that are not secured. Clamps and weights are definite “must haves”.
Ron and I have promised each other, that as long as we’re still having fun, we’ll continue on this show road. While the set-upwork is a challenge, the benefits come from the friendships we’ve formed with both other artists and the customers who visit our booth. These interactions have been very rewarding and add a richness to our lives that we are grateful for. Check out our show schedule and if you happen to live near one of our shows, we’d love to have you stop by.