This weekend in Charlotte at Art and Soul was a good one, despite the dire predictions of severe weather for both days. We did have severe weather, just not during show hours, which was a great thing, to say the least! Saturday, the rain held off until we had zipped up our tent, and walked to our car. Then, as my mom would've said, the bottom fell out of the sky! When we returned in the morning, the inside of the tent was completely dry--we LOVE our Trimline Canopy! Yesterday it sprinkled a bit during the early afternoon, then the sun broke through. Severe weather was predicted for about 4:30, so the show organizers allowed everyone to begin load out at 4. We did our load out in record time--90 minutes--and got a bit rained upon ourselves at the end, but no stock or display items got wet. As we drove home, we traveled into and out of a number of storms, but by that point, it didn't matter.
The show itself was considerably smaller than last year, with more kids' art activities. I was one of only two African American artists; also a significantly smaller number than last year. Our placement wasn't ideal; we were 4 booths away from the dance stage, and our location included a large street drain, and a decided downward slant toward it ( although you can't see it in the photo, we felt like we were standing in a ditch behind our desk, writing up sales!).
Despite all this, we had a fairly successful show. We'd lowered our expectations in terms of sales, given the economic climate we're in right now, and we were right; compared to last year, we were down about 40%. As usual, the Ancestress Series shadow boxes and mask wall hangings garnered many positive comments, but none were sold. The new bamboo piece got lots of ooohs and ahhs, but wasn't sold either. The big hits were mirrors and clocks. Two of the new "pod" design clocks were sold, and most of the mirrors I brought now have new homes. We were able to cover our expenses, make new contacts, and have an enjoyable time connecting with customers and potential customers. I got new names for my mailing list, (oh, and two customers mentioned receiving postcards!) and I'm looking forward to returning to Charlotte in September for Festival in the Park.
Off to unpack the car, and get back to creating...I have LOTS to replace before Piccolo Spoleto, in less than a month...a good problem to have, but a challenge, too!