Monday, April 30, 2012

Recap of Spring Into Art Show in Nappanee, IN

This past weekend mom and I had a show in Nappanee, IN which is located in Amish country.  Both mom and I had a wonderful time but now are exhausted!  It was a three day show; Friday was set up and an evening show, Saturday was the show from 10am to 5pm and Sunday was 1pm to 5pm then tear down and about a two and half hour drive home.  Both mom and I have our fingers crossed that they will allow us back in next year.

One great thing about the show, it is inside!!!  They had the vendors in four large rooms and the hallway, which was plenty of room.  This is our booth set up.  We were still figuring out what to do with the window but we now have an idea to put legs on the window so we can stand it up on the table.

This is mom, Friday night, before the show began.  We had a great opening night talking with the patrons and explaining the process of how we make our pieces.  I talked with one lady for about 15 minutes about the process.  She was a regular patron and sorely missed the show last year (Nappanee took last year off to revamp the show).  Unfortunately the customer's husband was not able to make the show and he missed coming.

What was wonderful was that the lady came back on Saturday to purchase a piece for husband.  We were a little late getting to the show because we were stuck behind a tractor pulling a grain bin.  Like I said we are up in Amish and farm country - the roads are narrow and hilly and I was not going to pass that tractor on narrow roads and rainy roads, so we were late.  The customer was waiting for us to arrive because she wanted us to write the process down on how we created the piece.  Like I said her husband was unable to attend, he is turning 93, and she wanted to bring a piece of the show to him and she bought one of our pieces to do it - how cool is that!!!!

This is the room we were in.  There was another jewelry artist, a potter, a lady who makes gorgeous scarfs and shawls and an oil painter.

This is the hallway with artists up and down it.  On Saturday there was even a balloon artist making balloon sculptures for the kids (though I really wanted one).

One of the other rooms with artist booths set up.

Another large room with more artists set up - the booth to the right is our friend Deb's set up.  She makes the most gorgeous lampwork beads and Sterling Silver PMC pendants!

Mom fell in love with this artists work - the sold painting is what mom bought (she ended up buying three of her paintings).  Agnes is from Poland, just moved to the states because her husband's company moved them here.  I am not sure if this is her first show or not, so mom and I gave her tons of information about shows around the area.  I wish I could have taking a better picture so you can see the stunning work she does.  Maybe once mom gets her paintings up on the walls I can take a better picture.  We also might be creating a collaboration piece with Agnes.  She is looking for a specific piece of jewelry and we told her to draw it up and we will see if we can create it.

They had a booth of high schoolers work - these kids do amazing work!!!  You can't really see it, but at the bottom left corner of the table, it is a pink swan, a kid made it all out of paper - GORGEOUS!!!!

I think Nappanee did a wonderful show.  The people who put the show on had a lot of advertisement (they used images of several of our pieces in posters and brochures), news articles and on TV.  They also had demonstrations of different artistic endeavors and even had talks about how to do art.

The scarf lady bought our elephant pendant for her daughter.  Her daughter just returned from South Africa and while she was there she was sending her mother pictures of elephants and what elephants to do tourists who end up to close to them.  I guess there are photos of one bull elephant chasing down a car and the car was trying to get away from the elephant.  The scarf lady bought the pendant so her daughter can use it as a Christmas ornament to put on her tree.

I was telling mom that I love this necklace but I never thought anyone would buy it.  I was so wrong.  We had a customer buy it on Sunday.  This is our "Captive Robin" necklace from the December 2010 ABS Challenge.  The customer was trying on several of our necklaces and I gave her an explanation of how each one of the necklaces were created.  She loved the story of this necklace.  This made mom and I feel like a million bucks.

Flowers from Bee Tree by m.e.

I will give a bit of advice - make sure you take your tools and your supplies if you can to a show.  It is a good thing we did this show because we had a customer ask if we could re-size this necklace for her and we were able to because we took our supplies.  The customer asked us to lower the two smaller flowers closer to the larger flower and make the necklace a little shorter.  We were able to do this for her and she asked if we would make another necklace like this with blue flowers.  So, I highly recommend taking your tools and working with the customers and you both will come out happy!!!! 

Another tip - smile and say hi.  Also explain what you do and how you create your pieces.  That will really draw the person in.  This gives the customer and idea of what you do and that the pieces are handmade.  We had one customer come behind our booth and tell mom we did wonderful work and thanks for explaining the process to her.  Mom also said she had one gentleman be so enthusiastic over her explanation of how we make our enameled pieces.  Another great tip is give good information to other artists, especially if they are starting out.  Like I wrote earlier mom and I made up a whole page of shows and gave it to Agnes and then we talked with another artist who was just starting out on Sunday.  We gave him a lot of information about shows he should contact to participate in.

I know this was a long post but there was so much to share with you all.  A little bit of what went on a little bit of advice.  Now I am off to unload the car, took today off because I don't think I could have gone to work this morning - too tired!

Oh, mom and I have some ideas for new pieces (possibly a cuff bracelet that I can't wait to try and make) so stay tuned for that.  I am going to try and open the Etsy store today, but who knows.  I hope you have a great week!


  1. What beautiful displays :-)

  2. Sounds like a great show!!!
    Your pictures and descriptions make me feel almost like I was there.
    Great advice "make sure you take your tools and your supplies "
    I am soooo Happy you could adjust that necklace for the customer !!!
    m.e. :D

  3. What a wonderful recap of our show! Thank you so much for your praise, as well as for your interaction with other artists and our guests! Looking forward to Spring Into Art 2013! Hope to see you there. :)

    ~Lindsay Brandon-Smith

  4. Thank you so much for your fabulous post on our show! Your interaction with the customers and other artists is exactly what we hope for from our "vendors," and you will, no doubt, be invited back again because of your beautiful, thoughtful work. Can I share the permalink to this post on our Spring Into Art Facebook Page?

    Jessica Flores
    Communications Assistant


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