September 27th I had the opportunity to exhibit my work in the 4th Annual Maplewood Art & Music Walk. It's the first time in several years that I set up a booth at an outdoor art fair. And, while I was a little rusty, I was thrilled with the results of my setup, the numbers of people who stopped by, and my sales. There are certainly some things that I might change, but I thought I'd take a minute to share my successes, which I've learned over many years of doing shows, as well as the failures. I'm still learning from my mistakes and will be brutally honest about what hasn't worked.
Before doing so, I have to thank my helpers: my husband, Lee, who gave up part of his Saturday to run errands for me and test-run my tent, and most of his Sunday to help me set up my exhibit and tear it down. My littlest helpers were my two sons, who despite sometimes being difficult to have on hand, were actually quite helpful. Joel, my 6-year old, helped put up the tent, velcro the walls, and hang signage. My 2.5 year old, mostly stayed put in his stroller (very helpful), then played with bungee cords with his brother (helpful while they were having fun, until the big bro knocked over the little bro on the sidewalk). I have to say it wasn't the most relaxing setup I've done, but they all really played a huge part in what you see above. Looking back, I wish I had the clarity to take some shots of them helping.
THE MUST HAVES:
Quality tent. My tent, made by E-Z Up, is over ten years old. It's their standard model with white vinyl sides. While it's been great, even outlasted a small tornado in Sparta years ago, some of the trusses couldn't handle the age of the tent and snapped at the end of its last use. FYI - E-Z Up sells replacement parts! So, for $48 (included shipping), I was able to replace two of the trusses which extended the life of my tent. I was able to place the order a few weeks prior to the show and repair it in advance. Hopefully I'll be doing more shows in the future, which made this a great investment.
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Sometimes called the Kitchen God's Artist, I'm balancing mothering two energetic sons, a big mutt Ringo, making and teaching art. TraillWorks is the apron under which I create and teach. My own art develops mostly in my West Orange home studio, but is sometimes spurred through my teaching, which takes place at Oh! Canary Studio, located in Maplewood, NJ.
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