Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ah yes...sour grapes, to smash or to savour...

I know it's been quite some time since my last blog post.  There has been so much that has gone on since Spring Break.  It all seems a blur now... well not really.  I just have finally come to terms with it all.

I went into Spring with a positive approach.  My business goal this year being "location, location, location." You know, streamlining how I obtain my accounts.  I thought my ideas were attainable and even sustainable, but so far been proven as I would say "not so much."

My first venue was to participate in the Modern Vintage Chicago Spring Clothing & Jewelry Explosion.  I will say that while my display was kind of over the top, it did turn out beautifully.  I did feel kind of like an old-timer amongst all these savvy and sassy indie designers, but it was fun.  I learned alot and more importantly I was vetted to do a bigger, more important show.

The next event was a huge decision for me.  I'd been told about it years ago... but felt like I just wasn't ready.  In order to be considered, you needed to submit a portfolio of work, bio, etc... In my opinion "big fish" and I surely didn't feel like one.  So when I was asked to participate, I was proud & honored.  Albeit a little bit freaked out by the cost, but I felt that it was the next logical step into growing my business.  Because afterall, this is my goal this year.  So it was with bated breath & much excitment that I submitted to participate in GenArt Shop Chicago for Spring.  Their website is no longer up for viewing, but I will link an article to this post which pretty much articulates how I feel about the closing of the organization & the perceived duplicity in soliciting participants for an event within three weeks of closing the doors & accepting our money.  Needless to say, I was devastated.  I am a very emotional art is deeply rooted in my emotion and everything on every level affects it.  It may sound a little ridiculous, but I was a bit emotionally destroyed by this.  It took me many weeks to overcome and get a better attitude.

In the meantime, I had also already commited to participating in The Randolph Street Market.  A phenomenal show which showcases some of the most interesting vintage and antique finds of a more urban feel, culiminated with the talent of indie designers of Chicagoland.  The end result was a break even on show costs & a very small profit, of which I could totally accept.  I was grateful to at least cover my costs.  The upside, all the wonderful vendors, spending time with a friend and some major shopping after some fun negotiation with my husband over "found money."  I can find the silver lining, if I truly look hard enough.

The latest is that some wonderful friends of mine who own a local shop will be closing their retail doors.  I will not disclose at this time their identity because this is all too new.  But this week I found myself withdrawing my inventory from their store.  Nice people, huge hearts with roots in our community.  I am sad that they will not have a presence here, but am happy to learn that they will continue to grow their wholesale and online business ventures.

I know....I sound like such a downer, right?  Business has been slow even in my other bricks & mortar locations...but I am not giving up.  I feel right now that I cannot continue to take risks to put myself in the positions of securing accounts and I need to withdraw a little bit.  My ultimate goal for this year being the Chicago One Of A Kind Show.  But I know now that is a lofty idea as the fees for participation are staggering in comparison to all of the shows I've been involved with thus far.  But you know what?  I've decided I'm okay with it.  I mean we all know why, everyone is struggling, people cannot put food on their tables, afford healthcare, provide for their own basic needs - so in the grand scheme of things, this is small fish.  What I do is a luxury...a frivolity - not a necessity.  And I am fortunate, as I have been told many times, that I have a wonderful husband who has committed most of his adult life to travelling full-time in order to provide for us on a moderate level.  And while my goal is to be able to contribute to college for my children, it is not a necessity, I am still a whole person - even if I am unable to share my art out loud at this time.  And...I have found...I am okay with that.

I promise to be more in good cheer and be more interesting again in my next post...promise.