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Friday, December 17, 2010


Ok, getting rejected from a show sucks. There can be a wide variety of reasons for getting rejected, but in the end, they don’t want Gorilla Dust stuff in their show, they want somebody else’s stuff. Period.

I get rejected from about half of the shows I apply to. It never gets any less depressing to get one of those standard “we love your stuff, we think you are neat, BUT . . . “ emails. It’s easy to say that it’s not personal, but it kind of feels personal since it is your stuff they are actually rejecting.

My favorite was one that went along the lines of this wording:

Thank you for your overwhelming response to our show. This year we had over 83 applicants and ONLY 80 spaces available.

So basically just me and two other rejects not allowed in? Awesome. That kind of specific information could easily be left out. Gahhhhhhhhh.

When I see a show close by that I know I could make some money at, then get rejected, well there’s not only the sting of not being wanted, but also the sting of hey, I could have made some money. That stings worse than a bee filled with acidic bee death venom. . . or so I would imagine.

A few months ago, someone found my website (however these things happen – google, a business card of mine, divine intervention) and went to my contact form, filled it out, and asked me to apply to their show and included all sorts of details. And I thought hey, why not, it looks like a really fun, indie show and close to where I live. Then? Two days later they rejected me!

Ok so I’m not even going to lie, I am taking that one rather personally. I mean I never had even heard of the show or would have applied had this person not contacted me . . . maybe they just really needed my $10 non-refundable application fee.

So now I am out ten bucks and let me tell you, ten bucks can go a loooooooong way at the Taco Bell drive thru. I’m just saying.

In the end, craft show juries, organizers, owners, etc. have their reasons, have their own personal styles, opinions and favorite things, vision of how they want their show to look, etc. And that’s ok. They are organized enough to have their own shows and rock on because seriously? I will NEVER be that organized or motivated to produce a show.

So yeah, I am never going to be cool enough to get into all the shows I want to, but what I can do is enjoy the ones that allow me to participate, meet some fun people, sell some stuff, and have enough money left over at the end of the day for a burrito. What more do you really need in life?

Anyhow, sorry if you thought this entry would provide some insight into how to actually get into shows. I clearly have no idea. Here are my tips (get ready):

  • Apply early. I don't know if this helps, but just do it.
  • Take good pictures - this is key I think, all juries have to go on are your pictures. Don't use the same pictures every single year. It gets old fast.
  • Make good contacts at the shows you get into. Other crafters are a wealth of information about shows.
  • Do not write hate mail to the show organizers about how awesome you are and how buttheaded they are and how you hope they develop a very itchy rash on the back of their knees for not letting you into their show. Feel free to think it, but don't put in writing.
  • Go to the show you were rejected from if it's nearby. See what type of crafts were accepted, see if it's something you want to apply for again the next year.
  • Go to Taco Bell as needed.
  • Keep swimming.
  • Alcohol lessens the sting of rejection. Beer: the answer to and the cause of all of life's problems.
  • If all else fails, start your own show . . . and hey, let me be a vendor. I'll bring snacks!

    **Unrelated, but I thought I would try and write some reviews of craft/art shows I have done. I know that whenever I am thinking about applying to a show I always try to find info online from past vendors . . . and usually come up with nothing. Especially when a show booth can cost $300 and up, I need some reassurance that someone, somewhere has some experience they can share, good or bad. So that’s my plan, write some reviews. Nothing fancy, just my personal experience as a vendor, thoughts on location, crowd size, advertising, organization, etc. Look forward to that feature in the near to distant future here on this blog**

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