Artstreet…Why Do Art Shows? Pros Cons


Well, this is me. I don’t post my pic that often and for good reason. I don’t really like my picture on the internent constantly. That being said, Hello!

Artstreet was great. It opened for the first time on Friday night to artists. I was wondering how it would go because people are not use to it being that way and there was a home Green Bay Packers Football game. It was better than good. It was great! People were in a completely different mode. They were dressed for dinner and a date, very kicked back and casual…drinking a glass of wine. I had half of my sales from 5-8pm on Friday night. I find that is pretty normal at most art shows. Your best sales are the first day. The people that really want to see you are planning on being there when the show opens.

The atmosphere at night was not ‘busy’.  No strollers and slushies…No Baking Sun…No Loud Music…. Romantic and quiet, Nice. Thanks ArtStreet for the Friday night.


Swinging Hinged Earrings…. 3 inches long… Sterling Silver

These are very fun to make! Tiny hinges on the bottom of the square make them swing while the hammered circle swings as well…great movement in these handmade earrings.



Copper Bangles are almost gone. In the dead of winter I will make more. They take a lot of muscle to maneuver them. I made some of them hinge and ‘latch’…They worked just perfectly and they all sold. I also made some tie in a knot. That was really difficult to do but worth the effect. Those are all gone as well.

So, why do art shows? They are really physically hard. You are basically setting up an entire store for a day or two and then taking it down. You are setting it up often outside which is risky! If you have bad weather the show is pretty much a loss. Hmmm, well, for me I meet new people that become customers for life. They come back at Christmas time via the interment and call on the phone for a special order. It’s the only way to really connect with people and make friendships and customers and have the interaction you need for a lasting relationship. I have a customer in Oconto, WI named Dawn. I met her at ArtStreet maybe four years ago. I look forward to seeing her every year. If I did not see her there I would think something was wrong. She mails me stuff of hers to repair/restyle and mails me custom orders to make for her. I don’t think she would do this if she did not meet me and trust me. If you are not good with people or     do not like people and  are reclusive shows are probably not for you. Let someone else do the selling like a gallery or online sales.

Art shows (if the weather is good) also bring in a large amount of sales in one/two days. This helps the pocket book and allows you to stay in business, make new things, buy more material and see customers faces wearing things that you made. I just love that! I love seeing someone smile when they put on a piece of jewelry I made. I hope they smile like that every time they wear it.

You have to crunch the numbers though. If your shows are not profitable change something… Your shows not being successful can be a zillion things on an endless list. Sometimes a show can just not be a good show for no reason at all and the next year be fine. So don’t beat yourself up but look at your product, your booth, your price points and be objective. Look at what successful merchants do. How did they get so famous and have sales? How do they market their product? How can I do that in a small way or hey, a big way! Go for it. Todd Reed is a pretty famous jeweler and designer. He sells his raw diamond rings at Neiman Marcus. Guess how he got in there? He just never stopped calling. Guess how he got in to a bunch of trade magazines….He never stopped calling, marketing, pushing, photos, etc…. It did not happen because he was sitting at home thinking ‘My stuff is awesome. Why doesn’t anyone call me?’

You have to have a plan. You have to have a goal. You have to write down. You have to change it up.

Make new goals every year. Make them specific for one year, five years, ten years, and into retirement. WRITE THEM DOWN. CHANGE THEM EVERY YEAR. REWRITE THEM (every year!)


Hammered Sticks from my jewelry supply shop… These make great links for all kinds of things.


Bad weather at show can be very BAD! Leave the show. You cannot risk damage to not only your things but someone else’s things if your tent decides to become a parachute and land on a stained glass artists booth. My good friend Tammy Rae left ArtStreet with several others because their street was in a wind tunnel and peoples things were crashing to the ground. Good choice….leave. I went to find her on Sunday and the street she was on was only half full of artists. The other half of them left due to wind. I was on the street 3 years in a row without problems so it was a fluke with wind gusts. I told her to do ArtStreet so I hope she returns next year. It was SUPER Hot on Sunday pushing 100 degrees. Sunday afternoon was pretty slow and that is to be expected in that kind of heat.


Amethyst Specimen Stone Necklace…daintier than I usually make!



Ancient Roman Glass Earrings… Glass dates back more than 2,000 years. I could not make these so beautiful without my rolling mill. It just makes the smooth, sleek lines of silver perfect.



Spinning Band… 18K Gold center band, copper and sterling silver



Sterling Silver Feather and Jasper Stone Necklace



My daughter Savannah, great help and great fun. Thanks for hanging in there for three days straight and my helper KT-Thanks Katie!!!! And of course my husband and son who help set up and take down when it’s cooking hot. I could not do what I do without them. Thanks! The day following ArtStreet we left at 7am and went to Wisconsin Dells, Noah’s Ark… Largest waterpark in the country. It was a nice treat from the heat and a last blast before school starts. The Big Kahuna Wave Pool can’t beat it.


About Wild Prairie Silver

Silver and Goldsmith for Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry View all posts by Wild Prairie Silver

6 responses to “Artstreet…Why Do Art Shows? Pros Cons

  • nanettemic

    Thank you so much for your post. You are such an inspiration! I am getting ready for my first craft show and am a bit frantic with so much to do but your words help calm me down and keep me focused. Thanks! I want to make hinge and latch bangles but am not sure how to do it. My bangles are approx. 2.5 inches. do you provide different sizes? Could you send a picture of how your bangles latch? You are a beautiful lady and can only make the internet better! Cheers,Nanette

    Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:38:03 +0000 To:

    • Wild Prairie Silver

      Let me know how it goes. If the weather is good its usually all smiles. I’ve seen your work Nanette and its beautiful so you should have no problem with people loving it!

  • Chris Kerr

    Lovely lovely work! Thanks for the encouragement and reminders to be safe re: crazy weather. Love the pic of you AND the pic of your beautiful daughter. Summer has sped by….I hope to see more of your pieces this fall!

  • kate d

    your work is incredible! i love the bold abstract designs. this is very similar to my ideas. but mine are on paper so far…i am so grateful i found your blog and supplies site too. i am a beginning metalsmith. this is something i’ve wanted to do for sooooo very long. your comments about the show inspire me. and i plan to look for a show in my general area come spring when hopefully i have a stock of things to sell! thanks for taking time to share with all on your blog!

  • joan

    Hello. I see in you posting that you say that you do repair. Do You? I have my engagement ring (it’s like 40 years old) the bank broke. It’s gold. and I also have one of my opel rings that I lost one of the stones from it. I had lost an opel earring that I think the one that I have left might be the correct size to put into the ring. Let me know what you think.
    The girls will be coming back into Egg Harbor Veteran Day’s weekend. So I can either bring them to you or ship them to you if you want to check them out. Thanks Love Aunt Joan

  • Marion Gainer

    Wonderful post, love it!!! Beautiful pics of you and your daughter! Congratulations on a great show and wishes for continued success!!!!! :~} Marion

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