Big Show, Small Pieces

“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small pieces.” I took that great advice from Henry Ford as my motto in preparing for my first-ever art show last weekend.

I aimed for a simple, streamlined booth, with contemporary displays, business cards and packaging.

I limited my offerings to three collections: botanical-themed lariats and earrings in Fall blues and burgundies; 100 earrings made the first 100 days of this year with proceeds to be donated to Doctors Without Borders; and one-of-a-kind necklaces grouped in Fall Brilliants and Neutrals.

My best decision was to enlist my sister, Janet, to work my booth with me! I would not have made it through the busy periods without her at the ready to record sales, make change and hand customers their perfectly wrapped packages. And she wore pink! (I read an article post-show citing statistics that booth attendance goes up significantly if you welcome your customers into your booth wearing any shade of pink.)

Making my financial goal for the show was a big win. But even more valuable was being able to connect with customers face to face, getting their feedback on my products, and testing out new design ideas. (My lariats were a hit, but my Clio earrings? They garnered no interest at all!)

Another amazing aspect of the show was the personal interaction with other artists on my aisle. What a talented group they were.
Jenny Pfanenstiel of Forme Millinery was exhibiting her one-of-a-kind couture hats in the booth right across from mine.

Justin Keibler, of Baz and Bea, exhibited his boutique's collection of classic and trendy custom-dyed ponchos and dresses. 

Gina Hirsch, Designer at July Moon, is an art show veteran who definitely knows great ways to create
height and visual interest. How cute are those repurposed men's dress shirts?

The question I was asked most often (by customers and other exhibitors) was how they could find me online. As this blog is my only online presence, I’m going to have to address those questions pronto. Deep breath. One small piece at a time. I’m starting today with this free Facebook Marketing course from Creative Live. Join me?


  1. Congratulations on a successful first show! Your table looks great. It is so wonderful to have help at shows. My husband always helped me and it made the day run more smoothly and efficiently (especially when I needed tech support for my iPad or with Square)!

  2. Congratulations! So happy you had a great show (although I have NO idea why those Clio earrings didn't just fly off the table!) And isn't Fome Millinery cool? She's a Louisville artisan, and I do love her style...

  3. Congrats on the your first show! It sounds like it went really well and you met lots of interesting people.

  4. Congrats on your show! Your table looks very inviting!

  5. Hope you enjoyed it! I love lariats!

  6. Great job on your show! It's inspiring to read since I still have not ventured out in those particular waters. Isn't it interesting how some things move? I love the Clio earrings. And your advise about focus is really good, even for your potential customers. I know I can feel a bit overwhelmed if there are too many different things to look at.

  7. Congratulations on doing your first show.