Friday, December 10, 2010

what (and who) i will miss






i won't be doing the toronto one of a kind show again. in spite of my success, in spite of the fact that toronto is "my market", it's too much. i've done the show 5 times. for the past 2 years i've sat in a virtually empty booth for over half the show (it's an 11 day show). i can't make enough product. i do it all myself - dyeing and spinning and knitting. because i am making "artistic decisions" through every stage, i can't pass work onto anyone else. i could do 1/2 the show but the expenses would be almost the same - the travel, the booth fees. so my profit would be too small. and i have to work too hard. at this point i want to slow down. have more balance. not expand. so i won't be going back to the big show.
but this is what i'll miss. mostly the friends i have made. although the show is huge (over 800 booths), you become very close to some of your neighbours. mary was my neighbour the first show i did and we've kept in touch ever since. she is a collage artist - making "paintings" with tiny pieces of torn paper. she can go days in the show without a sale, and then make a big one (that's what it's like for the visual artists). but she's never without a warm and sincere smile. her greek mother sends greek cookies to my booth every year. april makes wonderfully chunky pottery (and has my favourite booth display in the whole show). every year we seek each other out and do trades. and every morning i eat my cereal from her bowl and drink my coffee from her mug and always think of her.
nadia is a young jewellry designer and every year my sister and i buy each other earrings from her. we've also done a few trades. this year nadia is pregnant and i'll miss not meeting her baby.
and i'll miss the customers that come to my booth year after year. and the "blog followers" who come and identify themselves. the excitement and the energy. but now i need simple.

7 comments:

Catherine said...

Shawn, we will miss you too. If I make it back to Newfoundland again I'll look you up!

Shammickite said...

I am so sorry that I didn't make it to the ooak show this year. I was in the middle of packing, moving, and now unpacking.... my moving day was Nov 24, so it was impossible to get there, just too much to do. And I'm sorry that I won't see you there next year, perhaps I'll see you next time i'm in Newfoundland!

Kerry O'Gorman said...

I know what you mean, Shawn about these BIG shows. That's a huge part of the reason I stopped doing them. The high booth and fees for entering, shipping, hotel, meals etc...and truth be told, people just aren't buying like they used to. They would rather have the cheaper version from Michaels or China. The stress of getting ready for a big show is pretty much not worth it either. Stay small, stay local and love what you do.

Brenda said...

Thanks for the pics of the OOAK. I didn't get down this year and really missed going. Sorry you won't be there it the future.

kim thistle said...

I can relate to what you are saying, Shawn. Sometimes I wonder if the sweat and toil is all worth it.

EvelynBernard said...

I can only speak to this as someone who makes the trip to the show for the sole purpose of seeing you and buying from you - every time I make a beeline for your booth before I check out any others- and I will miss you!

However, as someone who did this show in the 80's, I can also understand the rationale behind your decision.

I will continue to follow you through the blog and I have bookmarked your Etsy shop - who knows - a family vacation in Newfoundland may just be in the planning stages!

Be well, Shawn!

Evelyn (are you still enjoying the colourful shoes?)

Taos Sunflower said...

Wow. That's heavy. I can certainly understand. I'm sure that's a hard decision for you to make, despite all the right reasons. New year, new choices...