This is my third year at this show, and I consider it to be somewhat of a working vacation. I enjoy camping at Jay Cooke State Park and going up a day or two early to go hiking and to enjoy the park. That being said, it is still an art show and I do care about how my work is received and overall sales. My experience in the past two years, and the current economic climate suggested to me that I should lower my expectations for the show this year. Imagine my surprise when my sales were twice what I expected. Twice! I was very gratified to have former customers stop in to say "hi" and to confirm how much they love their bracelets, purchased in years past. I also had several people come through and look once, and then return for a major purchase. It seem that although people are buying fewer items these days, they are still buying, but are being more thoughtful about which items they purchase. I was flattered and humbled that several people chose to buy my work for their one purchase. I truly do appreciate it!
Finally, I have to say something about the weather! If you were in eastern Minnesota this past weekend, you already know what I'm going to talk about: THE WIND!!! Saturday began with rain, and then was just a bit chilly all day, but Sunday brought strong (warm) winds. Strong. The sustained winds were around 30 mph, with gusts routinely over 40 mph. The highest recorded gust at the Duluth airport was 49 mph! My sturdy Trimline canopy withstood the onslaught just fine, and I wasn't even staked into the ground! My only weights were four 40 pound bags of salt, each strapped to the frame. The wind was unnerving, and bowed the rear wall panel in, but the frame itself never lifted off the ground. It only began inching along the ground in the last hour when the gusts were at their strongest.
I never really felt that my canopy was going to blow away, but the stress of the wind took it's toll on me none-the-less and I confess that I began removing my jewelry from display about 20 minutes early. That was also about the time that some ugly looking black clouds appeared to the north. As it turns out, many artists began dismantling their display around 4:30, so I was not alone in feeling that it was time to pack up. Fortunately, the show organizers agreed that the wind was getting to be a bit too much! It was wonderful how artists and show volunteers pitched in to help bring down canopies in the high winds.
I love this show, and am already planning on next year!!