Artfest Recap

All packed up and heading down to Kingston.

All packed up and heading down to Kingston.

I survived my first “Big Kid” craft show!! 3-days, AMAZING vendors from across Ontario and Quebec, and traveling to get to the show (this is what I had in my mind as a “Big Kid” craft show… I’m not just selling in a church basement anymore…).

I arrived in Kingston in a “light rain” and got to work setting up my tent, which promptly started leaking (did you want to read about that?). I also quickly made friends with my neighbours – no surprise there! That is one of the first things that I do when I arrive at a show to set up: go and introduce myself to the people setting up around me. I invariably always need help with something or have forgotten something, so it makes it much easier to ask if you have already introduced yourself. And also I like to meet people…

A look down our path in City Park, Kingston.

The view down our path in City Park, Kingston.

And I had GREAT neighbours!! Across from me was Dawning Jewelry, a recently-graduated high school student (Jaime) who is taking the craft world by storm! I wish that I had known fresh out of high school that I wanted to be an artisan, working with my hands… And to my right was Janice Moorhead, a glass artist. I first saw her work one year at the Buckhorn Craft Show, before I started in this new career, and her pieces stood out as AMAZING! As soon as she pulled out her first piece to hang in her booth, I recognized her work and started gushing about how much I LOVED it (I felt a bit like I was gushing to a celebrity!). And to my left was Taska, handcrafted hand bags made by Nadya. Her handbags are great – all kinds of different styles and sizes for toting around all of your daily needs. And there were many other amazing vendors at Artfest, but being that these 3 were my immediate neighbours, I spent most of the time getting to know them.


My display.

You might remember that I had forgotten to bring my beautifully framed photos (it was mentioned in that last  post) and I really feel that my booth felt empty and lacking. This was essentially the same set up that I had at the Buckhorn show and while it worked there, I really didn’t feel that it worked here.

reLuma and metal work area of the display.

reLuma and metal work area of the display.

I felt like my booth was like a cave and didn’t draw people in the way I wanted it to. During a quiet moment, I sketched myself out a new layout to try at future shows. I also day dreamed about the new tent that I had ordered that Saturday night. The new tent comes with windows (!!!!!) which will allow natural light to flood in and ilLUMAnate the space.


Behind the scenes…

One thing that I do like about this set up was the backstage area. It was great to just be able to toss stuff behind the table and under the table skirt. Though perhaps NOT having this option will force me to be more tidy and organized…


Tearing down the display. Probably one of my most hated jobs!

When Monday evening finally rolled around, I was thrilled to have made it through the show. After the rain on Friday, the weather was great. I got thrown almost everything that weekend: rain, hot sun, strong winds. And each of these experiences has better prepared me for further shows. I am excited for my summer show schedule and have challenged myself to seriously evaluate each show and how I can improve things.


A love note from the show organizers!

I was totally impressed with the show organizers. It was such a smoothly run show and I really felt important and appreciated by the show. There was great promotion about the vendors, easy communication leading up to the show, excellent support during the show, and a feeling that the vendors were really appreciated. Nearing the end of the second day, one of the show employees came around with a little basket of love notes to help lift up our (possibly lagging) spirits. As well, at the end of the show, we all received a handmade thank you card. I was so impressed! I must admit that Artfest Kingston has set the bar for all other shows…


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