Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A wrench in the works...

Two big shows have come and gone, finding me in need of ordering more supplies for my jewelry. Much to my disappointment (not to mention a big freak-out), two different suppliers of mine are out of stock on chain I often use; the slinky Deco gunmetal chain, and the hefty chain I use throughout my Glam Collection. What is an artist to do? Well, it's either wait (not so) patiently until they get it back in stock, or scramble to look for an alternative.

I've searched for the 3mm curb gunmetal (Deco) chain online, but with no luck. I can't really go with something that is similar because my designs dictate an exact match. I sent a sample to another great chain supplier of mine, who is able to replicate the gunmetal finish, but the links on the sample they sent back are too large. Only by about 1 mm, which is very small in the grand scheme of things, but in the Rapt in Maille scheme of things, this will not work.

I called back Rings & Things, which is my supplier for all things gunmetal, and got THE nicest salesperson on the phone (Ann - holla!), who informed me that they will be getting it back in stock early July. Have I mentioned how happy it makes me when I get a nice person on the phone?? Anyway, my plan is to have them overnight it, and hopefully I will have it in enough time to cut a mass amount of it, and assemble pieces to bring with me for the Krasl Art Fair, and Ann Arbor, which are big back-to back shows. Fingers crossed! I'll be on pins and needles until I get that chain back....it's killing me! I'm too "Type A" to accept not going to 2 big shows missing an entire collection in my stock. But I just may be forced to accept it.

Now about a week ago, I called to order my stainless "Glam" chain, when I was told it would be 2-3 weeks until it was back in stock. This week, I called to see if they had an exact ETA, and was told it would be 3-4 weeks - WHAAA? Damn! So now again, I am sending a sample to my other chain supplier to see if they can replicate it, which if they can, will probably take 2-3 weeks at best. So I just may have to accept that I could go to 2 big shows without TWO of my collections.

So, I just thought I'd share another aspect of running the biz here at Rapt in Maille. Problems arise, and you gotta juggle and deal with what you can. What I keep telling myself is that I have plenty other designs that I can stock up on for the shows, and maybe I'll design a few new things in the process. It won't be the end of the world, although it may drive me a little crazy ;)

Hope to see you out at the Fountain Square Art Festival in Evanston this weekend! We asked for it - we got it - hot, hot, hot weather to come! At least the sun will be out - no rain! Hooray!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Wells Street Adventure

As always, Wells Street was an adventure in my own town. It's known as a spectacular show for artists, but also grueling load-in/set-up, longer hours, and lots of "happy" drunk folks enjoying the festival to be patient with (Note: Best Drunk Pick-up Line overheard at Wells Street: "So...you wanna be able to say you got pregnant in Chicago?" Yuck.) In other words, it can be trying as an artist, but well worth any pitfalls that may arise, including WEATHER.

This year we had rain from early morning until about 2pm on Saturday. However, setting up in the rain is nothing new for an artist, and thank go
d I had my newly purchased raincoat. After 2pm, the sun and the people emerged, and it was back to business. (Morning hours were mostly spent hopping from booth to booth saying hello to fellow artists. We gotta keep each other company during the rain!) Eventually, Wells Street became Wells Street, and Mike and I were busy helping customers until about 9pm. Needless to say, we were exhausted, but happy. We went home to order a pizza and I fell asleep waiting for delivery. I woke up to eat 2 pieces and went promptly back to bed ;)

Sunday's weather was absolutely g
orgeous! It really was the perfect art show weather. Sunny, high 70's, no wind. Perfect to wear jeans and a t-shirt and be comfortable (my personal favorite kind of weather. Mike would prefer it slightly more chilly). People who missed the show Saturday due to the weather came out in droves for Sunday, so we were swamped all day. A great, great show! Here are some pics to document the weekend - enjoy!

See you at the next festival:
Fountain Square in Evanston in 2 weeks - June 27-28.

Saturday morning, around 9:30am, Mike walking back from finding parking to help finish set-up. A dismal looking start to an art festival, but word on the street is we just have to hold out until about 2pm.....

Booth set-up and ready to go....now all we need are customers....

Layered up, raincoat on, hot tea in hand. When will summer actually start?

View down the street Saturday morning. A few dedicated art patrons out with umbrellas. My booth was right next to fried goodness, which I avoided (for the most part).

A nice couple stops to wave at my picture :) Sun finally came out after 2pm as predicted!

I believe this was Sunday morning. A stark contrast to Saturday morning. And part of my beloved Chicago skyline in the background....

Ah, there's the crowd I like to see....

I had to take a picture of my booth sign Sunday evening that was half out of its plastic sleeve. I felt just how that sign looked. Exhausted and haggard, ha ha.

CHEERS! A free brew from the nice guy at the beer tent across the way. Jewelry packed up, displays half packed up, one curtain down.....

This is seriously hard work after a long weekend on your feet dealing with all the elements....my booth almost broken down, around 9:30pm. We got home around 10:30pm, and just missed the last showing of the season premiere of True Blood. Darn it. No fretting, we saw it last night and it was great :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

57th Street Art Fair a huge success!

This past weekend Rapt in Maille exhibited in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago for the 57th Street Art Fair. It was a rocky start for me, because I showed up with JUST enough time to set up my booth, but then discovered that someone was already set up in my spot! The show double booked space #26, grrrrrrr. And it was a corner spot, which I had requested. So they finally placed me in a booth (not a corner, unfortunately, but it worked out) which was across the street and down a bit from my original assignment. A little late setting up, but not many people around at that time anyway.

Once the people showed up (not long after I was finished displaying my jewelry!), it was gangbusters until the end of the day - hooray! The unfortunate part of the day was the chilly weather - I had a t-shirt, a heavy hoodie, and a quilted jacket on and was still cold! Was wishing I had brought gloves - but who knew - in JUNE? That crazy Chicago weather......

Sunday's sales were almost as great as Saturday's, and the weather was a BIT warmer. Overall a fantastic show! Hyde Park is beautiful, and it's residents were lovely as well.

I partly forgot, and partly had no time to take photos of this show, so I'll have to make sure to take some at this weekend's event - Wells Street Art Festival! Another great show - hope to see you out in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood!