It’s that time of year when I am working mostly, and mostly working. I have three trade shows coming up within the next month. Outdoor Retailer is the trade show for my work in Nepal, with hand knit sweaters and accessories (next week) in Denver. After that, I fly to New York City for “Metal and Smith” – a wholesale show for my jewelry, and then I go to Baltimore for the American Craft Council Show for wholesale and retail.
I work round the clock to get samples finished, with the aid of my wonderful artisan helpers. It’s exhilarating and nerve-wracking, and I alternate between excitement and self-confidence, and fear + insecurity. These shows usually set the tone for the year in terms of sales and orders. Once I finish the samples and set up for the shows, it’s out of my hands, and I just have to roll with it. There is also a lot of marketing involved, and I try my best to stay on top of that also.
One reason I really do enjoy these shows is the fact that they are very social. It’s meeting people, telling stories, accepting criticism and praise, learning about other regions and perspectives. And of course, I love having the reunion with other artists and designers, often catching up with each other, or sharing a meal. In a world where I work by myself 95% of the time in my workshop, this is a welcome change. But I’m always so happy to be home and back to making things when it’s all over.