Melissa sulks. Glass blowing professionals are mad. Ivan is irritated. Vanessa visits with Rachel in her booth and then Rachel visits with Tessa in hers. The other day, Tessa massaged one of her body care emollients into Rachel’s curls. The artist vendors await buyers at the American Made Show in Dallas. The wholesale buyers are not here in the droves that we were expecting and those who are here buy from other vendors who have cheaply made stuff from China or elsewhere.
This is not a good show. One sale for Rachel does not equal a success. More like a train wreck. Some vendors have not even bothered to open today, the last day of a four day wholesale trade show. 8:30 am to 6 pm the first three days and 8:30 am to 4 pm the last that will not come fast enough so we can strike our sets and pack up to go.
Not to return because this is not the right venue. We’ve made a temporary block party of consternation, camaraderie and community unified by our products and by our collective boredom over the lack of customers. 9 1/2 hours standing, waiting, hoping, channeling energy outward for the buyers to come in and place orders. But they are not here and we cannot conjure them out of thin air.
So when someone comes to purchase to whom we directed marketing material before the show we are grateful, elated, overjoyed and yet humbled because we know we have competition that wants those buyers in their booth as well.
We stay in our booths and freeze with the air conditioning. When we finally go outside into the Texas air we are shocked by the change in temperature. Before the end of our business day, Tessa and Adam start our happy hour with pecan flavored Moonshine. Today some of us will have tequila liquor. The other day, a vendor from Virginia entertained us with a drill motor and his metal sun sculpture. We were so bored that watching the drill toting vendor embellish a wall in his booth with a hand forged sun sculpture was the most exciting event of the afternoon. Well, that is until Tessa uncorked the moonshine.
There are sales representatives who will lose their jobs due to the lack of orders. The UK votes to leave the EU. A downward spiral effect that will have repercussions too numerous to ponder but here is one repercussion and a reason to buy American made art.
American artists like myself are hoping that both wholesale and retail buyers will focus on purchasing American made hand crafted art. Purchasing from an American artist is like the dropping of a pebble in a pond. The pebble drops and the purchase reverberates outward into concentric circles of subsequent purchases. I buy more silver to make more earrings. I purchase sapphires mined and cut in Montana. The Montana based gemstone dealer in turn makes local purchases that reverberate globally. Now the cheap bracelet purchased from a well known reputedly all made in America clothing and accessories store that cannot be named here might be designed in America but is it really Made in the USA? This is part of the reverberating pebble circle going outward. If it was made overseas in a sweatshop with no OSHA or other protections in place to prevent a factory fire or worse, protections for the metalsmith from the chemicals used to electroplate the base metal with sterling silver to create perceived value of serious bling then here is what does not happen. The pebble drops and goes elsewhere and when that happens, everybody ultimately loses