you are? Don’t ask.
ROOTS & BRANCHES - 101 -
For me, taking action means creating and sharing my work on a regular basis. And it goes beyond
sitting in the studio and working. Attending that art opening or gathering to socialize and network
can be taking action.
One breakthrough for me that involved taking action was attending the New York International
Gift Fair. A lot of the press I initially received came from that show and got my career off to a solid
start. I also made licensing deals with several companies to use my art on their products, for either
royalties or a ﬂat fee.
Before I attended the show, however, I went to just check it out. I studied booth displays, the
inner workings of the fair, and how it all came together. After I traveled back home, I prepared my
application. I wanted to be accepted into one of the juried sections for artists, designers, or crafters.
Once I was accepted, I set some goals for myself. I wanted to receive a certain number of new
wholesale accounts, along with making more contacts with press and possible licensing deals. I
spoke these goals out loud to my partner before the show began.
When the show ﬁnally came, I was overwhelmed with joy when I had a line for buyers waiting to
place orders just as my booth was opening. This was several years ago, and I know things may have
changed since then at wholesale shows. Still, that experience was instrumental for me at the start of
my career. I did, in fact, not only meet my goals, but I also surpassed them.
Please know that attending a wholesale trade show can be a huge undertaking. Lately, I mostly
sell retail out of my studio storefront, along with on my website. Store buyers and licensors tend to
ﬁnd me solely through my website now. I may exhibit at trade shows again someday, but the direc-
tion of my career has taken me on a different course as of late.
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