Making my own luck during this pandemic...

Since the pandemic began, I finally got time to think about the crazy career I have had. I have been in the "show" business since I was 16 years old. Even in college, as some you recall, I was a fairly regular sight at the College Center selling my jewels I made out of beads and found electrical wire etc. I had a nifty shoebox. A mirror. A white bedsheet. And a purple money pouch. That was it. I bought folding tables, a velvet curtain (moving on up!) A folding chair, a bag, and luggage cart. Looking somewhat like a bag lady, I wheeled myself all over lower Manhattan, and set up shop at church bazaars, flea markets, flea/craft markets, and even as a sneaky street vendor on Prince and West Broadway. I set up next to some fashion darlings, who shall remain nameless. I too, was discovered, and plucked from total obscurity and plunked into the fashion world of NYC. It was a wild ride. And lucrative as heck. Then, I found my niche doing high end (mostly) craft and art shows, in the NY NJ PA CT areas. This lasted for about 20 years. In 1992, I commenced wholesaling my work to galleries. It was a great time, and I was lucky too. I met great people, and have treasured my galleries and show family. I don't miss how physically demanding they were, how it killed my arthritic hands and hips to brave the pain and work through it all, the bad food, the street nuts who loved to pester me, and especially the political insanity that was created between the show promoters and us artists. The game players, the cheaters, the favoritism shown to a certain group of jewelry artists, and the horrible truth that no matter how good you were, how talented and brilliant and accomplished you were, it only took 1 person to deny your right to earn a good living. The show promoter. I know they say they are juried, but honestly are they? I think some are, but mostly not. Now, I decided to take this pause and reinvent my work, and find a new voice in a new medium. It has been challenging as well. Re building my 2 websites, starting a side gig of selling vintage finds, learning how to embrace self discipline of working in my studio every other day to take care of my gang, and write some new funny stories, has been a breath of fresh air. I still wish we could go back to the formula of shows on weekends, loving our customers, packing up orders and sending them to happy homes, but alas, we must pioneer a new way. It is late. I am tired. But, I am honestly relieved that my future no longer rests solely in the hands of a promoter. I can walk away and not pay exorbitant "jury fees", and booth rental fees. I can pause. I can wait. And sometimes, we just have to make our own luck.


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