First Show of the Year- Stages of Crazy

The first show of the year for me is ACC Baltimore. It is a grandiose and prestigious show to exhibit in. I remember visiting it with my jewelry class in college thinking…wow… this is AMAZING!!! SO many artists coming together in one show, it’s a visual explosion and site to behold. I’m thrilled to be accepted and this year will be exhibiting in both wholesale and retail. This means for 2 days galleries and boutiques come to place orders and buy our work. The following 3 days the show becomes a bustling retail mecca and thousands of people pour in to peruse and purchase the handmade original art.

It doesn’t matter how long I’ve done shows, or how many I do each year, for some reason the the first show of the year I regress to the younger me.. nervous and anxious about the first day of school. As a child summer begins and you are carefree! Two months feels like forever. You play, swim, visit with cousins… but before you know it, the dreaded clock keeps ticking and summer is almost over. Now panic begins……….

I go through a set of different/crazy phases as the weeks get closer to the show. As the New Year bells ring, I feel as if I have all the time in the world. 7+ weeks till the show!!! I’m going to take my time and make a show-stopping masterpiece. I dig into my routine. Working from home, I get into a good schedule. Begin exercising again… working off the holiday extra calories. Taking time and even sketching my pieces.. which I usually never do.

Now its 4 weeks to show time. Still a good chunk of time but starting to get kicked into gear. What do I want to make for the show? The lists get written and now I’m in full fledged jewelry making mode. Life is grand. I make jewelry during the day, my husband comes home from work and we drink wine and cook dinner, even play yatzee … (this stage I like).

Three weeks to go. I start to panic. Three weeks is only 21 days!!! What do I need for my booth? Trips to Home Depot, Ikea, Staples become to be an everyday occurrence. Then it snows and the panic really starts. What if I can’t get to the show? I hate driving in the snow! Omg OMG …. and breath

Two weeks till show time. Now I’m in a frenzy! Making jewelry non-stop! I work all day up until bedtime. I start to question myself…Why didn’t I work more before? What if no one likes my work? Why did do I do this to myself? I need to see all of my work spread out or I will have a meltdown. Our beautiful home is now transformed into a jewelry store construction site. Displays are set up, work is laid out. I have a moment of calm realizing I have a ton of work and I may actually pull this off!

One week away and I am on edge. I burst into tears from the utter stress.The jewelry displayed overwhelms me. I walk past it and cover my eyes. I call my mom and have her walk me through a meditation… (I know, I’m spoiled and lucky and my mommy loves Finally something snaps…

Now there is calm. I have realized that I am only human. I’ve realized that I’ll have the jewelry I have. I need to finish a few things, tweak my display, price the work, but ultimately… I’m ready!!

Now let’s hope I remember to pack 2 of the same shoes… but thats a story for another day! 

Here I am getting set up Saturday morning.

Here I am getting set up Saturday morning.