We are a core group of designers that have shown together
in a sale/trunk show format for many years now.
The reason for each designer to show varies.
For Susan it is to rid herself of last season’s samples.
The same is true for Xiaoyan. Both of those designers do production
and have to make up a full line of samples each season.
Susan donates what doesn’t sell to a woman’s shelter.
Mala has her design made in Bali. She does sell to stores, but doesn’t do trade shows, so she has a nice private cliental to add to her income stream.
Pam and I do very limited editions of pieces. The trunk shows are an important way of creating income. I do sell to a woman- Pat Henderson- who travels and does trunk shows. And I have had a store in Santa Fe, which was sold recently and I haven’t created a relationship with the new owners yet.
Our informal coterie mostly shows at the Acqua Hotel in Mill Valley twice a year. Last May, however, since there were only us 5 showing I offered my studio to use, in the spirit of economizing.
My next door neighbors allowed me to store my 2nd (!) wall of snap-on plastic boxes of fabric and I moved all other kinds of bolts and containers so we could make a cozy environment to gather and make a marketplace for ourselves. Attendance was quite fine and there was a convivial atmosphere. It could be an option for the future if we need to, though the Acqua has a lovely view and no clutter!
I am feeling hungry for something. Of course food is delicious, but right now I am hankering for something that is not tangible. A feeling that I need to let something in that expresses my deepest creativity. Many things stand in the way:
Worry about the world
Need for peace.
Of course they don’t really—stand in the way—that is. But the essence is that I frequently put off what could really fulfill this ever-widening gap that is my creative life.
It’s really not that bad. Life is intrinsically creative. I solve problems every day—sometimes to the point of distraction.
But what I notice is that I only make change when I get so uncomfortable, or when I realize—oh yeah—I am needing ___.
So, by writing these words I am giving myself space for expression and room to do what I have been meaning to for awhile: write, paint, sculpt with threads, cloth and stitching.
After my next show that is!
It has been 3 years since the last Style show. There is always excitement and anticipation before any show. But what stays in my mind with this group is the camaraderie and creative energy between us, designers and artists from around the country, all together again.
I was unsure of the venue, which was in the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Building in Mountain View, it sounded like it might be sterile. Yet the rotunda was filled with 2 enormous Chihuly glass bloom sculptures, the light pouring in. The conference room, where I was, was spacious and had a warm feeling. The event was a benefit for the cancer survivors program, a good cause.
It is always interesting to see who comes and what sells. After being in a working frenzy for a few months I feel attached to certain pieces and there is a juicy flow generated from doing this work. I sold some of the pieces I really loved, many of which were fresh off the ironing board. And there was a good response to the re-dos.
It is wonderful to be in touch with the public, after working solo in the studio. I hooked up with a few good new clients zI hope to move forward with, and connected with designers I hadn’t met before, as well as reminisced with old friends, catching up and seeing what they are doing now.
There are of course questions: Is this the most current way for us to sell our products? How can we attract a younger cliental? How to keep to customers inspired enough to want to keep coming back and not getting sated with the products…
I always love adding a new piece of clothing or jewelry to my wardrobe. I bought a thread-y cascading button necklace from Judith Content inspired by the waters of blue blue Crater Lake. And a simple strong ring made with a rock from Alaska by Amy Faust. Buying directly from the maker is what makes this show special.
I look forward to enriching the connections I have made at this show in the Styles to come. Thanks to Diane Masters!