Renaissance Faires are great for shopping, fact. The very best of those are juried shows at renfaire. You will find the most amazing handmade art, real swords, fantastic jewelry, and supurb costuming. And like any well thought out sales experience there is a method to creating an exciting array of choices for the customer while keeping quality high and value locked in.
a juried show is one at which exhibiting artists had to be found worthy of entry by presenting their work to a panel of jurors. There are limits placed on each vendor/artist in terms of what to sell, how its made, where its made, and whether other vendors already sell that item.
This system benefits you the consumer AND the artist. For you, quality and value and originality are strictly enforced. Because you deserve nice things. Save your nickels and treat yourself. For the artist, it means the difference between being too broke to pay for gas to the next show and maybe making a modest living. I feel that is important. Mostly because I chose to go into the arts professionally, and feel the pinch of that starving artist gestalt.
Not every renfaire or reenactment show is run this way. Have you ever gone to an event where there is a tray of cheapo jewelry on every back table? A rack of clothing on the side of every booth – including the hotdog guy? I have. Those shows are death to an artist. Why? Because if there are 12 vendors with the same item the only sales difference is price. The low lowest price. So you as a consumer are getting the cheapest in terms of spending and in terms of quality.
If you know me personally, or have read my newsletters you know how I feel about quality vs. cheap. If you want, do a google search on ‘fast clothing’ for a exciting read on the subject. I’m gonna leave this here, and be happy that there are juried shows at renfaire where I can flourish as an artist and you can come out and see the best there is on offer.
Huzzah the Arts!
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