Soon after greenie bean was born, I began selling at craft shows.
In the three years since August 2007, I have done nearly 50 shows.
Yet in all of that time, I have never been accepted to the Renegade Craft Fair.
|Gypsy Queen Vendor Apron by Mrs. Chainsaw|
I've had a love/hate relationship with Renegade.
They are an amazing
corporation outlet for independent artists to sell their wares.
They came on the scene when there was nothing else available.
Artists sell A LOT of stuff at the summer and holiday shows.
They support the livelihoods of my fellow Chicagoans.
and I think most of their shit is just really, really cool.
I hate that in talking to someone about my business, their first questions is,
"Oh, do you sell at Renegade?"
Er, uh, well, no . . . but that doesn't make me less of a business, damn it!
I hate that people outside of the craft community only know of Renegade
when there are tons of festivals, markets, and shops busting their asses
to make a name for themselves.
And just as legit!
and I go back in forth (but in a happy way).
Back to the present, I decided to apply to the Holiday show this year.
Completely the application, I wrestled with my decision,
full well knowing I'd never see my $25 application fee again.
Yes. $25. Unholy!
|Money is Less than Love by beanforest|
Fast forward one month. Yep. Big ole rejection.
But reading that rejection made me curious.
I want to know why I have not been accepted to Renegade before.
So I decided to email them.
Plain and simple. I asked for advice on my application.
And you know what, I'm really freakin' impressed with them.
They responded within two hours and gave me honest feedback.
They told me that my crafts(wo)manship could be more meticulous.
My bags look slouchy.
|Slouch with the Best of Them Hat in Olive Green by BeeHappyBoutique|
and you know what?
I agree with them.
I fully understand what they were saying and I agree.
I've thought, many times, that my totes look "too handmade."
I really agree with them.
I mean, I'm not going to change anything about it.
I refuse to make a pattern and I will never measure an inch of fabric in my life.
But now I know and I feel really good.
I feel good knowing that it is something that I can control whether or not I choose to do so.
I'm really pleased that it's not a technicality or a user error.
|Robot Graphic Print Kelly Green by Happy Family|
I encourage other artists and crafters to do the same.
If you have been repeatedly rejected to one show or another, ask them why.
It could be something small that you can change, if you want to.
It's worth knowing and I really respect their honesty, openness, and willingness to provide me feedback.
|Ankle Biters Kids' Lounge Pants by JoeyandAleethea|
Put on your big girl pants and GO FOR IT!