The Coconut Grove Report

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From a friend of mine:

We just returned from our 28th and last Grove, the demographics have change, a lot, ….. Our customers from the past no longer exist, I don’t know where they went but I know they don’t come to the grove anymore.

You probably won’t believe this but we only did $785 for the three days, that was three sales all from out of state and it only cost us about $1600 to make it. That’s down 90% from last year.

Many artist sold nothing, best in show had no sales. There were a few who did well but on the whole most didn’t. The show was so commercial in favor of the Grove Assoc., you wouldn’t recognize it anymore, we were gouged for everything. We will never go to Miami for anything, as for as I’m concerned it’s a leper colony, to be avoided. Oh yes, my three sales were before noon on Sat. and that was it.

That’s my story and I stand by it. (name withheld)

And here is what the Miami Herald had to say: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/east/story/424085.html This article is interesting, but even more interesting are the “comments” below it. Be sure to read them to get a fuller picture.

Here is a posting on the NAIA Forum:

Sales at the show were absolutely horrible. I zero’d again, and a huge number of other exhibitors also sold nothing as of a few hours before closing yesterday. There was LOTS of rain Sunday which usually has the largest crowds, and more rain Monday morning. There was little excitement in the air. Way too many people said they could not buy because they were worried their job was disappearing.

Also this weekend the annual Arti Gras Art Festival was held in Jupiter. They had better weather, but not better sales reports.

I read all the Herald stories on the festival. Nowhere did they list the award winners from the Grove. Years back the Herald was a great partner for bringing customers to the festival. A city’s newspaper is an important factor in publicizing an art fair with interesting features.

From the above reports it does not bode well for this event next year.

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2 Responses to “The Coconut Grove Report”

  1. Holly Says:

    Those red Zapp X’s are starting to look a wee bit better after reading this. I know now to never bother applying again.

  2. Jim Parker Says:

    My wife and I did St. Stephens this year. It was a difficult show to do, for a number of reasons. First, sales were miserable. The load-in and load-out is chaotic and requires a dolly. The show layout is confusing. The weather was hot and humid, then hot and rainy, then hot and humid. But most importantly, most of the people walking by didn’t spend much time with the art. They spent time with corn on a stick, meat on a stick, and kettle corn, but they didn’t spend much time with the art. The key words here are disinterested, unenthusiastic and apathetic.

    My neighbors on both sides did just okay. The metalsmith on the left said his sales were about 25% of last year. The painter to the right of me did okay, but had no prior year benchmark. It was my first and last time here — parking way too expensive, hotel way too expensive, traffic way too congested, and sales simply non-existent. I didn’t zero, but I might as well have. I barely covered my booth expense. Others I talked to were in the same boat. South Florida is a tough market these days.

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