Why Malench Glass – the Glass Niche is changing…

Two years ago I (we) decided to stop doing art shows, trade shows, trunks shows… basically any sales venue which required us to lift/shift/move equipment and heavy crates of glass; set up a tent and displays; and then reverse that three days later by schlepping it all home. We are not ancient but have started accepting the fact we have certain physical limitations. Two back surgeries come to mind. My husband goes some (alien) place every morning at 5am called “the gym” to stay healthy; yet takes an alarming number of aspirin, tylenol and Motrin just to push his knees and shoulders through his own workday. Shows don’t – can’t – happen without his presence and muscle. He is on-call every-other-weekend. We fit in my shows around those weekends… limiting to say the least. Knowing all that made it easy to begin to sell show equipment. The tent and fancy package of display Pro-Panels went to a good home. I accepted it was time to stop but..

This was really hard to do because we love being in the public during shows. Hate the set-up, love the people. The work is very well-received, sales are good and we even win prizes and extra money because we are just a wee bit different in our fused glass concepts. Over the winter the show invites trickled in via email and applications with glossy photos from prior shows. I forgot that Pete ended up working almost non-stop for 3 months to cover his own job and my shows last year. I forgot the shooting pain down my leg when I lift something too heavy. I forgot how hot/cold/wet/miserable/windy Fall and Spring shows can be. I overlooked the fact of having relinquished all my equipment.

So yeah. I did. Applied and accepted. Was over-the-moon happy about being juried into one show in particular. So we began rebuilding our displays. I could have asked the person who bought the Pro-Panels, if I could rent them back. She’s a lovely sort and would likely just loaned them for a few days had I asked… but Noooo. I’m not back-tracking. We had a quickie pop-up canopy tent and mad improv display-building skills… we were going to be OK.

Three weeks before prime-time show season the heat-index remained in triple digits. The air quality was simply non-breathable. I cried a lil bit when I had to withdraw from my dream show. Losing the exhibit fee alone was enough to make anyone cry but I really wanted to be there. I wanted to breathe a lot more. Of 6 shows paid for and accepted into, we did only 2 last season. The income from those two reflected the economy and almost paid for themselves. The other four were almost a complete loss – we received partial refunds. All too ugly.

And depressing.

In the next post I’ll illustrate what happens when I finally give in and give up.. sorta