While I still stand by much of what I wrote, and I don't want to give the impression that art shows are, indeed, hot beds of criminal activity, I would be remiss if I did not write about what recently happened at an otherwise wonderful show.
Here's what happened:
• At least 6 cell phones were stolen
• Higher end jewelry was taken right off of displays
• A back-up crate of photographs was stolen from behind a booth
• Small, table-top items were shop-lifted from displays
• And more. The list of offenses grows every time I talk to a fellow exhibitor
Additionally, a cash box was recently stolen out of booth at a different local artisans market.
So -- as exhibitors -- what can we do to do prevent this?
Sadly, some of the little shoplifting incidents are hard to prevent. I had a $10 mini frame taken from my booth and will write it off to the cost of doing business; the cost of hiring assistants to monitor stock far surpasses that kind of theft. But the higher end jewelry? The back-up stock? The cell phones and cash?!
Here are a few things that we, as exhibitors, can do:
• keep your cash and cell phones ON your body or WITHIN VIEW at all times! At least one of the cell phone thefts occurred when an exhibitor turned her back on her phone to wrap an order.
• use an anchoring device for necklaces, rings, etc., rather than laying them loose in a display case
• keep crates of back up work well organized, stacked and covered with tarps or cloths. Use them as desks or resting places for food, drink, or whatever. In other words, make them look more like a part of your display rather than extra stock.
• DO NOT lend your cell phone to strangers!
Until next time, be safe, be alert, and keep creating!