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THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR: LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD

The crowds have gone home.  The faint smell of deep fried cheese curds still wafts in the air.  The electricity of so many moving parts and sights have subsided.   Minnesota has gone  back to its normal rhythm, as the reunion of the Great Minnesota Get Together has come to an end for the year of 2021.  Those of us who proudly staked down our tents and our businesses now have the task of breaking down camp and setting forth homeward.

Bailey Builds, as you know, has a bit more of a job to do than merely breaking down a tent.  We will head back down to St. Paul and deconstruct our beautifully designed and executed art studio that housed our art and our livelihood.  As the saying goes, it’s much more fun to pack for a trip than unpack, but we look forward to being akin to the sawdust again, as we fulfill our made to orders and prepare for the rest of the year.

As we set forth to the task ahead, I can’t help but reminisce about the last few weeks of the Bailey Builds adventure.  We did it!  We accomplished something big and new!  We set out to create a true extension of who we are as a business, and represent the true craftsmanship and passion of the Bailey Builds name.

Preparing for such a big and long lasting event was something we had never done.  A lot of it is hoping that your research and  strategy is near the mark, and then going for it in faith that it will all work out.  With the State Fair facing the aftermath of a missed fair in 2020, and the residual intrusion of the pandemic, fair going numbers were markedly down.  Long time fair vendors experienced drastic declines in their revenue as a result.  Yet, the show must go on!  And within the fairground walls, there was this sense of solidarity among us that truly expressed the fighting passion of America’s entrepreneurial spirit.

As a first time Minnesota State Fair vendor, we had no history to go by.  Instead, we put our very best feet forward and embraced the experience as an opportunity to learn, and hopefully grow as a business.  Our team put in countless hours preparing for the event.  We put in overtime crafting our art and carefully boxing it up to make it’s trip to the fairgrounds.  We all spent time working outside our normal positions to create and assemble a beautiful Bailey Builds Art Studio on location, that would be on brand and reflect our detail in design and craftsmanship.  We created a space that fairgoers could enjoy, and would be able to use as a tool to envision our art in their homes.  We put on our brand new Bailey Builds Staff T-shirts and crisp aprons, and met our customers with genuine enthusiasm, ready to be of service.

The result was more than we could have imagined.  We are so honored that we have had the opportunity to be a part of such a great event, which is a capstone of Minnesota tradition.  We are thrilled to be a recipient of a “Best of 2021 Minnesota State Fair” award.  And we have thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and helping you find the perfect piece of art to compliment your space.  We are excited that many of you have joined our email list, so that you can stay up to date on our next adventures, as well as take advantage of early art collection releases and monthly giveaways offered exclusively to our email subscribers.

Anytime you open a new door, whether on a personal level or business level, it most often brings new opportunities and experiences your way.  There are always risks involved, but more often than not, you discover the benefits of exploring new terrain.  Investing in the opportunity to participate in the Minnesota State Fair definitely felt like a risk at times, but we are seeing the benefits unfolding.  Around 50% of the people we met at the fair had never heard of Bailey Builds, and we are so excited to win new customers and friends of Bailey Builds.  We hope that you share pictures of your new art in your space!  We love to see the different ways our handcrafted modern and classic mosaics compliment your homes and businesses.  Share them with us on instagram at #friendsofbaileybuilds.

We are also excited for possible opportunities through the connections and networking that were a result of being fair vendors.  One such fun encounter was meeting a distinguished designer who purchased art, and plans on showing one of his prominent musician clients.  Another is a possible opportunity to create art for a well-known Minnesota brewing company.  While we hope these opportunities come to fruition, we feel blessed to have the privilege to do what we love, and make a living doing it, while supporting our amazing team.  We thank all of you for making this possible!

As the Bailey Builds journey continues on, we exchange our new, crisp fair aprons for our sawdust and spray paint splattered work aprons, while we get on with doing what we love.  Instead of the grandstand music playing in the background, we will work to the rhythm of our chop saws chopping and our nail guns nailing.  We are excited to create your made-to-orders and bring you new collections as we head into fall.  We also look forward to celebrating our 6th Birthday of Bailey Builds in October, with fun things in store as we look back on this epic journey.