Flourish Co. - Highly Recommended!

Approximately 2 and a half years ago I purchased mesh walls for my EZ-up tent to display my work at outdoor shows. Prior to that I had a wall system that I had built with my husband.

(an indoor show showing the homemade walls)

It had worked fine for indoor venues but was unsteady on uneven ground and in windy situations out of doors. It was heavy too, and required help to get it in and out of my car and setup at the shows. These were the reason I invested in the mesh panels for my tent.

(my mesh walls that I have used for outdoor shows)

Last year I continued to use the old walls for indoor shows but they had become warped and crooked from all the handing. So I knew I was going to want to do something different. Something that I could handle myself like the setup I had for my tent.

I contacted the company and explained my needs. I have multiple shows, all with different footprints. I need a system that can go from a 10x8 foot booth to a 7x7 foot booth.. I spoke with Tom, an extremely helpful and friendly employee of Flourish Co. He pulled up my information so he knew all the pieces I already had for inside my tent. He walked me through their website where there is information on how to customize the mesh panels I already owned and then after only 2 hours sent me a detailed estimate on the additional poles and hardware I would need to create a flexible system to meet all my indoor show requirements. I was floored! What service! and to top it all off he helped me to use the pieces I already had so that I would be saving money! The cost was a third of what I thought I would have to spend. The whole experience made my day!

These panels are very well constructed and easy to put together. The poles do weigh a bit but are compact and you can bundle them in groups that are easy to handle. I can't recommend the system enough and I have had nothing but the finest service from this company. I already feel like my initial investment has paid for itself and was so pleasantly surprised that it would take so little to adapt it to my interior needs. They are the best!!!!

Here is my new indoor setup with a 7 foot configuration

Flourish - Canopy's and Display Walls

Battery Operated Lights!

I want to share my most important discovery of 2010.

Two weeks ago, I was able to have electricity at my booth and I plugged in some clip lights to better highlight my encaustics. It was amazing what a difference it made. People could see my work as I had created it in my sunny studio. The colors popped off the wall and the depth and luminosity of the wax was very apparent. The show was a huge success for me and I was hooked.
This past weekend I was at SOWA Holiday at the Cathedral High School Gym in Boston. There are big windows that shed a lot of light during the day, but after the sun goes down my work gets muddied by the overhead lights. I also knew I was facing away from the windows so my work would be back lit from the main daylight source.
After some internet research and running around to different box stores, I asked my husband to help me come up with a battery system. He totally pulled through!

Here are the main components and they are all available at stores like Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot and Amazon.com.

1 . A deep cycle marine battery

It is very important that it is a deep cycle battery. These can take a deep drain and be recharged again and again.

2. A power inverter

The inverter converts the 12volt DC current of the battery to 110 volt AC current, which is what runs out of a household socket. It is important that the wattage on your inverter is more than the total wattage of the lights that you will be running. My first day I ran a 200 watt inverter and had 4 lamps each with a 20watt warm fluorescent bulb in each (these are equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent bulb but draw less power). I like Sylvania's mini style bulbs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I wasn't paying attention the second morning, coupled with exhaustion, and I connected the inverter to the battery backwards (+ to - instead of + to +, - to -) and I blew the fuse in the inverter. My husband ran in with another one that is a 410 watt and it worked fine and I will probably add lights in the future.

3. A battery charger

This charger was great. It has a digital display that will tell you the percentage of charge left in your battery. It will also trickle charge once you reach 100%, so I plugged it in over night and woke up to a full charge ready to go in the morning.

4. Standard lights and cords
The rest can be your choice. I used clip lamps that I picked up 2 days before the show and connected them using standard extension cords. The inverter has 2 plug sockets so I plugged the lamps together on the cords and them plugged the cords in.

Here is the amazing thing, after 8 hours running the 4 lights my battery was still at a 45% charge. I plan on adding a bit more light and finding arm lights that will aim back at the wall. My clip lights were great but washed the wall from top to bottom and I would like to get the lighting a bit more even in the future.

I plan on trying this system at outdoor shows as well. There is a water tight box for the marine battery as they are meant to be used in boats. I will also plan on having it up off the ground on a wood platform. The battery is heavy so a wood box that can be put on a collapsible dollie would work great. It is very important to respect that this is still an electrical device and can harm you if you are not paying attention or treating it with care.