Here is a photo of all the Fashion Fever Finalists, taken from the CHA SuperShow Facebook page.
The lesson I learned is this: apply to everything.
Aside from jury fees, you have nothing to lose. Heck, it was basically free for me to enter Fashion Fever, I just had to pay for the postage of mailing the photos of my bead embroidered Tiamat dress to Michigan. Sure, if you're sensitive, it can be painful if you apply to something and aren't accepted. But let me tell you, I have applied to countless shows, countless exhibitions and countless competitions and been rejected from countless shows, countless exhibitions and countless competitions. From going through the process over and over again, I've built up a callous. And, from applying to everything that I think I'm remotely qualified for, there are enough successes to make the rejections seem irrelevant.
If you never put yourself out there, no one will ever know who you are or care about what you're doing. If you have a passion for something, you have to let the world know, and putting an application in the mail (or in an email) is one of the easiest ways to share your work with people.
Enough preaching. I have a show to prepare for. I'll be at the Evanston Lakeshore Art Festival this weekend. I'll have loads of new jewelry. Come check it out!
Aluminum chain mail jewelry