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Archive for October 19th, 2009

Hello There! I’ve missed you all and I’ve got plenty of blogs to catch up on! I thought I’d review how my show went, both FYI as well as FMM (for my memory!). The show opens with a 7-10 PM reception on Friday night, then 10-5 on Saturday and 11:30-5 on Sunday. They do a wonderful job of providing 2 electrical outlets to each of the 60 booth spaces, so I was able to use all 8 of my cheap-o clip-on lights, 4 of which are the trumpet top bulbs I talk about here. My 10x 10 had plenty of light, and lots of artists came by to ask about the lights, they were so bright and the colors so true!

My problem (as always) with the setup is that I always have too much stuff I want to show. This was especially true at this show as I had neighbors just to each side of me, and the walkway wasn’t very wide, so I couldn’t ooze into any space outside the tent. Here’s how it looked Friday night:

I had a huge panic attach because I sold less than half of what I had done the year before that 1st night. There were lots of crowds walking by, but not many buyers, and I wasn’t sure whether it was the economy or my booth setup. Considering some of the folks I talked to had done pretty well, I was convinced it was me, so we changed the setup the next morning so there was more room for folk to enter the booth. Hands down the most awesome thing was this scarf stand built by hubby. Each arm has little indentations for 5 scarves to drop across the top. I’ve divided my colors into 4 season, so each arm held all the same weight (5mm habotai or 19 mm charmeuse) of a particular season. I have a stack of plastic bins with extras of all the colors (because I dyed 200 in the past 6 weeks!)…this made it so easy to show all the options.

I moved my stand that holds all the misc. packaging and hanging stuff to the back, and this seemed to make it easier for folks to come in, but it still was a tight fit with more than 4 people.

One thing I’m happy with, I now have some video of me doing the free motion quilting, I was able to show folks who asked exactly how I do what I do, most often impressing them with the fact that i do my stitching without any pre-drawn lines. I’ve got this little freebie DVD player I was able to plug in and leave running throughout the show.

Sales picked up on Saturday & Sunday: I ended up selling 55 scarves, 8 each of the baby outfits and going green totes, a couple of Scribblers, a messenger bag and a medium tote. I may also get a couple of commissions for bags in weeks to come…

So why do I feel so dejected?

  1. I sold less than last year.
  2. 3 people asked if my Branch & Bird series were coasters.

I see-saw back and forth between making things that are practical/beautiful and things that are made just for the joy of it. Many MANY people commented on how I’d come up with new things, and how clever I was. I take it as a compliment, because to me, each thing I make allows me to hone my artistic vision and improve my craft. BUT, I don’t want to fall into the trap of becoming a “Jack of all trades, master of none”.

Both the Branch & Bird series and the Botanical Sketches series were made for 2 purposes:

  1. I had this need to make them and see them hung up in groups on a little clothesline and
  2. These could be affordable art – something small that someone who got my art could purchase without a huge investment. 

I only connected with 2 people who felt the latter during the 3 days of the show.

My earliest venture into the world of art selling was with my quArt, which also involved multiple pieces that people could combine at re-shuffle on a whim. Although I’ve sold a decent amount of the quArt mounted pieces (20-30 I’d guess), over half of them were single pieces. My husband feels that I should be making larger combinations, mounting them in some way and selling them as larger, complete installations, which of course defeats the goal of the small, affordable art.

If you’re still reading this, I’d love your point of view. Obviously this is going to continue to be a struggle for me…

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