Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tales from the darkside...

iIn other words, I did another craft show yesterday and it was bad.

I hate to be negative, because I did enjoy myself, chatting with other crafters, catching up with old friends, but as for sales, it was bad.

Most of the people I spoke to were in the same boat as me. They were struggling to get their table money back. I think I made about $38.00 over the cost of the table. I used to think that I would be happy if I made around 10 times to 20 times the cost of my space. For instance, if I paid $50.00 for a table, I expected to make $500 to $1000 that day. That was an achievable goal in the past. Those days are gone, at least for me. I haven't seen that return in awhile. I hope some of you are making that much.

As for customers, the "lookers" were friendly, gave compliments freely, chatted about the weather and inquired about my product. Two little girls came to my booth 7 times to admire my little pink sock monkey.

One of the girls really wanted the sock monkey and she held it in her hands, looked at her money, whispered to her friend, looked at me, and then would put the monkey down and walk away . This happened all afternoon. I really wanted her to buy it. Not because I needed the $4.00 but because she had fallen in love with it. But, as nice as I am, I wasn't going to give it to her.
With every purchase, I was giving my customers a free bag. The little girl who loved my monkey was just as in love with the bags, and would pick out a bag and hold it up to the monkey to find the right match. In the end, her mother told her she couldn't buy it. I was a little sad to see them leave!

Here are the bags I bought off of ebay. They looked nice with the clay, and people really appreciated the gesture. I paid $5.50 for 100 of them. Not bad!

I met a few crafters/artists and we shared ideas about Etsy., finding good items at garage sales that sell well on ebay, wholesale places to buy supplies, new craft ideas, and marketing suggestions.

As bad as the craft show was, I came away with some inspirations. For instance, I saw someone wearing polymer clay buttons on her jacket. I've been making buttons myself, and I think mine were much better, so that verified my idea that buttons might work for me.

I think I'm going to try and make stickers for my next show, to sell alongside the clay. I have been working a lot with graphics, so a lot of the work is done. I just have to get a new ink cartridge and labels, and I'll be set to go. I have a lot of ideas in regard to stickers and labels, and I think images of cute clay babies might look great on stickers. I have three weeks before my next show to put together a cute collection. I think I can work it nicely into my display.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sometimes I think we artists/crafters are a little insane. I've done three shows in a month with horrible results, yet I still expect that the next show will have different results. Or so I'm hoping. To create, to make things, to do art is so important in my life that the
financial outcome, as horrible as it sometimes is, does not make me throw my hands up in the air and scream, "I quit!" I just keep creating. My friend Mary Ann, always says to me, "You just keep on keeping on, Debbie."

Albert Einstein also said, "True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist."

Spoken as the true genius he was.

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