Monday, December 5, 2011

Art Fair Acquisition

The second-best part of any art fair is trading, and I made a beauty of a trade at the SEA show: this awesome Garden Guardian, a cast and sculpted concrete planter. Really I wish I could have gotten two of them; I think they would look amusing in pairs.

The rest of the event, well, it didn't suck. Set up was easy, access to electricity was not too messy, there were both food and restrooms nearby. As for the first-best part of any art fairs, the sales? Well, again: didn't suck, but didn't reach the standard of earning 5 times the booth fee. On the other hand, I didn't pay the booth fee; Portland Pottery did, in exchange for my handing out upcoming class schedules, postcards for their holiday sale, and a brochure describing all of their offerings. And lots and lots of people did taje those things, so a good deal was had by all.A few things:
  • Credit card sales accounted for about 30% of the total; less than I thought, but still a big whack. I used Virtual Terminal, because I could use equipment I already have - my laptop - as opposed to having to buy a smartphone (to use with Square) or a knucklebuster and plate. I will be keeping my eye out for a used Android or iPhone (and not just any will work: the exact specs are here) because a) my laptop is only good for about 45 unless it's plugged in. Is that normal? Doesn't matter, it is what it is. But if I were at an event where I had no access to electricity - a fairly common circumstance at outdoor fairs - I'd be sunk. And b) typing in the info was fine at this show, but if I were at a hopping-busy show - don't laugh! it happens! - it would be cumbersome. A quick swipe would be preferable.
  • I sold a bunch of mugs, a bunch of ice cream bowls, almost all my honey jars, but only a handful of bigger things. People were shopping under $30.
  • I was also shopping under $30. Actually I managed to get most of my Christmas shopping done under $20 per gift, at the show. I am too poor to buy big splashy gifts, so I shoot for unique and memorable. Handmade is great that way.
  • I needed more packing materials! I had to tumble-stack in the totes when I packed up, as I had used all my tissue and bubble wrap.
You never count your money
When you're sitting at the table.
There'll be time enough for counting
When the dealing's done.
I never do count the money while at the show, I think it's bad luck. (No I don't. That's just silly. But I still don't count until after.)
Anyway, today is back in the studio: I am hoping to squeeze out a firing before the Portland Pottery show, which opens December 15th.


Sue Pariseau Pottery said...

Love the garden guardian!!

I see credit cards making up more of my total sales all the time. At my Holiday Open House this weekend, I think it was in excess of 50% and only two customers paid in cash (darn - I love cash!!) After a sale this coming weekend, I'm done until April and looking foward to a season of making pottery.

-Rob, Simple Circle Studios said...

At least the show wasn't a wash. I have had a few of those and they are definitely no fun. I have never heard the fives times standard, don't think I have ever made that at a show.

Adele Bee Ann said...

As long as you didn't take a loss, I'd say it's a good day. The garden sculpture is a definite bonus! How big is it? I can't tell from the picture.

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