Friday, January 4, 2019

The Notebook

Great movie, right? But that's not the one I'm talking about.

I keep a notebook with me at every art fair, to jot down ideas to improve the display, or note what's selling, or sketch pieces I want to make when I get back in the studio, or just keep my mind occupied during the slow times. I believe boredom has its own sinkhole energy that people can smell or feel, and that they will stay out of any booth exuding it. Yes, I know this is absurd! Sitting during a dead spell at an art fair does strange things to your mind. Also, it's true, absurd or not.

But I digress.

The point was, I was reading over these notes, and I see a pattern over the last year: at every event, I noted that people were buying small items - under $20 or $30. In some cases, like the Common Ground Fair, which is an enormous event involving a LOT of walking around, this seemed to explain itself. But the Portland Fine Craft Show? The Holiday Pottery Shop? That is new or far more pronounced this year than other years.

Although I am not an economist ( I don't even play one on TV!) I can think of some reasons for this, such as the shadow of an impending economic slump. For the purposes of this blog, the reasons for that don't matter (because I'm not an economist! I might have some ideas but seriously, wtf do I know?) What matters is my response. If I know smaller things have been selling, I should expand my offerings of smaller things.

So, my job for today: think of some items (that I will like making! that still matters) that I can make & sell for under $20. Buttons, Christmas ornaments, press-molded soap dishes...stuff like that. What are your small-ticket items?


Kathie said...

My personal observation (of myself) when shopping with no particular purchase in mind... the first thing I often decide to purchase is frequently a relatively inexpensive one. Once I decide to buy that, it is as if it have given myself permission to seriously consider. Buying other things... I envision this as breaking the water tension on a very full glass. Once the "water tension" is broken, I feel free to buy things! Sure hope this makes some sort of sense.😉

Lori Watts said...

I am familiar with this experience! We call it Breaking the Seal.