Lorna and I were in an Arts and Crafts Fair this weekend, and our versions of how it went are absolute polar opposites, which just proves that successful or failure is all about your perspective.
Lorna doesn’t frequent Craft Fairs as a buyer very often; I go to at least 3 a year. Lorna has never created a product with the intent of selling it; I have been in 3 major juried shows, and have sold a (small) number of pieces. Lorna had no confidence in the quality and creativeness of her art; I love my stuff and can show (and sell) it without feeling the least bit uncomfortable.
So…………. Here’s what we both thought, on various points.
Lorna thought the show was well attended; I couldn’t believe how LOW the attendance was!
We paid $85 each, and shared a booth – we both sold $55 each – gahhh!!!!
Lorna made these GORGEOUS crosses, as mixed/found media Home Décor Art. The pictures don’t do them justice.
All our stuff was well made, original, and REALLY inexpensive, yet no one was buying. Talking with other Artist Vendors made us feel better, because we weren’t alone in our lack of sales.
The variety of responses we got to both our tables was astounding. Many many people gave positive feedback, but WOW – for some people, crosses are Religious. They are NOT art. They are about Religion. Period. We’d see someone walking towards our booth, and as soon as they saw the crosses, they practically got whiplash looking away. Made us laugh. And the creepy faces? Well, not at all surprising that many people found them disturbing.
Lorna got so much positive feedback on the quality, construction, and uniqueness of her crosses, that she felt really good about the whole weekend. It was on her bucket list to make things and be in a real Art Show, and she totally nailed it. OK, it would’ve been even better if she’d made some money, but still…..
A puzzling thing for Lorna and I was how well the Commercial Vendors did. Tupperware, Epicure Spices, Shopping Baskets commercially produced in China, jewellery and scarves imported from Bali. It’s disappointing that, at an Art/Craft Fair, that’s what people want to buy. I am not at all against stuff made overseas; if it’s good value, I get it – I buy it myself. But at an Art/Craft Fair? Curious….
For Lorna, overall, it was a good experience. She got over her fear that her stuff “wasn’t good enough”, and having gone in with low expectations, was not terribly disappointed.
I went in feeling cocky and confident that my little pieces would fly off the shelves, and that I didn’t have ENOUGH Product! Ha, SOOOOOOOO not true. For me, it was a total waste of time and effort to be there, set up, and take it all down.
BUT, here’s the big plus – As usual, Lorna and I laughed a lot over the two days, we met tons of great, creative, generous-spirited people, and best of all, I went home with Lorna’s best Cross!!!!
Will we ever do this again? Maybe, but only at a Juried Show, in a bigger venue where we KNOW that more people will be attending.