Friday, December 5, 2008

to meet the customers... craft shows

In a recent comment my buddy Jim pondered about better ways to sell our craft than going to craft fairs. There probably are, however, here we go again...

a few interactions from the Der Belsnickel show stand out (besides the visits from friends) and may explain why we are headed back to another one at the Pen Ryn School ...

1. A large man in a trench coat stands mesmerized by Mosaic Woman's wedding cross. Eventually I introduce myself and with no great difficulty speak of the talents of the woman who created the piece. Like many others at the show he praises our art, lingers as the glass and light bounce about in his brain, then walks away empty handed. Mosaic Woman relieves me at the booth, and I tell her about the man in the trench coat. I return to find him and his wife searching their bodies for enough money to own...

Wedding Cross mosaic

2. A young woman still in high school is grabbed by a mosaic picture frame, mom is across the way.... "Mom, Mom, Mom, MOTHER!" The mosaic is eventually purchased. With much joy and joking around between us.

3. A young man practically runs back into our booth, grabs

and says.... "I ditched my wife. Quick, I want to give this to her for Christmas."



  1. Loverly art as always....stories too. I used to haunt the craft shows more often and at one of the last ones I went to long ago I overheard a crafter (or artist, you decide) say something about those folks she saw at shows frequently but never bought anything, and I can't remember her exact words, but she said it with a bit of disrespect and disdain, something like "Craft show junkies..." I was offended by her tone and remark and actually stopped going for a long time.... Oh if we had so much money that we could purchase every piece that we wanted, to support every artist singlehandedly! Is every booth visitor expected to by a piece every time? (I see it kinda like church-people aren't gonna show up if they know there is work to be done...!) I feel your angst and yet, my pocketbook feels something too!!! ;-) I hope today is good for you and tomorrow even better!

  2. Giggles--- comment about "empty handed" was just stating a fact. I am happy with 1 or 2 purchases an hour. With that in mind, it is psychologically difficult to take the folk who come back to our booth 3, 4, 5 times, talk as if they are about to buy something and then and walk away without buying. Maybe it is that they fill us with lots of hope...

    As our friend, I hope you know your visits are always welcomed, no matter how empty or full your hands are when you walk away.

  3. A fault of mine... to take so much so personally.... Thanks for your remarks... Yes, I can imagine the disappointment....

    So how was Friday?

  4. How was Friday?

    hmmm. It was an adventure. Not at all happy with sales, however... lunch at a hip coffee shop in a historic building in Langhorne, tons of beautifuls, pretties and one "your work is awesome," a really cool penguin ornament from the "student crafters," conversations with other crafters, a ham and cheese crepe (M got chocolate) at a never before experienced diner on the way home, coming home to an invite to hang out with a friend (how was it?), and the hope that Saturday is a new day...

    There were a handful of folk we came real real close to a sale. Not sure what happened??? One woman with amazingly beautiful long black hair seemed to so want one of my stained glass and I so wanted her to have one...

    My glass never looked so good at a craft fair. It got almost as many ooohs and ahhhhs as the mosaics.

    I saw a knitted hat with my name all over it.

    M saw some jewelery with her name all over it.

    I slept well.

    Thanks for asking.

  5. My own wallet has seldom afforded the beauty of what I see here and my nature, I suppose, is more at home rummaging around some flea market looking for used books. Not just some murder mystery or dime novel, but "treasures". I can well appreciate, however, the heart of the artist and have enjoyed the stories told here from his viewpoint. Glad you took no offense at my inquiry...

  6. So here's my question about craft show etiquette - I try to catch the eye of the crafter if I want to look at their craft and make a comment. I may just want to it better to engage, or just look and walk away? My sister trained me that overseas, when you walk into a shop, you always say hello and goodbye - whether you make a purchase or not.

  7. Sorry that it was so disappointing.... Once may moons ago, I did a craft gig in Skippack, I have made several Christmas tree skirts and other assorted quilted items.... I did ok, but one woman had the nerve to inspect my work and declare loud and obnoxiously that she could do much better and my quality wasn't all that good! (I had eight in the show, I sold seven of them!) I also had a woman who looked at a small wall hanging and looked and looked and looked and finally I asked her what her intentions were and if I could help her? She did finally buy was the only "hand quilted" thing I sold that day.... ANd you know, people are just so darn.....fickle!!

    msklem...great question!!

    Music was good...couldn't even convince any of my spawn to join me though, so I went solo... i felt bad for the singer... very few people at all, but man, does she have a beautiful voice! (Have I said that yet??!!) Lyrics need a little more depth and variety, but she told me afterwards that she just signed a licensing contract! I had to ask exactly what that meant and she said her songs can now be peddled for soundtrack for movies, etc!! Pretty darn cool! I also decided I'm gonna take some guitar lessons from the fellow that sold me the darn thing to begin with.... though not at George's anymore he's got a grown up job as an AV guy at NPHS....seems like a good kid!
    I hope Saturday was better for ya!
    On another note, I have two sides yet to bind and was hoping to have it done for you for tomorrow, since I have to be there to count anyway, but no... It just ain't gonna happen....Next weekend for sure...and can I just say... I think it's lookin really good!

  8. Jim--- I asked one crafter how long it took to knit something and she said she gives herself 1-2 dollars an hour. Our price range fell between 12 and 425 dollars. It was a low end show, we stood out like a sore thumb. We did not sell anything over 40.00 this weekend.

    msklem--- sounds fine to me. We say hello and don't say much else unless spoken to. We assume most folk are just looking. And when I am looking at stuff in a store I don't want to be bugged by sales folk... just makes me ant to walk away. Once engaged we talk about our craft.

    Giggles--- We don't over hear many rude comments, but people either don't care or think we can't hear or are rude. Leave comments like that for a few booths down the road.


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