Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My First Show-The Official Recap


Friday night found me with just a few more details to finish up on my last minute ideas, the car to load, and the house in a total mess. Robb was wonderful, though, and as I priced, he attached the tags and packed the boxes, and then the van. With everything loaded, including touch up paint and my tools just in case, I was much too amped to settle down and sleep. To calm my jitters, I found myself cleaning for the first time in a while...vaccuuming, cleaning toilets and folding laundry that had been piling up. Finally around midnight, with the help of a very funny comic, I was able to drift off to sleep.

Bright and early, I pulled out of the driveway with a minivan that felt even more like a loaf of bread than ever. Arriving at 6:45, all of the shady spots were already taken, and I wondered, "WHEN did they get here???" A fellow crafter loaned me her extra tent and she and her husband helped me set it up. I am looking forward to getting one of these for myself as I know it would be super useful on many occasions.

So set up was done by 9:00, my girl H had arrived bearing some kind of culinary wonder called a sausage roll, which consisted of meat wrapped in a donut, fellow artists flanked me with abstract paintings and hand-blown glass, and a few middle-aged women strolled by with friends or husbands, not knowing we were all seeing bulls-eyes on their chests. And then we waited.

I made a quick pass through the other tents to see what else there was to see, but lets be honest....we're all starving and don't make very good customers to one another!

Next thing I knew, I sold my first piece...the green mailbox. It was a sweet couple who admired all my pieces and claimed all my prices were wonderful. And just like that, I had covered my entrance fee and had actually made a profit! It was a miracle! More miracles ensued as the cherry lazy susan disappeared, followed by the miniature bouquets, the large floral bouquet, the teapot and a rose tray, and the brass and copper coat hook. All the pieces got lots of love and admiration from various people, and the black cupboard was by far the favorite of everyone. At one point a member on the board of the Community Creative Center gave me her number and asked me to consider teaching a class. Business cards were tucked away, with explanations about the wonderful world of Etsy and how to find my shop online. The buyer of my decoupage traincase inquired, "Where will you be next?" I shrugged, "I don't know...this is just my first show..."
"This is NOT your first show!!!" she demanded, giving me the courage to inquire post haste about where I might look into showing next.

A lovely family with teenagers arrived, and I heard them before I saw them..."This looks just like Vanessa's kind of stuff!" It was our friends from VF and how we laughed that apparently, my style is unique!

The owner of the gallery stopped in to check on me part way through the day and was drawn in to look carefully at my stuff. Having been denied once, I was careful to really polish each piece to the standard they had set for me. While looking intently at the cupboard, he declared, "We're going to need to find you some space in the gallery." This to me, was the biggest success and one of my major objectives.

At the end of the day, though it had been slow, I was able to report that I had sold a third of my pieces. I felt like that was important too, to let them know that my work was well-received. Indeed, people were very receptive and always interested in the details about each piece. That was super-gratifying.

All in all, if 100 more people had been there (it was a slow day for everyone) I think it would have been crazy. As it was, it was a perfect first experience. Not so busy as to be overwhelming, but profitable enough to make the work seem worth it and not a total waste of time. I will be looking to be a part of any other show I can enter, while at the same time, I've got some great new things to add to my etsy shop.

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Anonymous said...

is this when I get to say "I told you so!"? Congratulations, nesser-bean!


tammi said...


Heidi said...

I'm so excited for you! What a great experience.

Our farmers market has one day a week set aside as an "artisan" market. Maybe your's has something similar...

I'm also curious, have you considered an Etsy street team? It seems like a great idea, but I don't think I have the time =(

Plant Freak said...

I'm so excited for you!! The booth looked great!

12-arrows said...

How awesome are you? You have great creations and who wouldn't want to purchase one?

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