I was at Art in the Park on Saturday in Blowing Rock, NC. It was my first time back at this show in 8 years and the first time showing my earthenware in this area. July can be a great show at Art in the Park (they have this craft fair once a month May-October). Many affluent people have summer homes in Blowing Rock and it's a good tourist destination as it's cooler in the mountains this time of year.
I know I need some contrasting curtains behind those shelves.
My hope was to have a great show. (Always hopeful). I wanted to do at least $1200.00. I took my very best work and my booth looked nice. The weather was unpredicitable, foggy, then showers one moment and sunshine and blue skies the next. Folks were out non the less but it didn't seem as if anyone was buying. I was very disappointed that my pots weren't leaving the shelves. I popped in on some other artists and they were having slow sales also.
I was saved by a gallery owner from nearby Linville, NC who came in and wanted to buy some pots for her shop. She offered wholesale and met my terms. I really prefer selling wholesale to galleries. I can offer them my best work, they pay me and take it. I am happy and I know they are going to do their best to sell it. This particular gallery is 87 Ruffin Street. I have been in it several times over the years and knew my pots would fit in well there. A few of my pottery friends have work there too so I'll be in good company.
In the end I sold about $450 retail and $550 wholesale (that's $1100 worth of pots retail for those of you who may not know). So not a bad day, but I'd really rather have had $1100 worth of retail sales for the day. Still, it's good to move those pots and to get them out into the world. Now I can make more. And it's nice to have my work in a new gallery.
I'm having lots of thoughts lately about the whole craft show thing and how to go about selling my pots. This is something that comes up every few years for me. I'm going to do several more posts on the topic over the week. I want to talk a bit about booth design, wholesale vs. retail, getting in bigger shows, travel etc.
By the way, just so you know roughly what my expenses for this show were. The booth fee was $155. It's an hour and a half from home so I don't have any hotel expenses. We usually end up spending about $40 on lunch and dinner (and ice cream at Kilwins).
Also, just FYI, it takes just over an hour for Sarah and me to set up my tent and booth and get the pots out. That's pretty good. About 50 minutes to tear down and 15-20 min to load the truck up.