Focus ~ Craft Show Wisdom?
Hello Dear Reader,
This past weekend I participated in a local HS spring craft show. Unfortunately, it was a bust. It was a rainy, cold day. That fact can either drive people in to a show or keep them at home, as was the case Saturday.
So I had a lot of time to think. I always take something to work on at shows. One, because I like to stay busy and two because I believe it shows that my pieces are truly hand made. So while I sat wire wrapping a big pile of carnelian lentils I looked around, and talked to my neighbors, and thought & thought and thought. What I saw were TONS of jewelry artists & LOTS and LOTS of strung jewelry.
I've been pondering this question quite a bit lately. Really, the market is saturated with jewelry. Simple strung jewelry is not difficult and many people are good at it, so there is a lot out there. I started by stringing too and it's still a good technique, but in the last year I have been branching out. Mostly I have been growing in my Polymer Clay and now into metals and wire.
As I watched and chatted with the few brave customers that came out I saw what they looked at in my humble booth. [I was not very happy with my location here, I feel like my display was lost among the visual clutter, I prefer to be against a wall.]
These two easels on the right and this small table in front were what seemed to attract people on this day.
My polymer clay wine stems drew many compliments as did the PC covered hens eggs of which I sold one
Assemblage also seemed to attract some attention.
In the end what sold and barely saved me from a total loss?? Near the end of the day a lovely customer purchased my 'Antiquarian Ocean' PC & mixed medium set.
I also sold the leather & ball chain bangle. I have a customer who wants the leather cuff with abstract designs & some coordinating earrings....if I can resize it down, which I am working on.
Lastly I traded these metal embossed earrings with another vendor for a pair of her enameled copper washer earrings. I had actually purchased one of her bracelets a few months ago at Two & A Half Women, the artist consignment shop I have pieces in down in Elizabeth City, NC. Now I have a set.
So, in conclusion I think the signs are pointing me towards Polymer, assemblage and metals and away from beading and simple 'stringing'.
I have a couple very loyal customers who love my strung pieces, so I hope they continue to follow me as I journey along this path of growth and change.
I see it as the way to continue to do what I enjoy, which is to create. In a very saturated market, the way to survive is to be different from everything out there and from what I could see that must be my path.
Thanks for staying with me on these lengthy musings today. I appreciate your time and any comments or advice would be welcome.