Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Craft Fair Thing

So, I wanted to give you, the reader, the down low on the craft fair thing.
I mean it's sort of like an arts and crafts swap meet, with food and some booths and stuff.
Some of the larger craft fairs, especially the ones close to the holiday season are difficult to get into.
Waiting lists and all.
Like a swap meet, you pay for your space and sometimes your stuff is even screened to make sure it's what the craft fair folks want at their, well craft fair.
The craft fair I'm doing wanted picture samples of my work before welcoming me to their gathering.
Keeps out the riff raff I guess.
As far as I know, there are thirty stalls set up though I have no clue as to what other stuff will be on sale.
There has been a crackdown of sorts on craft fairs and the so called cash businesses.
The Governor created a task force, I'm not kidding, to go around and fine folks who do craft fairs, open markets, etc, for not paying their general excise taxes and keeping records.
Boy, things are tough all over.
I think the newspaper said the $300,000 task force has so far collected $30,000 in taxes and fines.
Our government at work.
Now my apprehension has nothing to do with general excise taxes, but more with wondering if my stuff will sell or not.
Again with the pricing.
I haven't done this sort of thing in a while, so I don't know what folks are selling comparable stuff at. I mean I don't want to be asking twenty bucks for my stuff when the folks across the way are doing it for ten.
Then there's the stuff itself.
Not my usual product.
Okay, the bottle forms maybe, but not the vases, especially not small little vases:

Especially not small little vases with fou-fous on them.
So in a way, I'm going where I haven't gone before.
Now I don't want to give stuff away.
I don't want to sit there all day staring at my stuff either.
I'm hesitant to use my usual delusional marketing strategy, but I don't want to bring stuff back home either so I'm sort of taking a wait and see approach.
I'm thinking I'll be around +/- twenty bucks.
Which let me tell you, is like giving my stuff away.
So I was thinking about thirty for the bottles:

Then again, I could ask like a hunsky for each piece, sell ten, then pack up and go home!
I wish.
Now I've heard of folks who have quit their day jobs and make a living at the craft fair circuit.
In fact, I knew someone who quit his day job to do ceramics and the craft fair circuit.
Last I heard he was back doing his day job.
The way I look at it, you can't go out and do what everyone else is doing, you have to have your own niche, you own pet rock if you will.
If you don't, you enter a competitive market.
If you got something different, the better your chances of making a dent and making some money.
Oh, and it doesn't hurt if you are good at what you do.
At least when it comes to handcrafted goods.
My friend is bringing the tent, and I got myself a little table. He also has some folding shelves since he does this sort of thing all the time.
Oh, did I mention I'm sharing the space with a friend who also does ceramics?
He does ceramics and he does it well.
He's a professional don't you know.
Now I have to admit, the other thing I don't like about doing these things is that I have to deal with people.
I like people most of the time, really I do.
I just don't like selling stuff to people.
Especially stuff I made.
There's that whole art vs. craft thing.
More on that later.
Anyways, I'd prefer to just put my stuff out on a table and have someone else go and hawk it but that usually involves some kind of commission and I really need a new bicycle.
After thinking about it, I'll do just about anything for a new bicycle.
Almost anything.
Kinda sorta.
Boy, I better get a new bicycle out of all this!
So I'll be finishing up my stuff in the next couple of days, getting more anxious about what will take happen.
Bonus or bust.
Sydney or the bush.
Make it or break it.
I'm thinking everyone I know will be getting pottery for Christmas.
Well actually, even if I sell everything, everyone will be getting pottery for Christmas.


John Romeo Alpha said...

Your new bicycle: black and nasty.

limom said...

Oh, I love it when you talk dirty!
Actually, one of the bikes I'm thinking about is black.
The other, wait for it...