Shows…. I continue to have a love/hate relationship with them.
For several years now I have participated in one or two shows each fall season. A lot of time and effort goes into these shows. In addition to the time I spend at the show, I spend days before the show getting ready. This involves things like pricing inventory, acquiring displays, and ironing tablecloths (which could be the worst part of it all). The day before the show there are several hours of set up time, and then, of course, cleanup after the show. I admire those vendors who do this all season long. There are economies of scale that go into doing this more often, I am sure, but it is a tough way to make a living.
This year I also had an Open House at my home. I had my entire inventory out for pre-show prep, so it made sense to invite people to come to me. An additional advantage to this is that shoppers can see my studio space where I create the pieces they are buying. I really enjoyed the Open House. It was a great venue to showcase my higher end art pieces and it was fun to visit with everyone. I even got some ideas for new pieces.
It has been my experience that at local craft shows and markets most shoppers are looking for a bargain. Usually they are shopping for Christmas gifts and want to spend between $20 and $25. When I calculate the amount of time I spend at the show, the cost of the booth, the setup and breakdown time, I begin to wonder if it is worth it.
What makes it all worth it for me is when the occasional glass lover comes by. It is always so rewarding to see someone pick up a piece, smile, and say, “I love this. I have to have it.” I was fortunate to have a few of these stop by my table last week.
I have one more show this Saturday, November 3. It is the Seasons of the Heart Bazaar at Strawbridge United Methodist Church. I will have a booth there and I am donating a stained glass panel for the silent auction. They always have some really great auction items there. If you live in the area stop by and say hello. For more information see the website: Strawbridge United Methodist Church