Sunday, November 05, 2006

feeling let down.

so, after hours upon hours of preperation for ART VS. CRAFT, it turned out to be a huge let down. i devoted 12 hours of my day (9 of those were hours that i vended during, the other 3 were transportation and set up) to earn a whole $32. not a single journal of mine was sold. i am supposed to be at the event right now, actually, but i decided to withdraw myself from it. this means that i am not allowed to attend another art vs. craft ever again, since i didnt show up today. i do feel bad, i really do- but how do i justify sitting in a drab conference room for another day after the terrible time i had yesterday? i was starting to think that my prices werent right. too high, maybe. so i lowered them. still nothing (good thing i suppose, i know i can get what they are worth elsewhere).
the event ended at 7 last night. i saw 2 girls packing up early at a booth near mine so i went and asked them how their day went. they said it was terrible, the worst show they've ever been to. we talked for a while, they were really cool. (oh, by the way- this is the second "worst show" i have had a booth at. i have only had 2 shows, and both were considered "the worst" by others). the part that really let me down was that this was a juried show- it was the 5th time they have had this show, i was really excited about the potential that i thought i had. i mean, this was an actual hipster/indie/awesome crafty event--not some county fair, ya know?
i knew i wasnt the only vendor who wasnt making any sales when i heard some guy from a booth around the corner yell "15 minutes left, start buying!!!" i thought it was kind of rude but hey, i was feeling the same way.
so anyway, i am not doing any more shows in milwaukee. only chicago (and the other cool shows around the midwest that ive heard great things about). i dont know- it just didnt draw the crowd i was hoping for. lots of families with little kids- everyday people, ya know? not the people who really KNOW what "handmade" really entails. the time, energy, money...the passion that goes into each creation. i mean, maybe they do know. but i have learned to appreciate handmade MUCH more since i started. im sure most people are the same way. anyway, enough is what i brought to the show. there are more pictures on my flickr account.

i'm going to update my blog tomorrow because i want to show you some cool things that i have found online. stockings, cheese cutting board, etc...all really great stuff.

today i am going to organize my "office" as i call it. this is a HUGE project, especially because i dont have anywhere to put anything. i found a great shelving unit at lowes and i was really excited that i would be able to buy it after the show but hey, looks like thats not happening. joe says i can use some of the money in our joint account but i dont feel right doing that- this is something for ME, not for US. although, haha, i suppose it could be for US since he's the one who wants my office organized!!! haha, i do too, but i just dont want to do it.


lisa s said...

oh erin... so sorry. what a bummer... chin up though... your stuff will definitely sell somewhere!!!

Somersault said...

Erin, it must have been an awful day.

If your work doesn't get the recognition it deserves (e.g. at the fair) and when you feel people are absorbing energy rather than giving energy back to you it is clear that you have to quit - you go girl! for withdrawing from the event.

I love the birch coptic bound journal - it's a pity that my bank account doesn't allow me to buy it.

Maybe this Wednesday... if it's not sold yet.

jamie bayliss said...

hey erin,
this is jamie (other girl selling books near you) from yesterday. i searched for you online.. i was sorry not to see you at the fair today, but perhaps it would comfort you to know that it was even worse today. i just ended up trading for stuff that i wanted from other vendors. at least then i feel like i'm getting something.. i truely did want a book from you and when i told my mom about it, she mentioned the robot book and said she was sooo close to buying it. i said, "why didn't you!??" anyway, i forsee etsy purchases in our future. i'm sorry you had such a bad time. i can't say i had a good time, either. let's chat more. email me, hope you're recovering-- and know that at least one person (though, i'm guessing many more) appreciated your work. good luck to you.


kml said...

You are not alone!
I finally quit doing most shows for the scene that you described.(now I have sales reps that sell my stuff, and do quite a good job too!)
But don't lose faith in your art, and don't lower your prices when people aren't buying- it's worth what it's worth and if someone wants it they should buy it (or f.o.-haha!) or do some sort of fair trade.
try not to be discouraged- your stuff is delicious!

LALA dex press said...

Here! Here! to what Kristen said above me. I thought that shows were the way to go, but after some really REALLY bad ones (at my first show I only made $4.00, that is 1 card) no more. I do a very established show + studio tour, sharing space with friends who can help with fees + whom I can have fun hanging out with.
I am so so sorry your experience was dreadful, unfortunately that seems to be the way with too many fairs.
Your work is really good, don't let this discourage you! (now I'm raising my cup of tea to you, cheers!)

lexi said...

that bites.. :( sorry to hear about the sucky time you had - but i do like your journals. Thanks for the comment on my blog :)

bugheart said...

i am piping
into agree
with the gals...
it's so hard
when your things
don't sell...
when you put
so much of
your heart
into them...
but it's
a matter
of finding
the right
and people
your beautiful
it will happen.

abby said...

It is sometimes difficult to gauge success at these things in a monetary way. I've done only four shows/fairs and each one has been different as far as the money earned was concerned. I find it hard to do these things-but you must remember that people are always looking-even if they aren't buying a lot. Two big wholesale orders I got came from women who saw my art the the alberta artwalk-which I though was kind of measely as far as business went. They took one of my cards and emailed me three weeks later-so you really never know.
I participated in a show with fabulous wonderful women and tons of buyers and it was STILL hard. I think shows are just hit and miss. Good luck-and don't let this discourage you. It is a total learning experience, isn't it? Now we just have to be ready for the holidays! And I second lis!

valium said...

Hey there- you left a message on my blog so I am writing you back. All I have to say is, I definately did better on day 2. Art vs. Craft is one of my favorite events & the one I did this past June - I did awesome as far as sales go, and the crowd & space was exactly the same. So there's just no telling. It could have been the weather, the economy, there's several factors. You just never know. I've done a few of the big Chicago events (also juried) and those are hit or miss too. Don't get discouraged. The only suggestion I can make, is if you want to do a 2 day event but don't want to be disappointed, share a space with a friend or 2 even, and split the time, maybe that way it's not as stinging. I definately think if this was only your second show you should have stuck it out for both days. You just never know what people are going to be there or if maybe someone from a on-line or boutique could also be shopping for new vendors, that too can pay off more than the show itself sometimes. As far as only doing Chicago shows that are un-juried, hmmmm it's my home base and me or my friends have just about done them all, I only know a few that aren't juried and those are also hit or miss --- but so are the popular juried ones. It's so hard to predict what sales will be or what will be popular that day. Every show I have done something different has sold more than the last.

Dawbis said...

erin dear, i'm sorry you had such a let down at the show. your journals are awesome, and i wouldn't feel too bad about it. i'm sure it wasn't because people didn't like your journals. it seems like you just had the wrong kind of crowd. i havne't been to a craft event before, but i never pictured a bunch little kids there.

anyway, keep your head up! you're books are awesome! i wish i had money right now to grab that bug one :) but i have to wait.