Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Downtime? What downtime?

The booth this past weekend. Couldn't quite crop out the jogger, but what a great glow from the rising sun (I was at the festival at 7 to finish setting up and lay out the jewelry)

I exhibited at the Atlanta Arts Festival this past weekend. It was both wonderful and not-so-wonderful...but it was much more wonderful than the last festival (Ruidoso Art Festival) was for me:

- I sold nine one of a kind, stone-set pieces of jewelry. I've written before about how gratifying it is when customers really connect with "their" piece of jewelry, and the one of a kinds always call to their own. This weekend I sold the most of these I've ever sold at one venue, and the customer interest and feedback was WONDERFUL. At least at this festival, I wasn't "too small, too non-bling-y, or too weird" like the folks in Ruidoso seemed to think. :)

- Weather was about as perfect as it could be. After all my other Atlanta shows have been half-rained out, it was nice to have two full selling days of comfortable temps and no water. Not that having both days helped (see below)...

- I connected and re-connected with some great people. Living the solitary-I'm-busy-cranking-out-work-in-my-studio life, alternating with the I'm-busy-traveling-to-and-exhbiting-at-art-shows life, doesn't leave a lot of time for personal relationships...the hours at an art show are SELLING TIME. It's what I'm there to do, it's how I make the bulk of the income that keeps my business going, it's what I've given both my hard-earned money and time to be there for. So if you're busy at a festival, you can't walk around and chat with your other artist friends, and even if they come to see you, you sometimes can't take much time away from selling to visit with them. But this weekend there were definitely slow patches of the show and I got to spend a bit of time catching up with old friends and making some new ones.

On the flip side...

- I sold nine one of a kind, stone-set pieces of jewelry. Which is awesome, unless you have only about ten days before you drive to Nashville to exhibit at another show...yikes! I should be making jewelry right now instead of writing this, so don't be surprised if I don't post here again for a bit. I love making these creations, but I can only physically make so many a day. And I can't physically work on them every day, because my body can't take it. So I am going to have to be very judicious in how I get this schedule of work done before leaving for Tennessee.

- Saturday sales were not crazy-busy, but steady. It was a good day and profitable. Sunday's sales...I had two. Both before noon. None after (the show ran until 5 pm). Five hours without sales. And the two sales on Sunday morning, together, would not have covered my expenses...so it's good that the buying customers were around on Saturday! The reality is that every festival is a gamble. You jury, and get accepted - yay! - you pay your booth fee, you travel if necessary, you show up with the very best work and designs you have, and then you hope that the show has done their part - advertising, bringing in the foot traffic, that it has the right customer base for your creations, hope that the weather is good, that there aren't other events in the town/city that take people's focus away from your event...I could go on and on but you get the point. Each show is a risk.

So I'm glad it worked out this time. And I'm going to get to work on new items and hope that it works out the next time...I'm coming, Nashville! Let's have some fun together! 

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