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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Outdoor shows vs. indoor shows

 Today was the first show of the year for me in Hillsborough at the historic Alexander Dixon house. The grounds were beautiful, the house wonderful, I had the best spot I have ever had at any show, right under a huge magnolia tree, on the end and near the music stage. It was a Carolina blue day, perfect perfect weather. Mother Nature at her finest. The Hillsborough Arts Council sponsored this show and the people that I dealt with were fantastic. Sales were not great, they were ok. Try and guess what sold... necklaces and Christmas tree ornaments. Go figure.....
I took your advise and sold the necklaces for $15, several people bought four of five at a time. You were right :)

This is the first organized show I have done since the CDCG show last November, when I was in a huge convention hall with horrible lighting, concrete floors, really bad music and very few sales. Plus everyone walking around at that show looked like they didn't even want to be there. Today, ladies had on their straw hats, kids were eating ice cream, the music was live and wonderful and the sun was shining on my face. Even if my sales were not where I would like them to be, it was a good day to be alive and not indoors! I had my fill of these outdoors shows for the past couple of years when almost every show I had paid for got rained out or turned out to be a ridiculous place to try and sell art, but today made up for it.

Does this happen to you? At every show, there is the "it" tent. It usually ends up beside me. Last time I did this show the "it" tent was the gourd lady that sold the most beautiful gourds for $20, I even bought one. Today it was the bag lady. Cute girl selling bags made of recycled coffee bags and reused fabrics. Very cool bags, $20 and she nearly sold out. I always sit there watching, studying, trying to figure out this phenomenon. A woman will be near starvation with little money for food, but by God, she will by jewelry, scarves and bags. I am totally making the wrong thing to be in this festival selling business!
If I had made more ornaments I would have been the it tent too, but silly me, I thought, who buys a Christmas tree in April?! I just put six of them out as a test to see how they would sell.
 Apparently my little barns are still "wonderful, charming, amazing, lovely, " blah blah, one woman actually got right to the point and told me my prices were too high. She wasn't even referring to the ones I sell for $150, she meant the little raku one for $38. Holy crap, if that's too high, I just give up. I use copper carb and cobalt carb and lithium and tin, I told her she should look up a clay supplier and check prices of glaze chemicals these days, and then proceeded to try and explain the concept of raku and making clay work, but I think she just got lost when I mentioned the price of cobalt carbonate these days.

Anyway, it was a lovely day, my Hillsborough posse came over to see me, fellow artist/friends were selling there, it was good seeing my show pals and Mother Nature did her job healing my bruised soul after one really rough week.

Thanks to all of you that emailed me last week with your concerns, it was good to open a friendly email, instead of hate mail. I unsubscribed to the Chatham Chatlist, what a hateful thing that is. It literally made me physically ill by the end of the week, like I needed more things to screw with my mind and body. By Friday morning, let's just say my "system" was all f''d up.

Today we got in the mail our application and confirmation for a telephone line power meter. Small victory. When it is installed and I sleep through the night I will celebrate. This past week I slept from 12am-3am every night, except Thursday night I did not sleep one single hour. I had to pack and price everything on Friday and I was a walking zombie. Last night I went to bed at 8pm and slept until my power surge wakeup call at 3am. I spoke to Progress Energy and the lady I talked to actually admitted that the 10:30pm and the 3am things were probably related to their power surges.... hmmm.......

I worry for this planet, for what we are doing to it. Twenty five years ago I did not own a computer or a cell phone and now look where we are. What will our lives be like in twenty more years? It's scary to ponder that.............

Hope everyone has a beautiful week, I'm heading out to Shakori Grassroots Music Festival next week to hang with my peeps!

14 comments:

Amy said...

tracey- your post reminds me of ignorance and well, rudeness.... at how people say --- even inadvertently mean things or inappropriate things- like with the pricing. gosh, I've decided that some will not get it and don't want to learn about the pottery world. oh well; yeah for you getting out there- you are brave to do shows! these days, I'm so less apt to do such... and yeah for your small victory!

Dennis Allen said...

Glad it went well.Every customer who comes in my booth makes me happy. Some when they come in, some when they leave.

Tracey Broome said...

Amy, I wasn't actually offended by her, she really didn't know any better.... She was just blunt, I don't think she meant any harm, but ignorant? Yes! I would say the majority of the world out there does not understand what goes into creating art, it's sad.....

Tracey Broome said...

Dennis, absolutely!

Amy said...

ahhh--- thanks for the clarity. hard to understand at times how things are written. I misunderstood. well, and pottery is such a different and wonderful world.

Anna M. Branner said...

I'd gladly pay $38 for that awesome little raku house.

littlemancat said...

Love your phrase "Carolina blue day". A beginning of a poem?
Glad you had a good spot under the magnolia tree!
Hope you can get some rest - lack of sleep really is tough. Keep that sense of balance, Libra lady :)- I know as I'm an Aquarius and need it too,nerves close to the surface.
Take care, enjoy your Spring-
Mary

Tracey Broome said...

H Amy,yeah,I don't think she intended to be rude,she sort of was,but she didn't know it,haha!
Awww, Anna, thanks, I know,I thought that was a good price.... People just don't have any money.....
Hey Mary, I know about those Aquarians, two of my best friends in high school were the same way. There's a saying here in Chapel Hill, you know God is a Tar Heel fan because he made the sky Carolina blue. So true:)

Michèle Hastings said...

You are so right that people don't think twice about spending money on jewelry!

It usually is the underpriced craftsmen and the over-priced kettle corn vendor that become the "it' booths.

beaquilter said...

people buy FUNNY stuff. I recently got an embroidery machine and asked fellow bloggers about what to make and sell and one suggestion (where she said she's seen these sell like hotcakes)..... embroidered toilet paper rolls! youtube it!! I guess you have this embroidery on the first sheet on the roll (it's really 3 or 4 layers) then you have the roll as decorations..... people will buy the funnies stuff!

Tracey Broome said...

Michele, yesterday it was cherry ice cream and recycled coffee bags, ugh!
Bea I seriously don't get the toilet paper thing, what in the world?

Peter said...

I nearly left a comment yesterday morning on your previous post, but didn't quite have the words. I was sitting looking out of the window at a beautiful blue sky, and the sunlight was all gold and pale green where it was showing through the willow trees. I just wished that I could have put all that blue sky and light in a bottle and sent it to you so that you could have enjoyed it too. I was delighted to see on this post that you have experienced a "Carolina blue day" and have been refreshed by it. For me the jury is out regarding outdoor vs indoor and sales... but there is no contest as far as enjoyment goes, give me a lovely day, happy people in sun hats, and something nice to look at... (not a hall ceiling, or brown or beige walls!).
Hugs, P & L

Vicki said...

What a beautiful place for a show, wow.
Your stall set up was so lovely and inviting - wonderfully presented.

Usually, people are most appreciative at markets I sell at, but then I can be floored by a random comment that comes out of nowhere.
And the weird rivalry from other potters/ceramicists is just too strange for me to comprehend. Oh well.

I often have the lyrics to 'People Are Strange' by The Doors revolving around my head on those days :)

I too think back to when there wasn't a computer in our house - shock, horror!
These days, people seem short on attention and temper and long on ignorance.
Yep, strange.

Tracey Broome said...

Peter, thank you so much for that!, maybe you. did send those blue skies after all:)
Vicki, so funny, I too hum that song sometimes at shows, haha! There is some rivalry with potters around here I suppose, but I have found most of them hard working and generous and very helpful if you need something. It's a good group of artists, there's just a lot of them!
People are strange and lately I have seen the angry ones, it's all those rf waves they are being zapped with :-)