Friday, October 28, 2011

Merry Go Round - Selling at Fairs

It's the last Friday of the month, so join us on our merry go round for a quick spin.  The merry go round is where a group of 11 artists/craftwomen link together around the world and tell you a little about their art and craft, through blogging on the same topic.

This month's question for us all to write about is "Do you do fairs/shows?  If so, share some hints and your experience. If not - why not."

When I first started making jewelry, I did a few fairs locally. Mostly, they were at wineries. People came along, drank a bit of wine, bought a bit of jewelry.....They were pretty successful.  However, as my jewelry progressed and my prices went up, I felt it really wasn't the right sort of market for my pieces.  The audience really wanted less expensive items.

Instead of looking for alternative fairs at that time, I chose to focus selling solely online.  I really enjoy the steadiness of it all.  With fairs, you seem to work frantically in the few weeks beforehand, churning out a lot of stock and then have an exhausting couple of days at the fair. Selling online, I make a few pieces each week and sell a few pieces each week and things just keep turning over nicely. It really suits how I like to work.

This summer however, I did set up a stall at the local farmers' market. The village I live in started a new farmers' market so I decided to join in. My color anodized aluminum work was pretty new and the whole process is not familiar in the US, so I wanted to use it as a means to get some feedback on those pieces. It was fun and I did enjoy it....and it was reasonably successful but I still prefer the online selling.

I always go back to how much I find I get to know my customers better online than face to face or selling in a gallery.  My customers email me and tell me their stories and send photos and keep in touch....and I find it so satisfying.

I think the choice is so personal in relation to how you work best....if you don't like the online scene, then fairs are great....but I happen to enjoy online, so have no plans to change that!  What do you think and do?

To find out what the other members of the merry go round think,  click on the links below:

Samantha at Vintage is for lovers -
Jen at Painted Fish Studio -
Bethany at Dirksen Dabbles -
Laura at Blue Terracotta -
Monika at Red2White -
Mitsy at ArtMind -
Kim at Vilt a la Kim -
Sara at Crafts of Texture -
Mariana at Florcita -
Agathe at Le Bar du Vent -
Ruth at Birdland Creations -

Or else you can click on the blog hop below.  If you are a merry go round participant, please add your link if it's not already included. You can then copy the code and put it on your blog post too.


Florcita said...

One should indeed participate when the time/mood is right. And if the whole thing is already working for you online, maybe avoiding the stress of a fair is ok too, right?

meherio68 said...

Yes, I think it is really important to have the "right" kind" of items & price-range for the right kind of audience / fair. Another of my worries before I have a go...