Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rambling 16: Dreaming of a Successful Craft Business

Like a nagging hangover, I awoke this morning with lingering, incessant thoughts of the Leander High Craft Market yesterday. Was it successful? Not really, rather middling. I made some sales. I did get some feedback. The crowd seemed a bit flat. The lookers were disultry. Nobody seemed to be too excited. And everyone  needed a lot of encouragement to open their wallets. Why was the atmosphere so dull?

In big shows like this the vendor mix has home-based businesses, like Tupperware, next to home crafters, next to fine original handmade goods, next to the local chiroprator offering massages. I never expect such a mix to bring out an exclusive audience ready to appreciate original, creative work at the price that it costs. But I have made some great relationships and built a good customer base at such shows. I consider it an easy step to building a business. Such shows are inexpensive, local  and offer a venue to try out displays (are they eye-catching enough?) and new designs. By the way all feedback was pretty good.

Now I'm ready to try more discriminating shows. I want to go places where the audience is expecting fine handcrafted original work. Where the market goer wants to meet the artists and talk to them about what they are doing. I want to find out if what I'm doing will please this type of audience. That's what I'm hoping to move into with the help of a cooperative of artists. Maybe we will create a gallery to attract such an audience. Maybe we will have to present our own juried event. Maybe it will start with a web site. I have my ideas of possibilities. I am looking forward to see what fellow artisans dream about. Embarking on a journey of exploration. Fun. 

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