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April 17, 2016

Comments

Ginger

As they say here in Hickory County - Amen Sister!

Beth Trubman

Thanks for being so encouraging Brenda. Good info. Thanks.

Barbara Kelley

BRAVA! 'Nuff said!

Pat Jones

Well said! My husband wondered why I do shows - small ones - until he went with me one time last year and stayed because I didn't feel well. He figured out very quickly that it's a good way to figure out what sells in the area! And now he helps gladly. Thanks so much for encouraging us!

paula Gaskill

Yes' I feel there's never a bad show. There's always something to learn from doing a show whether merchandising, meeting people for insight. All in what you take from it.

Karen Eaton

I've never done a show, but I think this is such a great blog! And so true!! I think there can always be a lesson learned in most situations, whether it be a show, or something else in your own life. And love the pic in the shop w/ Donna!!

Susan Bowerman

Great read, Brenda. When I know a show is going to have quite a bit of jewelry artists attending, I try to take a few other things just to stand out. One year, I took a bunch of homemade cinnamon buns and put them prominently on my table. That really helped! I think the message is that from time to time, we just have to come up with an edge. I love doing shows, especially now that I have simplified my set-up and have a system for doing them. And yes, I've done a few shows where I couldn't give the stuff away. But all in all, I've been fairly fortunate.

Gail

Everything you said is true. Having been selling some kind of art for over 20 years I learned that always, always, when a door closes a window opens. Very nice article Brenda!

Lucia King

Terrific post! My friend/business partner have been doing art/craft shows for about 10 years. We only do a few a year and have learned a lot over the years. I think the most important things I have learned are that you can't take anything personally, not everyone is going to love your jewelry. It doesn't necessarily mean it isn't good, just not for some people. But the thing that has helped me the most is having a sense of humor, especially since most of our shows are outdoors where anything can happen and has. Rain, wind, extreme heat, losing our tent overnight due to straight line winds, we've seen a lot and just keep laughing...and creating!

Shari Gardner

Thank you Brenda, great timing. It was a well written and interesting blog post, and it gives me another way of looking at this. Since I signed up to do my very first show next month, I've been getting a bit anxious. It seems I have so much I need, that I haven't gotten around to buying, because I have only sold online or to friends/family that have stopped by our house. I need stands and trays, risers, table cloths, etc. I wish there was a list, and I'm praying to make at least how much I need to buy now. But, I also know there is no counting on that it will be busy or that I'll sell anything. So considering what you wrote, maybe I need to be thinking of this as a learning experience and maybe an opportunity to network, instead of "counting my chickens before they have hatched" as my dad would say.

Sherry Castro

Well said Brenda :)

Jennifer Merrill Williams

Great blog post, Brenda Sue!

Yes a lot of "brick and mortar" shops do close, the overhead is high. and as you made so clear location is key. I was tipped off by a friend that a nice second hand store was coosing. The store was beautifuk with really nice wares but it was out of the way of shopping areas with high rent. Lessons are learned.

I have always had a dream of having a store (an ancestor was a shopkeeper, it might be genetic!) but for me the only affordable store space has been a spot in a co-op. Same issues with location/clientele, much less expense but there is the added aspect of dealing with additional business relationships and not having control of the space and the display options.

I always liked the social, sharing aspect of selling at shows, although for me they were more of a learning experience. I learned about setting up quickly, what to have on hand (yes, Shari, a list comes in handy!), how to package and display my items, how to pack light (important!), how much help is needed (you need breaks at least). It gave me enough experience to be able to do home parties on short notice, or to sell one on one and have what I needed (receipts, bags).

Marcia Tuzzolino

Thanks for this wonderful post, Brenda! It's a great read with valuable lessons.

Chris

Great information and encouragement :)

Jeanette Belmont

Great Post! A needed reminder at this time for myself as I get ready to take my first leap of faith. Even if it does not work out, I am sure I will learn something that I can use in the future.

Janet Calardo

Loved the article. I also am so glad that I was able to come to your shop for the 1st ans 2nd workshops. It was so beautiful and I loved everything and how you had such wonderful displays. Thanks for sharing.

Elisabeth Wilks

Thanks for writing this about shows. I vacillate whether to do a show on what kind of customer will be there. This gives me encouragement on trying go to more shows and learn about the customer and what they want and also lots of networking.

B'sue

Thanks for reading the blog guys and I am really impressed with how many of you took time to leave your thoughts. Really makes me want to hop on the blog bandwagon again with some good content and encouraging ideas!

Gina-Marie Hammer, Tangles, Twists and Treasures

This is wonderful. I've had some experience with this at shows, but I never know what to tell people, or how to explain it when I only make $250 on a $35 table, and they ask why I'm bothering? Or why I want to try things that I know will probably not make me any money, but I'm going to "give them a go" anyways. Thanks for giving me the words!

One of the best thing that's happened to me from shows is the networking opportunities for other shows. I got invited to three Garden Club events by doing one at the start of last year; and I got invited to a church fair by being found at one of the Garden Club events. Two of them are shows that repeat, which I will now be on the list to attend as a repeat vendor.

I've already had people spot me and say, "I remember you! Didn't I see your stuff at? What's new?" and that's a perfect segue to show them new stuff, tell them all about the new pieces I'm developing and the new designs I'm working on.

My major failing, atm, is the Internet, and THAT is what this summer is for. No shows from May - September, and that means it's time to work on the storefront and the inventory/bookkeeping!

I most certainly think you *should* continue to blog! I've found your experience invaluable. :)

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