Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Another bit of navel gazing

working on experimental fibre art usually results in a lot of either failures to re-purpose, or left-overs.  Often these end up in small projects, such as one-of-a-kind purses and such that, in the past, have done well at craft shows.  For the past three years, while addressing some health issues, there have been no craft shows, but this summer  I was encouraged to try again, which I did, last Sunday.  Did not sell a single thing. We were set up early, and after the first half hour of the sale, knew that it would probably be a bust. 

In the past such sales have contributed a bit to replenishing my supplies, and we have missed that tiny bit of income,  ( So tiny that neither the provincial nor federal governments require me to report the income or collect sales tax.)  Since we had so much time on our hands during the sale, we spent some time analyzing the problem.  Here are a few things we thought about.

1. Our prices were high for the audience.  I calculate the actual cost of supplies in making items, and price for a small profit ( less than a dollar an hour).  Additionally, I am proud of my technical skills and  believe that there is quality and value for money in my products.  At this sale I was competing with  a lady selling off her personal jewelry at far less than cost , "just to get it out of the house".  There was a man selling jewelry made from the pony beads that are sold at dollar stores, and selling for an appropriate price  for that product--mainly less than $5.00. This was what the audience was expecting.

2. I had been mislead  about the type of sale it was to be.  Evidently it has been exactly what it was, in the past, but the organizers had wanted to create a higher quality presentation. While they tried to attract more up-scale vendors, they knew their market would be expecting food, and filled most of the booths with food vendors, who did well.  At the same time, they were charging a healthy admission fee.  

3. I was treated well, by the organizers, and wish them well in future, but I won't be there.

4. In the back of  my mind, I know that many craft items are faddish.  Since it's been awhile for me, maybe my type of item has gone out of style.  Hate to think so, as I sometimes need the pleasure of making something other than fibre art.

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