Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little hoops

One thing I've made since the beginning of time is little 14k gold wire hoops. The shapes have changed over the years but it's the same basic idea and it's something little I've become known for. Plus it's what I tend to wear between shows since I don't have to take them out for weeks if I don't want to. Just a little hoop with some character.

These little hoops now sell for $72. With the price of gold skyrocketing upward, I thought I better do a time study and go through the pricing since it's been a while. What I discovered was shocking. I need to be charging $101 a pair for my little hoops based on today's costs! Holy crud!!!

So what do I do? During these tough times I've been selling a lot of pairs at my shows and am planning on putting them on Etsy for the holidays. But what do I charge? How much will people be willing to pay? What can I sell them for where I make a profit and yet it's still a good price for my customers? What a dilemma...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who knew I could build a website!

Today was a studio day. I was to be buried there for the entire day. No breaks. I'm behind on studio things because I've been working on unearthing months of paperwork and other equally non-important jobs. I must make jewelry!

Instead I decided to try building a new website for the Garage Sale Art Fair that Michael and I run. And I did it! And I'm quite proud of the results considering that it was done in hours not days. Plus I got our application on the site so people can start applying again.

Since it's something that I can change and update easily, there will be changes as we go along. I'll probably still have our web guy do a nice new site for us but until then, we're set.

Thank you Vista Print for making the job of doing your own website so darn easy! So tomorrow I'll bury myself in the studio...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

37 years and counting

There are some things in life that are just darn hard to wrap your brain around. This is one of them. Who would have guessed all those years ago, when we were just kids, that we'd still be together after our hair turned gray!

Our first date consisted of a trip to the beach at Saugatuck. It ended by sleeping in his MGB during a big storm, parked at the gate where we had been locked into the park. Until 6 am the next morning. Now with that kind of start, who would guess this would last. And it has, for all these years. And we've learned to read signs that say things like "park closes at 11pm" and believe them...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rethinking art fairs

I'm just home from the Longs Park Art and Craft Festival and feeling great. Shows have been so tough lately but this show reminded me of why I love doing shows and it has nothing to do with money. In fact my sales weren't what I hoped for at the show but I had a great time!

Set-up was miserably hot and humid as most shows have been this summer, followed by a hot opening day. Which was then followed by three of the most perfect art show days ever. Cool, sunny and good crowds.

It costs $10 to get into this show but it's what they do with the money they make that's so great. It funds free Sunday night concerts for 13 weeks during the summer. And they
get some big names there! What a wonderful thing for the Lancaster community! I sat with a Board member at the Saturday night dinner and learned all about it and the pride they have in bringing this to their community. Who wouldn't be happy with how they're using the money they make from the show!

My sister Karen came up to the show to help me for a couple of days which really upped the fun factor. In my very early days of art fairs, she did a bunch of shows with me and we had great sister time. Now she lives too far away and I just don't see her enough so it's great that she was able to join me. She walks in the booth and it's like she never left... Good times!

On Saturday while she was there we had this fun flurry that was just like the old days. Both of us were busy, we were laughing and just having fun while trying to make sure that everything got to the right person! Boy did that feel great!

The chairperson for the show this year was Diane Moore and she was GREAT! It was her first year but you'd never know she hadn't been running art fairs forever since she was on top of everything and always smiling. She was always around, very visible and very approachable. Just the type of person you would want in charge. Plus her husband Dave helped me roll up my sides one morning!

Have to say that I had great neighbors at this show as well. We were at the end of a "leg" so we didn't get quite everyone walking to the end but we still had a great time. Good neighbors make all the difference, espe
cially at a long show since there will always be slow times and sharing a good laugh makes the time go faster! Michael Schwegmann was there helping in Patty Lindbloom's booth (wonderful jewelry), and he hunkered down my booth for me in preparation for big winds. Felt nice and safe after that! Carolyn Shattuck was my immediate next door neighbor with her wonderful husband Ted. We were meant to meet and be neighbors last weekend.

So why title this post "rethinking art fairs"? Because just when it seemed like shows were just too much work and too darn hard to not enough return, I had a warm, fuzzy show which reminded me of why I do this. We all need to be reminded of this once in a while!

Friday, September 3, 2010

New old booth

Today was the road test of my new/old booth. Built from the pieces of a booth used long ago, it is now seeing a new life and so far, I'm liking it! There are things I need to change and some things I'm going to permanently screw together but all in all, I think this is going to work!

Next up, new drapes and new banners and then I'll be set! Here's the first snapshot of it in use.