This past weekend I attended my first festival as a vendor. The location was in the beautiful Niagara region of Ontario, and the festival was a four day event over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. I bravely gave up the traditional closing of the cottage and Thanksgiving dinner in Muskoka, and blindly set up a booth with wire, tape and kraft paper. I will admit to being completely naive about the process. Had it not been for very generous relatives, equipped with a tent, metal grids, easels, and a station wagon, I can’t even imagine how shabby my stall would have been.
Aside from all of that, I don’t know what I was thinking entering this marathon festival an hour and a half away from my home. In my defense, it was a juried event and I didn’t think I had a hope in hell of being chosen. When I was, there was no turning back. I was in tears when I got the congratulatory email.
The result of the looooong weekend was that I sold one piece and received tons of positive feedback. Many people suggested other venues I might try, others commented on my imagination and creativity, and lots of comments about the originality of the material and the work itself. Unfortunately the comments didn’t translate into wallets coming out, but the value of the experience to me was priceless so I find myself hardly discouraged and ready for my next opportunity.
The work now is figuring out what that opportunity is as well as thinking of what I can create that will have a lower price point than the pieces that I currently have. I believe part of the issue from the weekend was not having less expensive things that would allow all those interested people to invest in a “take away.” The price of my least expensive piece was $150, and it was that one that sold.
I’m curious what other people’s experiences are at craft markets. Any suggestions how to do things better? Are craft markets the right venue for my art? How do you make a sale to a person who is interested but doesn’t appear to want to purchase? Am I on the right track thinking I need a greater price range to make some sales?