Thursday, July 15, 2010

Keepin' It Fresh

One thing I’ve learned about selling at the weekly Spenard Farmers Market is that no two weekends have ever been the same! I know partly it has to do with the weather and the overall vendor energy of the Market but those other intangible things are a complete mystery. To help with a solid production schedule, I’d like to think by now I’d have a better idea of what was selling and what was not, but each weekend is completely different. The good news is my work is selling –whew! But I am completely mystified as to what triggers a certain sculpture's “buy me” radar! I had an outdoor sculpture that has been at my booth for three weeks and last Saturday FOUR completely different people wanted to buy that same sculpture! I’m not kidding –I almost left the piece at the house but decided to bring it because I kept thinking “you can’t sell what you don’t have out…” The customer who bought the sculpture happily pulled up in her cute VW and loaded it in the front seat. 5 minutes later a customer who had been by the Market that morning said I’d like to buy that flower sculpture now… Two other people came by later in the afternoon and asked “where did that beaded sculpture go, I wanted that for my garden?!” There has to be a word for this art phenomenon, if not we need to make one up! Then when we discover what triggers this, as artists’ we can collectively bottle it and sprinkle it on every piece we have for sale at every Market, Gallery, Fair or Show!

The Garden Raven Flags have also been a hit –I’ve had several people want to buy them on the internet but I’m not able to sell any of my work that way. I can hardly sew enough of the flags for my Market booth. HOWEVER(!) the Garden Raven Flag kits ARE AVAILABLE at The Quilted Raven! The kit includes 5 panels of individually silk screened Ravens (designed by me!) on beautiful, 100% cotton Batik. Call 907-278-3521 or visit The Quilted Raven's web site -they ship anywhere. My finished flags are using the kits and 1, 3 yard packet of Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape -easy-beezy, so if you want some garden flags give The Quilted Raven a call and sew up a very cool set. Maybe when I can get my retail act together I can look into being more sales efficient…not sure when that will ever happen though. Making the flags is just one part of the process and designing the inserts, printing them, packaging and pricing them is also necessary. To help boost sales I’ve also needed to pay better attention to keeping everything for sale at the Market booth looking fresh. A bright, happy, put-together booth has definitely brought me more customers. Wind and rain takes it’s toll on all of my tags and price stickers so I swap them each Saturday morning and fluff and primp all of the hanging baskets on the plant stands that are for sale. I keep my signage new and not tattered looking as well. There are plenty of my business cards and newspaper articles about my work on hand for my customers too. All of my pieces have a clear to read price sticker that can be easily removed if it’s a gift. I’ve learned that most customers don’t want to ask how much something is. My thinking is, if it’s not priced then it must not be for sale.

We were able to get a little Girdwood time in this weekend after the Market. Daddy-O needed to do some roof repair and general maintenance on the house, which also meant some much needed fresh air hiking on the mountain for all of us! The amazing Nimbus thinks Girdwood is pretty cool and Tauzer got to forage in the ferns on our property. She loves to find a dug out area and cool out -she freaked me out though because when I walked up near where she was laying I though it was a small Black Bear!


Linda Starr said...

oh the ferns and the columbines and the dogwoods, I miss living in the mountains. The dogwood photo is a real winner; needs to be blown up and mounted on canvas, so beautiful.

cookingwithgas said...

Yesterday I sold a pitcher that Mark wanted to take out of the store.
This will never sell what was i thinking- bingo a couple comes in and falls in love with it.
It is a secret of the universe to say- don't take and then when you do it is the first to sell-You do have to wonder!
Oh- love the Raven's I missed that go around- must have been when I was Jet setting in Maine!
Summer goes too fast- I was thinking the same thing!
Yikes look how quick the show is coming up!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OH WOW, the BEST collection of pictures. I guess Alaska is not snow all year, eh? :)

ang said...

yep we have the same phenomena here one week one item gets all the attention! and aren't the peeps cranky when something sells that they wanted!! HA the flag thing will take off...

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Patricia Griffin said...

Glad your work is going to new homes! I have also had the experience of thinking that I need to get rid of a piece that's not selling, and then have someone come in and love it. The hubster always is reminding me:
"For every Jack, there's a Jill."

Peter said...

Love the Garden Raven flags. Good advice too, regarding displaying and selling work. Something I really needed as an encouragement to improve things here. We have a successful Farmer's Market in Dunedin, but there seems to be a rule that it is food and plants only (I don't know who makes these rules... or who they benefit!). I'm thinking of investigating ways of infiltrating, because it is about the most lively place in Dunedin on Saturday mornings, and things are terribly, terrifyingly slow at the potter's co-op shop where I display my work. (I can't use the magic word, "sell" my work, because I'm not even breaking even on my monthly rent there at the moment!!).

Anyway, lovely to catch up with what you are up to. I see what you mean about the small black bear! Eeeek!