Monday, April 29, 2013

I’ve got designs on spring!

I just saw my first butterfly of the season!  And 4 fat robins happily hopping along the garage roof.  Life is good.  Basking in the sun of what I call “the veranda” in my favorite adirondack chair.  SO – now that spring has finally, fully SPRUNG – I give you that blog with a few ‘teasers’ into what you will eventually find in the book I’ve got planned.  I wish I could say it was more than a thought and hopeful wish right now – I do have words written, and lots of photos, and of course – my schooling in design to fall back on – but I need to be sure I can find an interested publisher FIRST – and therein lies the rub.  So enjoy these dribs and drabs – you may forget you’ve already seen them by the time all is said and done!

I did my first show of the season on Saturday.  In the fellowship hall of a church.  And I realize that it is a perfect example of some what NOT to do’s.  So.  With that – let me tell you what I, as a seasoned show vendor, should have asked the organizers about BEFOREHAND:


WHERE in the room is the table?  Is there access to electricity?  Boy – was it dark in the center of that room.  I had preplanned the display busts – but didn’t stop to think that I may need to use the lighter colored ones.

936128_10151554045453704_1405930941_nPhoto courtesy of my friend and fellow vendor Jane Fallion.

I myself have been notorious for preaching to others about how black can suck the light away – but I used it anyway.  I also mixed some patterns that I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘matched’.  My bad number 1.
I also should have asked: How are the tables arranged? Single row? Double row?  In a square?  (Some may provide table layout info – some may not).  In my case- they were back to back.  Which doesn’t really work.  I had to stay to the side of my space, not giving me an opportunity to watch over my entire table – and leaving me feeling kinda exposed – plus the man at the table behind me (selling insurance! snore) insisted on putting his chair right up behind me and in my personal space.  It is not a good layout – and something to think about if you are ever faced with helping with this process. 


Another issue that became apparent on the day of the actual event – I was not (and could not have been) familiar with the clientele.  I knew it was in a church, so I didn’t take many of my favorite pieces that include buddhas, and fairies, and goddess themes, etc. – and I didn’t take a lot of the big statement making expensive pieces.  I took a few, though - just as conversation starters. This piece – called “Daydream  Believer” (because I was working on it the day that Davy Jones passed away) – was displayed prominently, on black:

Daydream on Black

It should have been displayed on white:

My bad number 2.  Sort of.  Because I don’t even think displaying it on white would have drawn a crowd.  It just simply wasn’t a good venue – which is something that is hard to know beforehand. 
So here’s my advice – DO YOUR HOMEWORK if it is possible.  Find out, if you can, if it’s a new show, or how many people have visited in past years, what types of products other vendors will be selling (they most likely will not tell you – but it doesn’t hurt to ask).  Another important point to try to find out before hand – what kind of advertising is being done by the organizer?  In this case:  Zippo.  None.  Nada.  The only thing they did was put the announcement in their church bulletin for their members the Sunday prior, and put it on the church marquee out front TWO DAYS prior to the show.   It is my personal opinion (and one that I WILL be voicing in the book) that it is the organizers responsibility to the vendors they are seeking to help bring in clientele.  Many of us vendors took it upon ourselves to post numerous twitter, facebook, and craigs list postings.  We were all sent posters and signage, and as far as I know, WE ALL did our part in distributing this information to as many people and places that we could. It just wasn’t very well attended.   So it is important to know how well advertised a show is going to be.  I will be taking the time in the future to find out this information sooner rather than later on any shows I may sign up for.   So my bad number 3.
All in all – it wasn’t a blow out – at least not for me.  I paid for my table rent, and just a bit extra, but it was by no means what was hoped for.  Some did better – some did worse; it’s very hard to compete in room with 9 other beaded jewelry vendors – two of which do seed bead jewelry as well. 
So there you have it.  One show down.  6 more to go that are scheduled at the moment. 
And of course – more blogging about design do’s and don’ts every once in awhile.
So make sure you’re checking back now and then!
And just FYI – the Etsy shop is in vacation mode right now.  I need to make some changes and do some revamping – and I think that’s the easiest way to do it.  It should reopen by the weekend – so don’t give up if you’re looking for something special! Lots of new beads getting listed very, VERY SOON!
Peaceful beautiful beading,

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