I've been kind of quiet here for a bit. I got to thinking about it, and realized that this spate of few blog entries has coincided with my first forays into having a booth for my items in real life, as opposed to just on Etsy. I did two nights at Glendale Glitters, which is a big holiday to-do for my home town. Then I did an evening for the One Voice Community Center, for their first entry into being part of the First Friday art scene in downtown Phoenix. And then a day craft show at the community college I work at. Oh, and I had my scarves and ties up at a concert at the Irish Community Center.
In each case, I made just enough sales to cover the booth fees, material fees of what I sold, and a little bit more. Successful...but not wildly. I did hand out lots of business cards, so there may or may not ever be anything that comes of that. I learned how to set up a booth, how to deal with the public, and how to take credit card sales. (I recommend squareup.com.)
But in each case, I came home totally drained. It took me 2-3 days after each show to really fully recover my energy. I don't know that it was necessarily the physical part of things, because I had help setting up and tearing down for most of those shows. No, I think it was this poor introvert needing to put on the public mask, and sparkle as the artist on display. I can do that role, and I do it well. But it doesn't come easily to me, and it takes its toll.
So...Yes, I think I do need to keep doing in person shows. It gets me local visibility, and does add sales. And I get valuable feed back and insight to what people are looking for. (Those silly felted rocks got the most interest of all. Everybody just had to pet the table weights! I'll be making some more in hand size, as fidget stones.) But I think I need to limit my shows to about once a month, so my inner introvert doesn't get totally tapped dry. And I need to spend the coming year researching shows, so the few that I choose make up in quality for the lack of quantity.
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