On Saturday I once again joined the lovely people at United Church of Christ on Summit Avenue for their yearly Artisan Festival. I was hoping to do better than last year, but everything did not work out quite that way.
I feel there are three main reasons…
As discussed lately, people do not buy my things as gifts for others. They buy my things as gifts for themselves. What I did sell this time and conversations I had with people passing through and customers reconfirmed this- I primarily sold bookmarks. The bookmarks I make are unique and can be easy gifts for almost anyone. I had a few people who obviously coveted items, picked them up and talked to me for a while before moving on… they wanted the items for themselves, but were looking to buy gifts. (Bingo?)
I know what I sold last year… and didn’t make those items for this year. While part of this was a lack of preparation, the other part was choosing to stop catering and trying to do everything because that doesn’t accomplish much. Last year I sold a ton of $5 earrings. Just simple charms or beads attached to ear wires that anyone could make. I’ve decided I am no longer doing that (unless someone specifically requests me to). It isn’t true to what Emerald Raven Creations has become, or where it will be going.
The weather was perfect… for a Fall day. It doesn’t feel like December around here and it was only the second day of the month, so it hasn’t fully set in people “should” be shopping for presents. There was no snow, you didn’t even need a jacket, and as any artist who has been doing this can tell you… we’re at least a bit at the weather’s mercy. If the weather is too harsh, people don’t want to go out. Likewise, if it is unseasonably warm, people decide they have other things they need done.
Couple this with it being so early in the month, and most of the people attending are there to look, not buy. I heard the same comments I had heard in Fridley. “Here to see how creative other people are!”
While that was a bit frustrating, I do feel it was not my ATTITUDE this time, so I look at that as a step forward. I have learned how to keep positive, even if things are not going as I had hoped. I happily chatted with other artisans in the same room, took advantage of the free massages and supplied food, and overall enjoyed myself.
The community at UCC Summit is lovely, and I’m happy I attended again this year. In the future, I will need to see if the path Emerald Raven Creations is heading down aligns with what I have learned from two years attending. To anyone out there reading, looking for a show to add to their schedule, I can certainly recommend this one!
They handle transactions, they supply refreshments, and they even have volunteers that will handle writing up sales if you wish to take a break for any reason. The community is welcoming– show organizers, volunteers, vendors, and attendees included. They take a percentage of sales instead of a booth fee, and have two different available times for setting up. It is really well organized and though attendance was down this year compared to last, it was certainly not their fault.
Join me on Thursday for a review of the newest paints I picked up. I haven’t been able to touch leather due to an injury, but it should be healed by next week! (Geeze, November, I got it already, I need to take better care of my health!)