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Monday, August 8, 2011

Smashing Melons

Smashing success?  I wouldn't say that....

As I predicted, the Watermelon Festival was not a show for selling art jewlery.  The crowds were good, a pretty significant amount of my target customers: women aged 25-60.  And there were lots of familes, which may have hurt us a little.  The booth right next to us was selling silver jewelry where you could have your child's thumbprint or whatever taken and have it etched into a pendant.  (Good idea, but not my style.  However, we have a idea in the works to appeal to some dog lovers... stay tuned for more about that!)  They had a good deal more business than we did - people out with their kids are far more likely to spend money on something involving their kids than on themselves.  But the owner said that is was definitely not a good show for her either, and she would not be doing it next year.  Neither will we.  The woman selling beaded jewelry on the other side of us said the same.  We were all unimpressed with the lack of organization of the festival, the high booth fees, and the poor sales.  I did make a few sales, but nothing to write home about.  I wanted to at least make back my booth fee.  Not even close. 
It's hard not to take it personally when you're so tied into what you're selling.  Your artwork is a part of you.  Not to mention all the time and money tied up in something like this.  And good lord, it was hot!  I'm not kidding, it was 105 degrees.  It's hard to sit there for hours without making a sale when your fingernails are sweating.  At one point Mark said,  "I feel like I'm about to burst into flames... don't you?"  I said, "No, I feel like I'm going to melt into a puddle.  A puddle of FAILURE!!!"  And laughed.  I try to joke when I'm feeling down, but yeah, it's not a good feeling.  It's disheartening.  I think that's a good word for it.  And disappointing.  And poor Mark, he's just the best husband ever.  What a trooper to sit out there with me all day and support me through all this.  I couldn't do it without him.  Thanks, weets!

We ended up changing our tent arrangement around so people could enter from both sides of the street.

 One side

Mark's framed screens worked great, but the dangly price tags did not. Those had to go, and we quickly made signs about pricing to put in front of our displays.

And I don't really feel like a failure... that was just a joke (mostly).  I am disappointed with the show, but you know, I learned a lot in the whole process of the thing.  And that's what you have to take away from an experience like this.  And it's almost like paying your dues to the art world - you gotta lose some before you can win some.  I'll sell all the jewelry eventually.  And now I have tables and displays and all kinds of stuff to use the next time around - at a better show.  And I did have a lot of people interested, especially in the Reef Jewelry, even if they didn't buy yestreday.  Maybe they'll visit the website and purchase something later.  I also met a guy who was interested in buying some work wholesale for his shop.  So it wasn't a total loss.  Good contacts, possible future customers.  So I'll look at it that way, and move on to the next thing. 

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