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Shows/customers was: Hand Made


#1
 t's human nature... I just wish I could get a better handle
on it (like P.T. Barnum had...).  I think pricing can be
affected by this, too!  Price it too low, and people think it's
cheap. Hike the price, and the perceived value increases, and
people will want it more.  I think there's a piece missing here
that I haven't quite figured out, but I'm working on it! >>

If the price is TOO HIGH, they will avoid your stuff like it’s
the bubonic (sp?) plague! I’m not sure if I’ve found the “happy
medium” yet . . .


#2
If the price is TOO HIGH, they will avoid your stuff like it's
the bubonic (sp?) plague!   I'm not sure if I've found the "happy
medium" yet . . .

I’ve been following this thread off and on for the past few days
and can understand all your problems. I too have run across
that dilema. What to make and in what price range that
will sell all the time. I make one-of-a-kind and limited
edition pieces in 14kt and 18kt and I do a show schedule in
the fall and spring. I have found that when I make
something in 14kt under $150 that if it has an appeal to a
customer, I can normally sell it. Pieces over that price
tend to languish for awhile, although they normally move out
within a reasonable time for me (under 1 year). Pieces over
$1,000 tend to stick around for longer periods, UNLESS I get
into an affluent market that is looking for that something
different that I make. I firmly believe that each piece
that I make up has someone’s name on it and that it will
sell when that person finds it. 18kt is somewhat
different. Everybody wants it, few people cand afford it,
even fewer will buy it. If the area that I am going to is
not overly affluent, I will probably not sell any, at any
price. But when I do find that afluent area I can sell a
s____load of it, in almost any price range, but normally the
pieces I sell are over $500, with most in the $1,000 to
$2,500 range. Don’t get the idea that everything I make
sells. That’s just not the case. I’m no different than
any of you. A good show for me I will sell betwen 8 and 12
pieces. Exceptional shows I sell maybe 20 pieces. I don’t
get too many of them. And sometimes I don’t sell anything.
I’ve had a few show like that too. Sometimes in a 3 day
show I don’t sell anything the first two days and make all
my sales on the last day, as I did at a show I just did in
Avon, Colorado. But that last day I sold 8 pieces, 6 of
which were 18kt, all over $500 and two pieces that were in
14kt and under $150. I try to have a variety of price ranges,
and I try to have a couple of similar designs in slightly
different price ranges (just in case they don’t like the
price of one, they may the other). I also do that in metal.
Similar designs, one in 14kt and the other 1n 18kt.
Sometimes that works for me. But it really all boils down
to what the customer likes, and what they are willing to
pay. What we like to make, they may not like at all. And I really
don’t think there is anything we can do about that.

Barry Hansen
Hansen Designs
http://www.hansendesigns.com


#3
 And sometimes   I don't sell anything. I've had a few show
like that too. 

I’m so happy to hear that I am not alone . The shows when ONE
$18.00 item sells, and the cost of the table (or booth fee) isn’t
even covered . . . those are enough to send one to the depths of
the darkest closet available! Eventually we all get over (what we
assume is) “rejection” and move on. Sometimes, it’s just a BAD
show and everyone there is experiencing the lack of sales.

Wondering, how many shows do you do per year??? I haven’t
figured out “how hard” I want to work yet, and haven’t
established a goal for “number of shows” per year . . .


#4

Shows per year? Zero!!!

I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but retail really sucks, and you can =
end up ending an entire show for a negative profit, and be worn out, =
too!

I wrote some other stuff, too but it disappeared into cyberspace, and =
you’ll just have to imagine the rest!

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com


#5
I'm so happy to hear that I am not alone .  The shows when ONE
$18.00 item sells, and the cost of the table (or booth fee) isn't
even covered . . . those are enough to send one to the depths of
the darkest closet available! Eventually we all get over (what we
assume is) "rejection" and move on. Sometimes, it's just a BAD
show and everyone there is experiencing the lack of sales.
Wondering, how many shows do you do per year???  I haven't
figured out "how hard" I want to work yet, and haven't
established a goal for "number of shows" per year . . .

I have 6 shows lined up for this fall. One in late Sep. Two in
Oct and Nov and one in early Dec (so far). They are all art
shows (I gave up trying to do jewelry shows, my work didn’t
sell) and es for you getting into your catagory. And then you do
get n, after waiting for a few years, and you don’t sell a
thing. Lots of compliments on the work, but it doesn’t pay the
expenses. And they

Barry


#6

Dave:

I would agree with you that retail really sucks unless a friend
brings someone over who is just enchanted with you and your work,
at which point retail is great!

However, given that retail usually really sucks, what do you do?


#7
I have 6 shows lined up for this fall. One in late Sep. Two in
Oct and Nov and one in early Dec (so far).  They are all art
shows (I gave up trying to do jewelry shows, my work didn't
sell) and es for you getting into your catagory. And then you
do get n, after waiting for a few years, and you don't sell a
thing.  Lots of compliments on the work, but it doesn't pay
the expenses.  And they 

I know what you mean . . . I’ve tried to approach “resale shops"
to get rid of some of my early stuff . … their comment was ,
“well, if it’s FINE ART, we’ll handle it, otherwise, it just
won’t sell here.” I’ve never considered my jewelry creations as
"fine art” (I think of paintings, and sculpture) . . . I don’t
think of my stuff as Jewelry either (Jewelry is found in Jewelry
stores . . .) I think, I’m kind of . . . In between. Working
in Sterling, and brass/ copper and very little Nickel-Silver at
this point.


#8
I know what you mean . . . I've tried to approach "resale shops"
to get rid of some of my early stuff . ..  their comment was ,
"well, if it's FINE ART, we'll handle it, otherwise, it just
won't sell here."  I've never considered my jewelry creations as
"fine art" (I think of paintings, and sculpture) . . . I don't
think of my stuff as Jewelry either (Jewelry is found in Jewelry
stores . . .)  I think, I'm kind of . . . In between.  Working
in Sterling, and brass/ copper and very little Nickel-Silver at
this point.

I think if you feel that your work is not for jewelry stores,
then it must be for galleries. I feel that gallery work is fine
art. At least that is how I think of it. Mainstream jewelry
stores won’t take my work because it is too “out there”. So if
it doesn’t go in there, then it must be fine art jewelry, fit
only for galleries that carry fine art. That’s where my work ends
up. Doesn’t that make sence? I have seen alot of sterling and
copper/brass/bronze jewlelry that is so fine it could only be
considered fine art. It is fit only for gallery stores. Top
stuff. Pricey too. Silver with a little 22kt on the side is
not mainstream jewelry store stuff either, but I see it in
galleries and I consider it fine art. Anything I see in
galleries I consider it fine art, whether it is a turned bowl or
vase, blown glass, ceramic vessels, jewlery, steel, or acrylic
(among other pieces I have not mentioned but are included, so
don’t be offended if I left out your medium, it isn’t intended to
slight anyone or their work). I can’t really think of an
in-between. I have tried to “fit in”, but jewelers can be so
stuck up or stuck in a rut, that they can’t see the opportunities
that we can offer them in a new product line, whether it is the
designer one-of-a-kinds and limited editions or in production
work. If they aren’t used to it they shy away from it. We are
in a tough market.

Barry


#9

Hi Barry, yes, my work does fit the gallery description. I am
in three galleries in a metropolitan area. I just never felt
that my early work was “good enough” for galleries, but, I’m
discovering that I am wrong in my opinion, it’s the ‘early’ work
which is selling this season . . . Hard to figure out, and YES
it’s a tough market and there are a lot of people producing any
sort of jewelry.


#10

Shows per year? Zero!!!

I don't mean to burst your bubble, but retail really sucks,
and you can end up ending an entire show for a negative
profit, and be worn out, too!

Dave, I’m a “neighbor” from Virginia. What type of work do you
do? I’ve been doing really good in retail shows (after I got a
little choosy) and could recommend some good ones that might not
be to far for you. I’m on the wait list for ACC Charlotte in
December. Did you happen to visit last year and talk to any of
the jewelers? I’d be interested to see how it went.
Wendy Newman


#11
 I'm on the wait list for ACC Charlotte in
December.  Did you happen to visit last year and talk to any of
the jewelers? I'd be interested to see how it went.
Wendy Newman

I too would like to know from anybody who has done either
Charlotte or Tampa Bay. I am on the wait list for the ACC Tampa
show and have no on the show at all (other than it is
a new one). Has anybody done either of these shows?

Barry


#12

Hi Wendy,

I hate to sound negative about the shows, but I guess I should
have added another facet to my perception: I don’t get enough
time in my studio as it is. If I was going to invest a whole
weekend in a show (plus prep time) I’d be kicking myself
thinking about how I could actually be making something right
now!

Of course, I know shows are a valuable part of the marketing
strategy for some of us. If I had an abundance of time and
inventory, I’m sure I’d be doing shows, too!

I am ashamed to admit I missed the ACC show in Charlotte last
year. A family emergency arose out of town, and I couldn’t make
it. I did go the previous year, which was the first one for
Charlotte. Needless to say, I was quite impressed with the work
of several jewelry-types, but I gather they were less than
impressed with the customers. Seemed to be another case where
the lower-end stuff (you wonder how it got in the show) was
selling better. I hope this past year was more commercially
successful for them. 20

Another show in Charlotte that might be worth the trip is
SpringFest. It’s setup on the streets of “uptown” Charlotte;
lots of bands, food and upper-end artwork: Photography, oil and
watercolor originals, pottery, jewelry and such. Not the
typical toll-painting and doilies you see at most southern
festivals. If you’d like additional let me know
and I’ll dredge up a contact for you.

I think you touched on a key point, though, and I’ve heard
Karenworks say the same thing. You have to be careful about the
shows in which you participate. I guess the same thing goes for
choosing a gallery. Just because a gallery agrees to carry your
work doesn’t mean they can sell it!

Let me know if you’re ever headed down to this neck of the
woods!

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com


#13
Another show in Charlotte that might be worth the trip is
SpringFest. It's setup on the streets of "uptown" Charlotte;
lots of bands, food and upper-end artwork:  Photography, oil
and watercolor originals, pottery, jewelry and such.  Not the
typical toll-painting and doilies you see at most southern
festivals.  If you'd like additional let me know
and I'll dredge up a contact for you.

Dave,

Thanks for the show info, I’d like to know when it is and how to
get an application. I heard the same thing about ACC Charlotte,
that the show was much higher quality than the customers! I did
a show like that in Harrisburg, PA last spring that the art
(jewelry included) was top notch, but most of the customers
seemed to be direct decendants of Jed Clampett.
Oh, yeah, if you want to spend more time in the studio, get off
the computer !

Wendy Newman


#14
I did a show like that in Harrisburg, PA last spring that
the art (jewelry included) was top notch, but most of the
customers seemed to be direct decendants of Jed Clampett.

LOL!!! I live in York about 45 mins. from Harrisburg. Jed
must’ve had lots of relatives–they’re here too =-) And cheap! I
did a show in June and made some inexpensive pewter necklaces (I
try to have something for the kids) Had some really "kewl"
dragons and crosses and such for $6 and I overheard a comment
from a lady and her son–that’s a lot of money!!! I do believe
I’m doomed when it comes to selling locally. Oh yeah, I made a
whopping $24.00 at that show. Luckily the booth fee was only
$15.00–I actually made money ;-)!

If anyone is coming to a Harrisburg show let me know and I’ll
see you there. Who knows, maybe I can round up some people who
aren’t related to Jed!

Oh, yeah,  if you want to spend more time in the studio, get off
the computer <g>!

Good advice for me =-O thanks!

Kathie


#15

Wow, how awful, what was the name of this show? I want to mark
it in my book as “places not to go!”

Seriously, was this more of a “craft show” (like church bazaar
type things?)


#16
Wow, how awful, what was the name of this show?  I want to mark
it in my book as "places not to go!"
Seriously, was this more of a "craft show" (like church bazaar
type things?)

Nope. It was called a fine art-- and --craft show. It seemed to
be quite a mixture–pottery, paintings, jewelry, Antiques,
Beer(!!)etc. Seemed the only one who sold much was a guy making
brooms. Cheap and functional. Daresn’t buy anything frivolous!!!
It was put on by the Historical society in downtown York
(Whoopie!) & it was about 100 degrees and extremely humid! Ah,
what an experience. I did meet some nice people (Artists). We
had nothing else to do so we visited each others booths and
chatted. That was the best part of the day!

Kathie


#17

I have been to that type of show twice now. The first one was
in the fall and attracted about 200 people the second was in
November and attracted 100 - 150. The town that the show was in
only has 5,000 people. Most of the ones coming were from IL. I
agree the best part of the show was the open disscussion between
the Artists. I sold probably 3 items the first and 4 the second.
I actual traded more with the other artist then I sold. It got
me a newly designed buisness card from a graphic artist, a used
oven from a potter, and a demo tape from the singer that was
there. These types of shows may not be great for sales but they
helped me get some good feed-back from others with love of the
"fine arts".

Donald McFarlane
Delta Creations
@delta


#18
. It was called a fine art-- and --craft show. It seemed to be
quite a mixture--pottery, paintings, jewelry, Antiques,
Beer(!!)etc. Seemed the only one who sold much was a guy making
brooms. Cheap and functional. Daresn't buy anything
frivolous!!! It was put on by the Historical society in
downtown York (Whoopie!) & it was about 100 degrees and
extremely humid! Ah, what an experience. I did meet some nice
people (Artists). We had nothing else to do so we visited each
others booths and chatted. That was the best part of the day!
Kathie 

I have a feeling that “Historical society” type shows are much
like the “craft” type shows I’m referring to. . . some are also
known as Renassance shows. Glad to hear you had a nice time with
fellow artists! (Nothing worse than having grouchy or nasty
neighbors!!! ; ~) )