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from ellen currans/showcase

updated thu 7 may 09


mel jacobson on wed 6 may 09

I know we are all wondering what the year will=3D20
bring in pottery sales around the country.
Here in Oregon we have been concerned for most of the past year about our
27th Annual Ceramic Showcase, and took some extra measures to increase=3D

Given the doom and gloom of recession, job loss=3D20
and foreclosures, we were expecting
disaster. =3DC2 It did not happen. Overall sales were=3D20
down about 3 to 4 % from last year which=3DC2
we consider miraculous. =3DC2 Attendance was up by=3D20
25%. =3DC2 Number of transactions was up by=3DC2
about 500. =3DC2 Average transaction was down,=3D20
reflecting the demand for lower priced items.
Individual sales were all over the spectrum. =3DC2=3D20
Some did as well as usual- some had very
poor sales. =3DC2 It would seem that well-priced=3D20
useful work sold better than higher priced
art objects, (with some exceptions!) =3DC2

Showcase provides an important Spring sale for=3D20
OPA members. =3DC2 This year approximately
162 potters participated in individual booths and=3D20
another l9 in a group booth. =3DC2 Any
member may put work in the gallery. =3DC2 Our=3D20
all-ceramic show is completely organized
and produced by OPA members. =3DC2 Full 10 X 10=3D20
booths cost $160, half booths $100 and the
commission is 20%. =3DC2 It is a non-juried show with=3D20
spaces chosen according to work points
earned by members. =3DC2 The show is free to the=3D20
public (as are 4 other craft guild shows held
at the same time) at the Portland Convention=3D20
Center. =3DC2 All sales are made at a central sales desk
which leaves potters free to do 3 required=3D20
workshifts, schmooze with the customers and visit
with other potters. =3DC2 It also frees each booth of=3D20
the mess of sales and wrapping, and allows
customers to cruise the show with a shopping=3D20
basket and buy everything at one time. =3DC2 Three
years ago we converted to a computer system to=3D20
tally sales for each potter, and20this year
it worked with very few problems. =3DC2

Showcase is a year round job for a number of=3D20
committees, and this year we started early to
think through how to increase our sales. =3DC2 For=3D20
the first time we invested in help from a publicity
firm. =3DC2 We ran a special section in the February=3D20
Newsletter=3DC2 giving advice on "building your business."
We collected and printed advice from the l2=3D20
previous top sellers on "Tips for Better Sales in
2009". =3DC2 (This is a 4 page doc. I can send=3D20
anyone who emails me at

Even before the recession we had been pondering=3D20
the necessity of moving to a smaller=3DC2
space at the Convention Center or even out of the=3D20
downtown area to the Expo center.
While nothing has been decided, it looks as if we=3D20
have survived to pot and sell another year.

Ellen Currans
Dundee, Oregon

from: minnetonka, mn
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