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getting a fix on craft fair sales (long)

updated thu 16 aug 01


Dave Finkelnburg on wed 15 aug 01

Hello all!
I have to add to Chris Campbell's comments about craft fairs/shows.
I've been thinking about writing this since the last show I did.
I totally agree with Chris, John H. and others that usually craft shows
do not pay, in terms of financial return per hour of time spent.
However, I find ample returns in other ways. For example, I have not
found any other way to get so much immediate, direct feedback about my work.
I come away from a show encouraged to keep doing some work, to drop other
work, and to modify yet other work. Most of this is usually not news to me,
but it is affirmation of my suspicions and opinions.
Second, I almost always hear from a customer looking for some piece of
functional pottery that I have never seriously considered making. That
inspires me to try something truly new to me. That's always energizing.
Third, I renew my mental picture of who the people are who buy my pots.
I am reminded, over and over, for a couple days at least, that real people
who laugh and sweat and cry and growl and care about pots are the reason I
make pots. Sure, I'm driven to pot, but beyond massaging my ego, throwing a
bowl for a person whose face I can see in my mind as I work is far more
rewarding and motivating than just throwing a bowl so I can have a stack of
bowls to look at.
No, none of this makes house payments, or buys toothpaste, like sweating
out production for a good wholesale account will. However, if this were
only about money, I wouldn't do it. Would you?
If you do a retail show, I hope you are able to glean from it all the
benefits such a show truly offers....
Good potting!
Dave Finkelnburg in Idaho