Thoughts for the next show

So, South Jersey Pagan Pride day was a success!   Despite some wicked weather in the beginning and some “interesting” wind.  Anyone wandering into this blog from that day will remember my tent as the one with the “Olympic Tent Holding Team” that sprang into action at each gust.  And the “if it flies away and you catch it, 15% off!” discount.

This was the first show in a while that counted as a success, and I’m pleased.  Not just for the sake of profit, but because I genuinely like seeing happy customers.  When I make jewelry, it is artistic for me.  I carefully select elements and colors.  I design some really funky pendants.  I put a lot of work into what I do.  It’s pleasurable work, but it is work.  So it’s nice to turn some of that into money again.

However,I have to get this off my chest. This is a gripe unrelated to yesterday,  but rather one about vending in general.  It can get demoralizing trying to sell handmade goods for a number of reasons:  it’s a bad economy, people have vastly different ideas of appropriate pricing for jewelry (ahem), and there are a lot of resellers out there.  By resellers I mean booths that have mostly pre-made, prepackaged stuff.

I don’t begrudge you a display or two of quicksales and doorbusters – we all need to make a buck.  But I do get annoyed when I see mostly pre-made passed off as “crafted”.  To me, it’s like giving a kid cheap processed lunches for years then suddenly expecting them to eagerly eat garden-fresh food you’ve lovingly prepared.  They’re going to refuse it because they are used to the quick hit of salt and fat from the processed stuff.  So when you get a crowd that can get a shiny, dangly necklace for $5 because it’s essentially dollar-store stock, they’re going to turn up their noses at my entirely handmade $35 necklace.  Despite the fact I know what went into it, you can talk to me about how I made it, and ask me for alterations or repairs – the easier route will always be more popular.

So, I get encouraged when I do sell things, because it shows that people still appreciate small businesses, effort, and an artistic eye.  And yesterday was quite encouraging 😉

**the next post will be the results of barters w/ other vendors and me crowing about their lovely stuff.  I just need to unpack the car first and find my new goodies!


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