visit the web site

Thursday, October 16


So, the economy crashes, big time. Banks getting swallowed up by other banks. Money being air lifted into the stock market. 401K's going from retirement funds to Christmas Clubs. And here I am. A woman who left a secure government job so she could set up her little white tent on various curbsides and sell her handcrafted goodies. Oh, lovely. Now what?

So, I was anxiously waiting for reviews from my cohorts in the field after this weekend of Columbus Day festivals. When I first entertained the idea of doing this for a living, it was the salad days of the Clinton administration when there was a lot of money around and people were throwing it at you. I was giddy with the possibilities back then. I stayed in the "real" job for a few years while I learned the business and then shot out of there like a I had a cannon ball up my butt. Never looked back. Until this week.

The weather was absolutely perfect, so if sales were bad it was not going to be for any extraneous reason like rain or wind or snow. There are several schools of thought on how the economy affects art shows. Some think that the folks who have money to blow on things they don't need, will always have it. Some think that when times are tough, people stay away from festivals so they won't be tempted to spend when they should be saving. I think that when times are tough, people come out to distract themselves from the news. And they buy things to comfort themselves, to cheer up. It's like the old parable about if a man has 2 coins, let him use one to buy bread to feed his body and the other to buy jonquils to feed his soul.

I love that.

So, anyway, it seems OK. You always have some artists who do better than others. There is a huge show at Letchworth every year that we have tried 3 or 4 times over the years. My friend does enormous sales there and he had a record weekend this year. We tank. Every time.So we skip it now. Some other friends did very well there, also. Fine art at St James Ct sold well to the big ticket crowd while mid priced art didn't move. Artisans with functional craft with a mid price range did great. Jewelers either did fabulous or lousy. It always seems to be that way with jewelry. A whole bunch of folks doing a traditional show in Lafayette sounded really pleased for the most part, a few made record sales. It is reassuring.

I have 4 or 5 CHristmas shows in the next 6 weeks. You know people will buy stuff at the Holidays, but what kind of world will we have when my first show hits a week after the election? Will people be excited and hopeful? Worried? Battle scarred? Angry? Happy? Sad? Reassured or nervous? It will have an enormous impact, I'm thinking.

I'm hoping that the first week free of ads and debates and polls and uncertainty will bring people out to the bazaars and gift shows with lighter hearts.

I'm hoping for customers who will respond to the spirit of the artists, their color and whimsy.

I'm hoping that everyone has enough coins for bread and that we can be their jonquils.

1 comment:

BlissBeader said...

Here's to being jonquils!