Reflecting on my first Art Show...
I'm back home, all is quiet except for the loud song of the birds. Thoughts of my first show are running through my mind and I want to give you a peek inside. I knew before the show even, that I would want to show up here on my blog after and give you a realistic look at how it really went. Don't we really need more people being completely real? I think so. I read up on shows a lot from other handmade sellers beforehand and admittedly, most of the information was quite vague. So let me see if I can fill in some blanks for you and maybe you'll be inspired to give it a try too!
First, let me start by saying the show (Vintage Market Days) went great! I had an extremely positive experience in my two days set up. A few things weren't so great, but I'll get to that in a minute. Overall, this was a totally good experience for me and I just have to thank each of you for cheering me on and encouraging me. You meant the world to me because your prayers and thoughts kept floating in through this wild world called social media and I truly felt the love.
So the drive was about an hour for me to get to the sale. That was a downside because that's a long time, especially if you forget something! I set up my booth Thursday and then sold both Friday and Saturday, all day long. Saturday evening Brett, his mom, and my girls came up and helped me take it all down! We were done in about 35 minutes which I thought was pretty fast.
Friday cost $10 to get in and the crowds were much smaller which was actually better for sales than Saturday was! Saturday was so, so crowded I kept hearing that people were overwhelmed by all the other people so I didn't have near as many shoppers stop to look because they would have been holding up some traffic. That was also a tiny downside. Between the two days my sales were good!
I had printed So. Many. art prints and really only sold a couple. What surprised me the most was how many original paintings I sold (around 5 or 6 I think!). So wahoooo for that! I also noticed people really liked my own original ideas, like these award ribbons, and the painted/stitched flowers on a branch. Each time any of these were purchased it was just like a huge boost to my confidence and an affirmation that I was truly making things that connected to other people's souls. I had hoped to sell at least one original. So selling quite a few more than that was just amazing.
I tried to set up my booth with lots to see and lots of different price points. Although I certainly accomplished that it did give the customers a WHOLE lot to take in. I noticed a few people stop in front of my booth and then just walk away…like maybe I had too much color and product to take in? Who knows. Anyway, next time I would probably do way less product and more originals instead.
One of the most positive things I had in the booth was this sign! I really wanted other local people to be able to learn about Rosy Retreats and this sign struck up many conversations! I was able to talk to several people about my art and photography retreats on the farm and most seemed really interested! A few doubters about the photography retreat….about how can you really capture the rosy in the routine because of ____________ (fill in the blank with just about anything you can think of-kids, lack of money for a nice camera, etc). But I say those are excuses. And I don't believe in excuses. So, maybe they'll come to the retreat and I can show them I believe it's possible for just about anybody to capture a story with their camera, excuses aside. :) :)
This will give you an idea of how I was set up in relation to the other booths. So people would head toward my booth and then go to the left to get around to the other booths. This was great because it meant I got a lot of traffic. This was NOT so great because it meant I got a lot of traffic coming and going and all just trying to get through the door but not actually looking.
A few more things I learned….I had someone zoom in on my art and photograph it and my usual kind spirit felt not very kind, lol. I didn't say anything to them but instead handwrote a sign that said "No photos please". Next time I will have one of these typed up beforehand.
I also had someone ask if "kids made my art"….people asked over and over if my work was in a shop and if I was the artist. I got tickled at these questions.
Now that we've gotten past the nitty-gritty of the show let's get to my favorite part ever.
We'll start with this picture. This is my friend Cheryl and we've known each other online since my FIRST Etsy shop, so almost four years! We email each other but have never met. Until this show! Cheryl lives in Missouri and came to the show and we got to meet for the first time! She is just the sweetest friend and I truly wish she lived closer. We got to chat for quite a while and she bought one of my original paintings that is so dear to my heart. I am honored it will hang in her home.
Second, the ladies who ran Vintage Market days are a mother/daughter duo and they are just truly fantastic. I've read some comments on Facebook about the show (poor lighting, crowds, etc. ) that weren't very nice and I really wish I could erase them all. I don't think anyone knows how hard these ladies worked (myself even) at this show. They were so organized and nice and helpful. They kept all the vendors very well informed in the days leading up to the show and did an excellent job planning a very fun event. You can tell they are smart, successful ladies so I say good job to them!
The other vendors were also so incredibly nice and helpful. They volunteered to help me anytime I needed it or to watch my booth so I could run to the bathroom or food trucks.
And last, two sets of ladies who stick out in my mind from Friday. The first was a pair of friends from Durham, AR. They were retired school teachers and had their own shop "just for fun". Those ladies were the sweetest, most fun gals. They just carried on and on about my art…said it was a bright spot in the show for them. They bought several pieces from me and felt like angels on earth. They made my day.
The second set of ladies (I hope you're reading!) was a lady from Fayetteville named Peach, and her mom. Again, these ladies were so friendly and talked a pretty long time to me…and gave compliment after compliment about my art. They too bought a bit of everything…and were just angels of kindness. I will treasure each of their kind words and compliments because they mean more to me than any amount of money I made.
So that's that! I'm so glad I did this show. I'm happy to be back home with my girls and Brett and eating garden salad and doing laundry (ok, kinda glad) and taking the boat out and dreaming of the photography retreat. Mostly, happy for my country life and getting back to living. I have plans to turn our once nursery into an art studio for the girls and I and for me to teach out of sometimes here at home…and I suppose I'll get back to making art too.
Really, all of art is life and there IS rosy in the routine.
The choice is ours.