Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Giveaway Winner And More Learning Lessons...

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Many thanks to the comments left here and your encouragement regarding the current challenges I am facing in the "Make Art That Sells" online workshop. Your wonderful words have been inspiring me!

And many thanks to those of you who liked my new Facebook fan page! I am close to getting official 'fan page' status, thanks to you!

I'm sure you are dying to know the winner of the giveaway so here she is:

Heather Hughes of Tangle and Spiral

Heather has a fascinating blog which I have taken a peek at. Thank you for your comment Heather! Please let me know where I can send along the creative supplies...

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming! Feel free to continue reading as I share some Lessons Learned through my recent vendor experience...

Display of my personal book projects and workshop projects with my sign-up sheet


The past two weeks have been particularly challenging for me as I continue to learn more about myself and the work I want to do to share creativity with others in a heart felt and meaningful way, just as I state in my "About Me" page. Working through challenges is not always fun, but I do learn from them and I often learn a lot, like the lessons learned from being a vendor at Silverlake earlier this month, which are different lessons I learned since the last time I was a vendor at this fair...

Comparative Study!
I mentioned in my last blog post that I know it's a no-no to play the 'comparison' game, but this comparison game is more of a comparative study as I break down my experience of being a vendor at the Silverlake Art*Craft*Vintage Fair this year to my experience from last year. Let's begin the comparative study to see what I learned and you might learn something too...

Going Solo:
I participated in the fair by myself this time around thinking it would be a better option, after my previous experience being a vendor with what turned out to be a rather unreliable friend who flitted around the event instead of watching the table when I needed a bathroom break or wanted a minute to meet fellow vendors and 'network'...

Going solo was about the same amount of work for packing, then setting up my display after arriving. As for bathroom breaks, I managed to make friends with my neighboring vendors, some young girls selling gently worn clothing who came with two aunts to keep company. They were all nice ladies who offered to watch my space if I needed a bathroom break and I shared my take on some of the vendor locations I have participated in or shopped at and they appreciated my knowledge on the local flea markets! Their kindness to watch my space reminded me of a Tennessee Williams quote:

"I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers"

My display of vintage and creative goods - my kind neighbors were to the left of this display

Not only were my vendor neighbors helpful, but there was a food vendor at the event this time with tacos and hot dogs and he turned out to be a nice man who gave me a free hot dog at the end of the day, since I had been so friendly to him and his family, being cheerful and cracking jokes. Thank goodness this vendor was at the event since I packed a slim meal, despite the possibility of no food truck like last time, and having no one that could watch my space long enough for me to walk to the Subway across the street!

Taking time to meet with other vendors and "network" is really my way to get to know other people, and share my knowledge or experience with them, with cheer, humor and helpfulness. This winds up being helpful for me in ways I could not expect or anticipate.

LESSON LEARNED:
Going solo was not as hard or solitary as I thought it would be and I met some very nice and helpful people that I look forward to seeing next month when I return to the fair...

Challenges or Red Flags?
I have to say that signing up for the fair was a BIG challenge, which makes me think in retrospect that maybe the challenge was meant to be a red flag...

To make a long story short, I was unable to use my Paypal funds to secure my booth space by phone and therefore had to transfer funds to withdraw cash to pay for my space at the venue upon arrival. I was then made to wait to be helped as the 'organizer' tried to help the vendors as they came onto the grounds, and not always on a 'first come, first served' basis, much to my chagrin. Also, I have yet to get my email confirmation of the booth fee or that it was paid.

 My handmade or altered book goods and a display of my workshop projects with sign-up sheet...

As last time, I had a mix of handmade goods and vintage goods, though, I may not have brought enough of either to make a good showing, despite filling my large table with handmade goods and filling two tables with vintage goods...but I barely made any sales at all, and I got one sign-up for my email list. The only person who expressed interest in my book workshops was visiting from Michigan!!

Luckily, my dear knitting buddy Jane came out to support me, along with her husband (on his birthday no less!). Jane bought a few vintage items and her husband bought one of my altered journals as a gift for his cousin. Without them, I would have only made $11 that day, but their purchases helped me cover my booth fee...

View from my booth space - many creative vendors...

...another view from my booth - more vendors and a few people walking around...

It was confusing to figure out why I was not making any money, since I made some money last time, but as I took a closer look at the 'vintage' being sold, I could see that the goods I was selling were not kitschy, nor were my hand crafted goods very kitschy either...and very few locals seemed interested in taking a fun, creative workshop.

My guess is that my earlier experience was possibly a fluke due to the holidays that were looming or it's possible that my esthetic is not in alignment with the general esthetic of the area...I may not know for sure until next month when I return, but that is my theory until I can prove it otherwise...

LESSONS LEARNED:
If experiencing challenges attempting to accomplish something, take a moment to reflect and decide if it is a 'challenge' or a 'red flag' message from the Universe! 

I really need to learn more about the areas of Los Angeles and figure out the collective 'esthetic' of the area to find out if my creative goods are a right fit or not

In the meantime, I have to figure out how I can make my next vendor event work to my benefit; I've thought of conducting 'artist demos' or I may just bring supplies and work on making books during the course of the day so it won't be a total loss of time. Hopefully I will figure out a solution by the time of my next vendor date: July 13...

One thing that did lift my spirits during this challenging time was taking a workshop with my wonderful book binding instructor, Wendy Poma! I had a lot of fun and Wendy gave my ego a much needed boost. I will share more about that workshop and the books I made in it in my next blog post, so be sure to stay tuned!

2 comments:

Kathryn Hansen said...

Let me just put this out there Monica...June is typically my worst month for sales. Kids are just getting out of school, or graduating, families are going on vacations. Even the housing market (there's a proven correlation)is super slow at this time...August is when I start seeing much better sales! Hang in there!!

Heather Hughes said...

Aiiiy! Thank you so much! I'm sending you an e-mail now.