Friday, October 16, 2009

Just thought I'd share....

If you look quickly at 0:47, you'll see yours truly in my locker booth at the First Annual Open Market.

Then watch and see what everyone else's lockers looked like and you'll see why I was definitely out of my element here.
Wrong venue. Totally.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

another disappointment---and a quandry

Yours truly at my first-ever Locker Sale

Over 30 families participated in the First Annual Open Market.
Across from me was a very nice couple with three lockers full of various and sundry good quality household goods. They did a land office business all day long. Most likely because of their insanely low prices -- a high-end two-seater stroller in very good condition was sold for $10. Many other fabulous bargains followed suit.

I, however, did not do as well. I sold a grand total of $8 worth of product all day. A $5 pair of earrings and two bibliobeads. Pathetic. Discouraging. Exceedingly frustrating.

In retrospect, this was not the venue for me. True, I was the only person in the building selling handcrafted jewelry but my exclusivity did me little good.

People were looking for bargains --garage sale-type bargains --and aside from quite a few pairs of earrings which I marked down to rock bottom prices, I had none to offer.

It's an incredible amount of work to do any type of sale - but especially one like this where tables and tubs of goods must be trucked upon a dolly down several long hallways. I had absolutely no help and since I'd barely recovered from all the hauling and schlepping of Rock Shrimp, this event was most definitely a struggle.

It's Sunday evening now and I have yet to unload my car!

All last night as I tossed and turned and searched for elusive sleep, I listened to the nagging yada yada in my head telling me I should have taken a cue from that woman next to me at Rock Shrimp and marked everything down to half price. I just hate doing that, though. I feel as if it devalues my work. But I can't help thinking that if I'd done that, I'd have made some sales. I probably would have even made my booth rent and then some.

I hate the clarity of hindsight! I will not sell at this venue again.
That's two disappointing sales in quick succession. It's tough to take.

I don't want to start second guessing myself. I know my work is good - people compliment me on how beautiful my pieces are whenever I do a show. If I got a dollar for every compliment, I'd have come home a happy camper.

But compliments - while lovely to receive - cannot take the place of cold, hard cash.


While there, I was approached by a man who's opening a similar type sale venue in Jacksonville. He asked if I'd every consider going to Jax for a sale. I hesitated and said, "Depends on what the booth rent is."

I told him how much I'd paid to rent the locker for the day and he offered to cut that in half - and said I'd be the only beader at his event as well. Hmmm. I'll have to think long and hard about this one.

Even though he claims to have had over 1,200 people at their initial sale, I still have to wonder how many of them would be willing to pay the prices I have on my pieces in that type of venue. It's a risky situation.

Anyone have any suggestions?

See pix

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Ain't Down Yet!

There's a song in the Movie "The Unsinkable Molly Brown that says,
"I Ain't Down Yet!"
That's me!

"You've got to follow your passion. You've got to figure out what it is you love--who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dream."

Okay, so things didn't exactly turn out like I wanted them to at Rock Shrimp. That's okay. No experience is ever wasted.

Life is about getting back up and fighting another round.

So that's what I'm going to do.

I made a split-second decision today to go ahead and do another show - the day after tomorrow.

Call me crazy, but I believe it's the right thing to do.
Even though I won't have a helper, that's okay.
Know why?

Because it's indoors, it's air conditioned, and I'll be the ONLY jewelry person there! mwah-ha-ha!

Here's the blurb for the event:

Come find your treasure at the First Annual Open Market at Amelia Self Storage in Fernandina Beach. Located on Bailey Road on Amelia Island, this market will be held on October 10 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. There will be something for everyone with a moonwalk, face painting, fire trucks, and fingerprinting for the kids.

Adults can enjoy finding treasure at a variety of sales booths and great BBQ, hot dogs, popcorn a bake sale and other refreshments will be available while you browse. The will be door prizes every hour and a Pirate will be sharing his loot, too!

See my Mail Chimp e-mail HERE

Monday, October 5, 2009

I got the Rock Shrimp Blues

Yours truly with my good helper, D

It was HOT HOT HOT in St. Mary's GA.
As we were setting up in the morning the no-see-ums were about to eat us up.
My beading buddy Keli (who lives out West now) reminded me to bring bug spray and that's the one thing I forgot!"

Thankfully, Keli's Mama, *D*, went up with us in her car and she dashed off to Wal-Mart to get us some bug spray. Phew! She also picked up a plug strip for me because I never could find mine. She only stayed a few hours but then had to leave because it was just too hot! I was so thankful for have her there because she's a lot of fun and her moral support was priceless.

I had set up a donation box to try and raise some money for an infant and a little boy who have major medical issues going on. Not one person gave one penny to those kids. I even saw one man whispering to his wife and pointing at my donation box. Then she frowned and glared at me as if I'd done something wrong. In retrospect, I think people had the wrong idea - that I was claiming these were my children and asking for money. They may not be mine, but they're someone's and their families could use some help. People are so bizarre sometimes! Who knows what they're thinking?! It only takes the slightest thing to put people off.

The day had some interesting moments, like when I sold the koi necklace. I had it out there for $28 -with earrings- which was an amazing bargain to begin with --and the lady wanted me to lower the price because there was only one earring. We found the other earring and she still wanted me to lower it because she thought the price was too high. She kept asking if I'd take $20. I stood my ground at $25 and she bought it. She really got a deal on that!

The lady in the booth next to mine was about to drive me up the wall. She had jewelry, too, and all day long she kept calling out, "Everything's half price! Everything's half price!"
She was selling gemstone bracelets for $9!! I mean, how do you compete with that? You can't!

There were far too many jewelry people at this event and for them to place two of us side by side was extremely poor planning and very unfair, I thought.

The lady on the other side of me had sunglasses and some kind of dry mixes for drinks and dips. Every single person who walked past her booth all day long, "How're y'all doin'?" I mean, I'm all for being nice but ... I dunno ... it got on my nerves after awhile. She had her teenage son with her and the whole time we were setting up he just talked and talked until we were about to go bonkers. Once the booth was set up and people were browsing, he kept asking everyone who came in if they wanted to see a card trick. ???

At day's end I heard her on her cell phone saying she'd sold $500 and booked two home parties (for the mixes, I guess). SIGH

I didn't even come close to matching last year's $200 in sales. I made my booth rent and about $15 but once you figure in paying my helper, what I spent on beads for new designs, gas, printing, etc....I actually came out in the negative. BIG SIGH So very disappointing!

Anyway - My 17-year old helper, D, was an enormous help. He's an exceptionally nice young man, (and one who enjoys peace and quiet! ) LOL
When I met his Mama afterward and I told her she should be very proud of him.

So - that was Rock Shrimp 09. Do I sound bitter? Well, maybe I am a little.
I mean, I adore doing shows -- even with all the hauling and planning and lifting and setting up and breaking down--I love it. But I'd have loved this one a little better if there'd been more buying and less whispering and strange looks from my browsers.

Just before it was time to break it down, a girl came around with flyers about the next big event up there. A chili cookoff December 5. Booths are only $30 or something so I might go for it. We'll see.

More Pix HERE