This was my second year selling at the Bizarre Bazaar in Lawrence, KS. I was told about this event from a fellow artist a couple of years ago. It is not advertised as far as the application goes, yet over 400 people apply for the show every year. It is a first-come, first-serve show. Once you get the application mailing, you have to pop it right back in the mail with your entry fee the same day, as they fill up usually within a couple of days. I am amazed at the quality of artists in this show, especially as it is non-juried, but all items are expected to be hand made by the artist. It is truly a pleasure being surrounded by so many great artists.
Unlike last year, the event was held Friday evening in addition to all day Saturday. Last year I had my two tables set up side by side and only had room for a small stool to sit on - that made for a long day! This year I set them up one in front of the other and added a backdrop. Not only did I have room for two chairs, the backdrop really helped bring attention to my booth.
I also took advantage of the electrical outlets available. The extra lighting makes a world of difference when it comes to jewelry.
Sales were good. Not amazing, "oh-my-gosh I can't believe how much money I made" good, but they were up slightly over last year. I even had a repeat customer from last year search me out to purchase more of my designs. That was the best! I also sold to one of the founding members of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. She purchased almost all of the cuffs I had for sale.
I feel like I am gaining a following. I also feel exhausted. It takes every bit of energy I have to get through these shows because I hate the actual "selling". I don't like standing there talking to people all day. It is simply exhausting. That said, I do love that most people had really good reactions to my collections. That makes the physical and mental exhaustion worth it.
Before doing this show, I had been suffering a severe lack of motivation. A period of "why am I even doing this?"..."do I really like doing this?"..."why isn't it fun any more?"...this show bounced me out of that, somewhat. I am more inspired to create than I was before. It's hard at times to just focus on the creating and not think about the bottom line. However, at the end of the day, if this is going to be a business, it has to make money. I can't survive on simply looking at my pretty creations. I have to SELL them. That can be a tough task in this economy and especially in this field, which is SATURATED with designers, as well as cheap imports.
SO...I am going to spend some time pondering this task...brainstorming...and hopefully coming up with new collections that will blow people's minds.
I don't have any more shows scheduled the remainder of this year, but I do have items listed on etsy, and I will be listing some new creations. I am really looking forward to spending a lot of quality time with family and friends. That is always a great way to re-energize. Happy Holidays!