Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hand-to-Hand Market

This past weekend was gorgeous. I had a lot of fun Saturday with Nash at the Hand-to-Hand Craft Show in Greensboro at the Green Bean Coffeehouse. We dropped by on the way to see a play in Hickory. One of my Charlotte Crowntown Guild Members was there, Verabelle, who does great applique. You can see some of her displays in the photos here. She does great work in Charlotte. Nash amused himself taking pictures while I roamed around talking shop and having fun.

Which brings me to profitability at craft shows blog post. One of the great things about the studio where I am is that you get the chance to pick the brain with a lot of older and successful artisans and crafters. There was this great kitchen table discussion making a living, a real living this week. It was interesting because there's a lot of people at different points in the scale. The best advice to me was from an older couple who have done almost all the different circuits, juried shows, you name it.

One of the big discussions was about the fall of large juried expensive shows and the rise of small local events such as church craft shows, weekend events, and state fairs. The pulls are smaller, typically a couple hundred dollars, but the booth costs are also smaller so a number of people are making it work. It was a fairly interesting discussion because in the midst of the handmade craze (alternatively known as the DIY), the established craftsmen and women at the table advocated spending your time at the smaller shows these days if you want to make a living vs. plopping down big bucks to spend time at the larger juried shows.

The real answer is probably in between, but we've been thinking it through as the weather warms up for spring and artists everywhere dust off their displays.

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