Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A commercial venture for a commercial holiday...

Those of you who follow on the facebook may or may not know that I participated in a Valentine's day sale yesterday.  A very romantic way to spend a commercially created holiday.  So, a brief sale review.

In short, it was not good.  But to be fair, I wasn't really expecting it to be great.  The sale was an annual Valentine's day sale in the student center of the local college (SIUC).  There were only 20-25 vendors, not all of it handmade, and there was almost nothing for signage directing people to the sale; so it is not like there was a stellar set up to begin with. 
Much as I suspected there was not a lot of buying or even browsing traffic.  A very small number of people coming to the student center just for the craft sale.  Roughly 94% of the traffic through the space were students going to and from class. 
The sale started at 10 and I had a few sales in the morning; but pretty much everything dropped off after noon.  It was supposed to go until 5, but a few people were packing up at 3:30-4 already.  I must say I was very tempted to join them.  By that time even the students had stopped coming through.  I couldn't bring myself to leave early, though.  I always sort of thought of it as a contract when I attend an art/craft sale.  If I leave before the sale is officially over I am breaking that contract, even for those sales that don't specifically stipulate that you must stay until the final bell.  And you never know when that last minute sale is going to come through.
All in all it was pretty much what I expected...not much.  I almost made enough to cover my time and expenses.  As it stands I almost made minimum wage.  Needless to say I will not be attending that sale next year.

And now a few shots of the Valentine's day schlock that didn't sell.

Happy heart jar

Another little happy heart jar

Little heart bud vase

"Heart This" bud vase

"What the f*** is this?!" robot mug

"Cut your heart out with a" spoon rest
I guess I can see why some of this stuff might not have sold.  As I get time it will be posted on Etsy though.

Oh!  I almost forgot the art/craft fair quote of the day!

Elderly female rug vendor reacting to the skull heart jar and human heart spoon rest - "Really?!  Come on now...and I'm not too sure about this one either." (After looking at the rest of my stuff)  "While I'm not into skeletons and bare organs, you do nice work...your flowers and stuff."

Does not liking someone's work give you the right to be condescending toward them?  Oh well; she wasn't really mean, she was just expressing her opinion.  It was actually kind of funny.  Ok, that's all for now.  Until later...

-Rob, Simple, Circle Studios


  1. I like the heart this and the robot; sorry about the slow sales; every show is a learning experience I've found and I can never tell in advance, even weather can change attendance. I think the woman was giving you a compliment in her own way.

  2. Your tastes and mine are identical, I loooooove your work, esp. the edgier rock and roll stuff. Fuch the haters! I would never be rude like that lady. Happens at every fair though, usually some old fart indeed, the "that's differents" or the "do you make a living with this?" or the "why don't you___ that would sell a lot" and you really want to say "go fug yerself you old bat, you dress funny and your breath smells bad". I will tell you though, the internet makes it easier to find your custmers. Work at it. Somebody in Seattle, San Fran, NYC etc. would love all this.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys.
    Linda, yeah I have found that any show is pretty hit or miss, even if you hear that it is good/bad. You never really know what your stuff is going to do until you get out there and try it.
    Gary, it really is a shame we live so far apart. And yeah, making stuff that is not really "normal" I hear a lot of "oh, that is interesting. You have very unique work." I always just chuckle a wait for someone who will appreciate it more. I have, thankfully, had a few sales from Etsy lately. And they have been from all over the place; Alaska, Memphis, Albequerque, etc. It just takes a little time I guess.