Monday, December 3, 2007

we got nothing but time...

Ah, the total freak out.

Our stomachs were finally feeling better after the Ava incident (our doggie is doing WAY better btw), and then we realized, huh, don't we have, like, The Biggest Show Of The Year coming up? Hmm. We better get on that. And we have been gettin.'

DIY Trunk Show was totally awesome too, in case you were wondering - I just wish I wasn't all freaked out about Ava that day - I couldn't really concentrate, I cried when our friend Erica came by (she has a doggie, I knew she'd understand!) so that didn't help much, and I'd sent Andy home to be with Ava. It was such a weird day.

Here's some more stuff that is freaking us out:

1. Clay-body weirdness.
Andy will be writing about this later - But not good when you just bought 2000lbs of it, and need it for the next 2 shows plus orders . ARGH!

2. Media.
The One of a Kind Show has always supported their local artists by promoting their work on local tv stations. One of our plates will be on WGN 9 on this Thursday. EEP!
The New York Times Magazine writer we've been lucky enough to be interviewed by is getting ready to have his Etsy, DIY & Handmade story out before X-Mas. Fact checker will be phoning on Tuesday. EEP!

3. Production.
We have just not been able to keep up with inventory. It's really affecting how we look at a show - Which you may or may not know, is really important when you're trying to get the attention of every shopper using only your display and your product to draw them in - Shining personalities aside :) D'OH!

4. Upcoming Show Season.
Looking kinda bleak, imho. Seriously, I think the trend for these art festivals/fairs (not the indie ones, those draw a very different crowd and mindset) to charge $400 & up for the weekend will come to end once they see that their anchor artists are no longer applying and they're filling the spaces with buy/sell product. The crowds are looking bored, the events are getting WAY to big, and we're being touted, if we're lucky enough to even be mentioned, as entertainment. Did I mention we do about 25 shows a year? About 3/4 of them fall into the $300 & up category? Yep.

We were lucky enough to be accepted into the New Wave of Craft at the American Craft Council's Baltimore Show in February, and I expect that audience to be much more appreciative of the work being presented there. Baltimore! :)

This post is my rant that I promised I'd never put out into the cyberworld - But I do feel so much better having written this - Thanks!

[Andy will be writing about clay stuff later]



Cynthia said...

It's your blog - you can rant if you want too. Besides, I didn't hear so much ranting as I hear how successful and crazy busy you two are. Way to go.

I do hope Ava is better.

As far as shows go, they're exhausting and expensive to do. The most I've paid for a booth is $250.00, and believe it or not, just did way more in sales at a little indie $70.00 booth fee show a couple of weeks ago which was more interesting too.

I looked into the Cherry Creek Arts Festival (over my league right now) but they were advertising an "emerging artist" mentor program for newer artists. I thought cool - sign me up, the only catch is you have to pay the normal booth fee, which when I checked was over $700.00! Eeks...

[nancy + andy] said...

Hey cynthia!
Thanks for putting the positive spin on Nancy's rant. This year has definitely been a rebuilding year and the future landscape seems more unpredictable than ever before.

Ava is pretty much back to her normal demanding self-thank you.

This next year is going to be very interesting for the "Art Festival". Indie shows are a ton of fun and I hope your Pathfinder gets a work out going to more of these events ($700 can be difficult when the weather turns sour!).

Whitney Smith said...

Nancy, I totally agree about the shows. Here in California, they totally suck. So many "art and wine" shows that have totally ruined the art festival phenomena that so many of us artists have relied on. I've dropped all of them in the last year and a half and at one I actually packed up and left Saturday afternoon, something I never dreamed I would do, but my time is too important! I was scared I wouldn't be able to pull off christmas season without a show-- I usually gross in the 5 figures between early Nov and late Dec-- but I'm happy to report that I did just fine without it!

Shows are good in the beginning to build that mailing list, at least they were when I was starting out, and I look at my young assistant who is at the beginning of her career and I don't really know what to tell her except make sure she has a bangin website and strong online presence.

As far as next year I'm only doing Philly Rosen (wholesale) and Palo Alto Clay and Glass Fest, the ONE show that I actually love doing and still rakes in money!

Happy holidays to you and Andy.

[nancy + andy] said...

Thanks Whitney!
You've been kicking ass on Etsy and it is really great to hear that you made it through the Holiday Season without having to do any shows-it is a manic ride.
Can't wait to read about your wholesale show-best of luck!
Happy Holidays to you too,
Andy and Nancy

anonymous julie said...

Nancy, to me it's awesome to hear both the real joys and gripes of selling. Keeping it real is great

Can't wait to hear about the clay body weirdness. We all need that, right? (huge eyeroll here).

(Oh yeah, finally have a photo setup, Etsy can't be too far behind, right? if you want to see my first few shots.)

[nancy + andy] said...

Hey Julie-Great Photos!

The claybody weirdness turned out to be not so bad and our supplier was more than accommodating with resolving the issue.
It was basically just sand in the mix turning our smooth clay into more of a stoneware clay which doesn't really work well with our methods of production.

Hope you are doing well and looking forward to meeting up with you on the circuit sometime this year (Wells Street-due the 11th!).

anonymous julie said...

Wells Street seemed too scary and heavy duty for me. What's next?

I found some courage and sent work to Strictly Functional this week. ::crosses fingers::