Gore Mountain Mastercraft Series on Columbus day weekend was a real success. My biggest 2 days of sales for the season, selling 6 of my driftwood frames pieces and over 30 of my smaller framed pieces, many of them ones that I just finished and never even got them posted to my web site. I also sold a large number of my notecards just to round out the excitement.
The crowds were not huge but they were consistent with someone in my booth most of the time. It was a really nice weekend and the fall colors were in full display, and that helped draw people in.
I am impressed with the results of the couple of days and many of the patrons were happy to be out and to have an event to go to. I think with the restrictions that many people are looking for an easy to attend event and to support local artists.
I received an email from a customer “Jan” who shared how she is displaying my note cards in a multi photo frame. This is not an uncommon occurrence and I have had many customers state that they are going to frame my cards, they don’t want to give them away.
I am busy building back my inventory of smaller paintings and my note card sets. I have even done a few “Scenery” type paintings, like ones that I used for my Christmas Cardinals card sets.
Now that i am doing shows every other weekend my goal is to get back to the wed site and more consistent blog posts.
This past weekend was the end of the farmers markets in the Adirondacks. It was a good season for me and a learning experience in so many ways. I still have several events before Christmas including one on Columbus day at Gore Mountain in the southern Adirondack park near Lake George. It is a two day event and is expected to be a well attended event. I expect good exposure and sales. I have printed a large number of my notecard sets cards, including new cards with winter scenes to compliment my snowmen cards. I have sold a number of the new winter card sets with the “Winter Cardinals” being the best. I will only have an event every couple of weeks and I have completed a number of new pieces that I will be adding to the web site in the next few weeks.
Printing my own note cards has been an experience. Just like painting, paper quality seams to make a big difference in the final result. I have found a source for 130lb paper for the cards, thicker than most store cards. I purchased a new printer at the start of the season that has a straight through paper feed to support the new paper. It is the Epson ET8550, and eco-tank printer that uses the bottled ink and I printed over 3000 pages before my first ink refill. I did discover that the settings on the PC can have a great effect on final quality.
I have found that positioning of my cards and my framed (7×10) small paintings greatly effects the sales. Many people are reluctant to walk into my booth preferring to stand on the outside. When i had one side of my booth open and the table with the cards placed on the side I had more people come up to the cards on the outside than from inside. I want to still have an inside the booth experience and hoping to come up with a compromise setup. I think an awning on the front of the booth may protect the art and create an entrance option to direct traffic.
I have documented every sale for the season and see that while I sell a large piece at almost every event, I will many more of my small pieces and cards. Also a trend is many customers purchasing by credit card, even for a $5 purchase. I was asked about taking Vendmo payments but had not been set up for that. I had my wireless Square reader crap out at one market, luckily I had a spare one that it pugs into the power port. It is not something i would want to be without. I also carry a battery charging pack just in case, and had to use it a couple of times.
I was thankful that my wife can sew, she made my table cloths and made sure everything looked good. I had a set of small round wood slabs that I cut a slot in to hold up individual cards to aid in the display. The first time I used them I had a lady ask to purchase one to show the card on her mantle for Christmas so I sold it for a$1. It was a small piece of round Hornbeam wood from my burn pile. The second time I used them another vendor saw them and purchased all that I had to use for her display of small stained glass Christmas ornaments. I now have to make more for the next time. I will offer them for sale as well now, I have lots of firewood.