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.