Sunday, July 11, 2010

Art Show Roundup: Tinicum Art Festival

My time at the Tinicum Art Festival was truncated due to INCLEMENT WEATHER. I was blissfully unaware of Saturday's weather report for the week leading up to the show, convinced that if the weather had been beautiful for five days of the week, of course it would hold out for the weekend (the reverse gambler's fallacy).

It held out for my drive over to the park, though I could hear thunder booming and occasionally glimpse tongues of lightning in the distance. Only when I was getting ready to set up my tables and hope for the best did Mother Nature quash my dreams. But that's okay, because we needed the rain. I had no tent of my own, though, so I left a cheerful little note on the ad for my wares:

"Who has two thumbs and no tent? This guy. I'll be here tomorrow, and online, rain or shine!"

Today, fortunately, was much nicer. I set up my little table with my little cache of geeky jewelry (the much, much larger stash of it is currently periodically for sale up in New York state—which reminds me, I need to send out business cards!).

Sam Adams cufflinks

I was in between a woman who did beautiful work with sterling silver and gemstones, and Milkweed and Honey. The latter consisted of a super cool, super funny couple named Tom and Sara, who make neat, I-hesitate-to-call-them-novelty items like beer bottle cufflinks (see image), vinyl album bowls, and adorable stationery. They were both super friendly and funny, and you should give the Milkweed and Honey store a gander when you can.

That's all really overwhelming for someone like me, just starting out, not even sure if I can turn this into a full-time viable career option. (As it stands, I'm glad to have a hobby that pays for itself and, occasionally, turns a bit of a profit.) Talk about jumping in the deep end! I still enjoyed myself, though. I didn't get to walk around (no one could come visit me and babysit my table), but I got to people watch, ramble about math, and listen to really good music. I also got a lot of work done on my current Viking Knit project. (I felt bad for my neighbors, who got to hear me go on about numbers or Viking Knit over and over again.) Plus I handed out a lot of cards and got a couple of orders, so go me!

The truth is, I think what I need to do from here is to build up my stock. People really liked what I did and seemed to totally appreciate it, so the concept itself is pretty dead-on. The difference is inventory. I think I would have had a lot more sales that way—selling jewelry and accessories is totally about having someone's "gotta have it" item, and your chances for that increase the more stock you carry. Otherwise, all you get is a lot of, "Oh, isn't that clever? What a good idea!" without any financial follow-through. If I had a dollar for every time someone used the word "clever" to describe what I do and then not buy anything, I would have made out like a bandit.

Now that my schedule is a bit more open (work and art shows having both relented), I'll finally have time for another Lawyer Mom post. Stay tuned!

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