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CarolynB

Display Question

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I will be participating in (my first) three day art show in a few weeks and am wondering if I should stick with my typical style of heavily decorated work or if i should make simply glazed forms to give my sgraffito room to breathe.  Also, I have nearly 60 mugs to display plus some decorated platters, bowls and bottles.  Would you suggest putting everything out or displaying a select group and adding inventory as needed.  I am torn between having a cluttered booth that shows everything and harshly editing the display.  My area will be about 4x6 but I wont know the exact dimensions until set-up day.  Thanks, Carolyn

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People tend to buy mugs as a gift -- for someone else or themselves.  So, they look for something eye catching or different.  I'd go more towards your sgraffito work with maybe a few regulars for contrast.  With unique work, or work with a distinctive image like your bear or orca, folks may ask if everything is out or if you have more in stock.  So, at least put out several of each type you have . . . it offers the opportunity for multiple sales and saves you time of having to check/pull out back stock.  With that small of a space (4x6) you won't have much room for back stock.  If you were offering larger and more high cost items, I'd suggest fewer/less clutter.

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4x6' isn't very big. Unless you have a big tall mug tree or other display furniture, you won't have room for that whole list all at once.

Hold some work in reserve so your display isn't crowded, and the shopper's eye has spots to rest. If this is your first time at this market, bring a selection of the plain and the busy work, because you're going to be testing out the crowd's response.

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is the space size dictated by the organizer of the event providing you tables?  are you going to be inside of the space?  do you know the setup?  have you attended this event in the past and are you familiar with the way it works?  can you reach someone who has done the show and ask for input re the setup?

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I just double checked the space size... it will be about 8X8!  I think I may have to pick up another shelving unit or two and do some staging in my living room.
I have shopped at this show for several years; I hope it will be a good first show for me.  It is nicely run and has a central checkout that will make it a bit simpler for me. I'm surprised that my work got juried into the show especially when I look at work from the other ceramic artists that will be there.

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People LOVE it when you pull something out from the box or the back ... They love they are seeing something nobody else had a shot at ... So do not be afraid to put one of each motif out and replenish when sold.

Your line is " Wait, I have something in the back that you are going to love."

Keep your display uncluttered and clean ... Mix in some plain ones because everybody has a friend whose taste they are not sure of.

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Keep some backstock for several reasons-Your one of a kinds look better with room to breath.Having backstock for the next two show dayss in also a key point.Add to your stock as needed to keep the look of not being picked over.

Mark

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ABSOLUTELY stage it in your living room first!!!

Set it up. Make a list of everything you need to set up, factoring in things like stepladders, extension cords, any fasteners or hooks, etc etc etc. 3 day setups are more complicated than one day jobs. Take photos on your phone, and refer to it during set up. It saves Soooo. Much. Stress.

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Thank you for all of the great advice!  I like the idea of holding some of the items in backstock, from the standpoint of giving the work room to shine and as a little customer service perk.  I'm thinking about filling some baskets with the backstock and stashing them under the table. Mea, I owe you an enormous thanks, a while back I read your blog post giving tons of advise on choosing and preparing for an art/craft show.  The information that you so generously shared in your blog is an amazing resource for me, thanks!  

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I don't have any advice for your booth but I thought your sgraffito work was fantastic so don't sell it to cheap or let people try to talk you down in price at the beginning of the show.  Save that for the last day if you don't want to pack and take them home.   Denice

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yup, mea is the best.  it was her suggestion that had me raise my prices last year in time for the fair i did last week.  this year i did $300 more than i did last year and it was a record breaker.

 

thank you mea, thank you, again.

 

carloynb, i also think your scraffito is great.  good luck at the sale.  people will buy because they WANT IT, :D  not because your price is low.

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Sorry for the confusion Marko. My name is Mea, but my forum handle is GEP (an acronym for my business Good Elephant Pottery). You can call me either Mea or GEP. Bruce provided my website above, and it's also in my signature.

 

I am humbled and honored to hear that my blog is having an impact on other potters.

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Post show update:

 

I felt well prepared walking into the show thanks to all of your wonderful advice.  I was a bit surprised to see that my booth was actually 6.5 x 7.5 so I made a few last minute changes to work with the smaller space (it did get a bit crowded if more than two people were in the space). 

 

Overall it went great, I sold nearly half the items that I brought.  Only of my 2 non-sgraffito items sold; a set of three nesting bowls and a beer stein. I'm looking forward to doing more shows but I know that I've missed the application deadline for all of the good holiday shows and my inventory is too low for another big show.  Over the next few weeks I'll focus on creating more work and scoping out the holiday shows so I'm prepared for next year.

 

-Carolyn

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Sorry for the confusion Marko. My name is Mea, but my forum handle is GEP (an acronym for my business Good Elephant Pottery). You can call me either Mea or GEP. Bruce provided my website above, and it's also in my signature.

 

I am humbled and honored to hear that my blog is having an impact on other potters.

Cool, I wish this forum would give me email notice when someone makes a post to my questions. I am going to Bookmark your website, Mea. Thanks.

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Sorry for the confusion Marko. My name is Mea, but my forum handle is GEP (an acronym for my business Good Elephant Pottery). You can call me either Mea or GEP. Bruce provided my website above, and it's also in my signature.

 

I am humbled and honored to hear that my blog is having an impact on other potters.

I have always liked the name Mea. It's so elegant.

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This forum is great for advise, I was just thinking of the same question that CarolynB started the thread with. I am heading to a 3 day horse trade show and have a 10x10 both. This will be our first show, the pottery is all horse decorated and should go over well. Now the hard part is what to put out of the 270 pieces we will bring.

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> Cool, I wish this forum would give me email notice when someone makes a post to my questions. I am going to Bookmark your website, Mea. Thanks

 

Look at the top right of the page for "follow this topic" ... click on that and you will get an email as soon as anyone posts.

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