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so how did everyone do at the holiday shows?

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Numbers still coming in for galleries and wholesale this month-but my 15 days of my own pottery booth sale in a small town shopping center was a bit up from last year.

I have been there for 38 years now the two weeks before xmas. This year I sold 15 days and average day sales where $975. my booth is open 12-noon to 5 pm 4 days a week then the other 3 days are Fri -Sat Sun 11-5.

Xmas eve 11-3 my best day -almost always.

I'll post the other results after the 1st. when I get paid.

Edited by Mark C.

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My two holiday events (Open Studio and online sale) were slightly up from last year. And I feel like I short-changed myself a bit. I only had 11 pots left after my Open Studio. Several people showed up looking for something specific, only to find it sold out. When I listed the remaining pots in my online store, they sold out in four hours. Followed by emails from customers saying “what happened did I miss it?”

At the previous year’s Open Studio, I was celebrating my 10th anniversary and giving away free tshirts to eveybody who attended. So I predicted attendance this year wouldn’t be quite as high. I also had a snowy forecast, and thought that would cut down on attendance too. I was wrong on both counts. 

I’m not complaining, just thinking in hindsight. It would make sense to do one fewer fall show in order to stock up better for the holidays. The customers who will come to my Open Studio are the ones that matter the most. I want to give them a better chance to get what they want. 

For the entire year, I had my best sales year ever. However, as I mentioned in another thread, I often felt the strain of the production workload. I’d like to cut back a little next year. 

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Well, I've observed that most artists that do the show circuit seem to have a year where they bite off more than they can chew, and apparantly this was my year to do it! Going in, I felt like I was well-prepared with my stock levels that were based on a projected %20 increase over the year previous (last year was a bust year). I wasn't going to have to cram work in between sales, all I'd have to do was glaze things. 


Yeah, right!


My first 3 sales ( my first one was the last weekend in October), I did double what I'd projected.  Side note: It turns out that if you put a swear word on the side of a mug, people think it's hysterical, and buy an unholy lot of them.  So I wound up spending every waking minute not spent at a show making more mugs and bowls and shot cups. I had record-for-me sales for 6 weeks, and promptly got deathly ill the Sunday night after my last show.  I spent the week before Christmas on the couch with a whole lot of tea, soup and Kleenex. The money was very satisfying, and I feel very reassured that last year really was an anomaly. 

I have a friend who is making more Christmas ornaments as her get back to the studio project. She says it feels a lot less perverse than making them in August.  I'll be starting in on that tomorrow, I think. 


Edited to add:

Also, somewhere in all that November insanity, I got asked by Ceramics  Monthly to write an article for their February issue on social media influencer marketing. The issue just went to press last Thursday, so I finally feel like I can tell everyone now!

Edited by Callie Beller Diesel
Added marked bit.

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Didn't do any shows but free standing retail business was up in November and in December.    Sales for December were up 24%  from 2016.   Finally hit my pottery sales cap.  We've been steadily producing $5K a week for the last few months.    Kept the main sellers in stock most of the time ... if we ran out it was only for a day or so.   I really pumped out the best sellers.    We have around $9K left.  I've never had more than $500 left before.  I can't reach this number without employees.   I have really good steady part time workers ... all retired professionals.  No family teenagers here now.  


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