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Put Name Of Event That I Am Selling Products At, On My Products Sold There?

souvenir pottery name of town event on pottery

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#1 Patsu

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:10 PM

I've read threads here that pertain to this topic, but can't find them  

 

Let's say that town X, has an annual winter carnival.  Can I make ceramic snowmen for instance, with a caption "Town X Winter Carnival 2014", that people could buy to have as a keepsake of the event, without some specific permission from the organizers?  Do I specifically need licensing from the town or event managers, to make and sell handmade 'souvenir pottery' featuring the town and event name, and date?  Another way to put it - is my displaying or selling such product, subject to the whim of the organizers, at any given time?

 

Thank you in advance for any thoughts on the matter - John


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#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 01:41 PM

Short answer is probably yes. I would guess it depends on whether or not they have rights to the names or logos and how much money they make from the name.
I would not take the chance on having all my hard work disallowed.
I think there are ways of doing this that would be much less stressful for you.
If you are in the Whooville winter carnival 2014 ... You could just put Whooville 2014 or Winter 2014 or Carnival 2014. Do not use any logos or similar to the logo type artwork.

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#3 BeckyH

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:39 PM

Ask the event organizers. They may welcome such an item, and will be happy to have you make them. You might even offer to make a given number, which they could buy for a reasonable price, and mark them up to sell themselves. That way you don't get stuck with unsold items.

#4 TwinRocks

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:10 AM

Becky has the right idea IMO. It's easy to over estimate the popularity of any given item, and some organizations love to have custom pieces to highlight their show

Putting such specifics on pieces gives yourself a really tiny window to try and sell them.

#5 Mark C.

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:20 PM

Do not use the logos as they will go after you-the real issue is what do you do with leftover dated named stock that is worthless to everyone after the event.

I would really give this some thought.?

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#6 Patsu

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:34 AM

All valid points, thanks!  I'll try just the town and state, no date, make half a dozen, simple pieces.  

 

The idea was, attempt to conform my product offering to the markets at hand, which are two farmers' markets right now.  People don't seem prepared to buy pottery there, they buy my animal figurines and very small, inexpensive decorative items. Tourists just don't seem around.

 

I have been re-reading sales advice here on the forum and see that I can make some improvements like when they say "your pottery is beautiful" I need to say not just thanks but "thanks, what pieces do you like the most?", to open up possibilities.  And not sit down or let people distract me from sales.  

 

I'm preparing for a summer "Old Home Days" event in a small NE USA town, it will be my second ever craft fair.  I'll try half a dozen plates with moose on them and just the town name and state.  These people are very "town loyal", maybe 'cause they're stuck there like sticks in the mud - like me.  I have some stuff in a consignment shop that is 'downtown' if you can call it that. 2 weeks & nothing there has sold.  

 

Working on a total re-think of my product offerings.  


"In everything, never do as others do." - some ancient mystic's grandmother


#7 GEP

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:06 AM

I'll try just the town and state, no date, make half a dozen, simple pieces.  


That sounds like a sensible way to try it. Let us know how it works out!
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#8 Chris Campbell

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:41 AM

>I'm preparing for a summer "Old Home Days" event in a small NE USA town, it will be my second ever craft fair. I'll try half a dozen plates with moose on them and just the town name and state. These people are very "town loyal", maybe 'cause they're stuck there like sticks in the mud - like me. I have some stuff in a consignment shop that is 'downtown' if you can call it that. 2 weeks & nothing there has sold.<

I would worry about putting the town name and state on it ... just my opinion, but doing this creates an item you cannot sell anywhere else.
Maybe make a nice hang tag describing something local or lets them know you are local ( if you are ) ... that way you are not stuck with inventory. You can also offer to date and sign them on the spot with a permanent marker.

If your work does not sell at all in about a month, go into the consignment shop and offer to trade the work out ... This gives you another chance to find the shapes that sell.

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#9 Patsu

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:19 AM

I am going to be up so late tonight, too busy browsing all of the new braniac pottery advise on this forum since I was here last, to make product!  

 

Understood, Chris. Looking around at the offerings at farmers' markets and the craft/consignment shop I realized that there was nothing that had the town's names on it, anywhere to be had, so I thought that might imply some untapped potential.  In these two towns, if you're a tourist it's a gas station t-shirt or it's no keepsake or souvenir at all.  

 

On Old Home Days the town gets pretty hopping & everybody seems excited to be there, I'll try a town branded item one time, it wouldn't be the first silly or outrageous product that I've tried to sell.  I've boxes of them :).

 

Then again, some of the most ridiculous stuff, does sell!  Or the other side, someone comes up agitated, grabs a few pieces up and looks them over very closely, angrily, slams them down and storms off in a huff.  And they are my best selling pieces.

 

How's about this - here's a pic of my tent from a few weeks ago.  There's some rough pieces in there I know,  I have another table that's not in the pic.

 

If anyone would like to constructively help to dial me in a bit, I am open to that.  What sells at farmers' market besides pigs & mugs?

 

P.S. whoops perhaps I should have put this thought in another forum area, apologies if so.

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#10 grype

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:03 PM

"What sells at farmers' market besides pigs & mugs?"

 

My wife goes to the farmer's market in my area a lot. No one sells pots there, but people do sell things that would go well in pots, like honey for honey jars, or apples and oranges for a fruit bowl. I haven't attempted to sell anything yet, but my wife always wonders why no one sells honey jars or other things that go along with what they are selling. My guess is they might not sell. She told me that when I start selling stuff I should try to sell some honey jars to the honey bee people. Which is something you might try. Maybe find something someone is selling and ask them if they would be interested in consignment at their booth. I am not really sure, but just a quick idea. 

 

Best of luck to you.



#11 Patsu

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:52 PM

"What sells at farmers' market besides pigs & mugs?"

 

My wife goes to the farmer's market in my area a lot. No one sells pots there, but people do sell things that would go well in pots, like honey for honey jars, or apples and oranges for a fruit bowl. I haven't attempted to sell anything yet, but my wife always wonders why no one sells honey jars or other things that go along with what they are selling. My guess is they might not sell. She told me that when I start selling stuff I should try to sell some honey jars to the honey bee people. Which is something you might try. Maybe find something someone is selling and ask them if they would be interested in consignment at their booth. I am not really sure, but just a quick idea. 

 

Best of luck to you.

Thanks grype for your wish of luck for a little can carry a long way.  Your wife's idea is good, wish I had thought of it when I had the chance;  in my area, the honey people sold out fast and then they were gone,  I am thinking hard about products that will go well along with other vendors' products.  One is a butter dish, you know the kind where you smear the butter in the top, water is in the bottom & it stays the perfect consistency?  I've never seen one just heard of them, don't know how to make one & don't want to just copy someone from google.  I'll figure it out.

 

I sell at farmers markets every weekend, truly they are not the ideal revenue stream for pottery, definitely not but they are a trickle, & every trickle counts.  It is also helpful to offload pottery at a modest profit;  I don't know if anyone else has noticed how it tends to pile up rather quickly otherwise... There is a sense of comradery at farmers markets and it is healthy to talk with the general, random public about one's work.  

 

Confusing orders come in as well like, asks for a cereal bowl, okay I make one when come to find out this is America and they really wanted a batter bowl... Or they want bowls for serving sides of berries, I was thinking small monkey dish but this is America and they wanted cereal bowls.  Or they want stuff that my kiln would fit in.  Many blown bespoke orders later, I ask for specific measurements, or pass on the opportunity.  What an adventure this summer has been. Haven't made as much money as I hoped but, knock on wood, zero returns thus far, much validation for my 'aesthetic' and also, I'm doing it, dang it & there are dozens if not more'n a hundred pieces out there in the world now, with my name on them, representing me & my unique (or maybe not so much unique, don't know) aesthetic. 

 

Still working on the town name pieces, getting the lettering right is so tricky that I'm contemplating cheating on that small aspect.  


"In everything, never do as others do." - some ancient mystic's grandmother


#12 grype

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:31 PM

" Still working on the town name pieces, getting the lettering right is so tricky that I'm contemplating cheating on that small aspect.  "

 

Again I am just beginner, but I don't understand the cheating concept here. Use any tools possible to get the job done in my opinion. It's like trying to write a blog and saying its cheating using a keyboard instead of a typewriter. 

 

I like how you feel about your pots being out there and being used. I also hope to feel like that very soon. There is just something neat about knowing random people are eating out of the work you put a lot of time and thought into.



#13 Patsu

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:01 PM

" Still working on the town name pieces, getting the lettering right is so tricky that I'm contemplating cheating on that small aspect.  "

 

Again I am just beginner, but I don't understand the cheating concept here. Use any tools possible to get the job done in my opinion. It's like trying to write a blog and saying its cheating using a keyboard instead of a typewriter. 

 

I like how you feel about your pots being out there and being used. I also hope to feel like that very soon. There is just something neat about knowing random people are eating out of the work you put a lot of time and thought into.

Well I'm thinking I'll go downtown and take impressions off of a few old bronze plaques that are there... maybe stretch them a bit, or arch the text. Still, a bit of work after that to make a stamp. I have some stick on letters that I got for just this sort of thing, but I am not thrilled with the font. 


"In everything, never do as others do." - some ancient mystic's grandmother


#14 grype

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:33 PM

My opinion here, stuff like that is smart, not cheating. You're going for a look that is similar to the plaque that represents the town. When people look at the pots they will instantly think of that plaque, and probably hopefully it will warm their sweet hearts into forking over cold cash for your pot. = )



#15 Stellaria

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:09 PM

I like your impression-to-stamp idea!
Also, those butter dishes are called French butter bells :) I think there are videos on how to throw them on YouTube.

Also, for farmer's markets, certainly don't discount the presentation. Making a few purchases beforehand of a pint of berries, a bouquet of flowers, and a loaf of bread (or gathering your own, if you have them) can help move berry bowls, vases, bread baskets, etc.
Any food-prep pottery could move at a farmer's market if you time and display it right.

#16 Patsu

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:48 PM

Love it!!! :)  Thanks Grype.  And it is very gratifying to know that folks are eating and drinking out of vessels that I have confidently made myself.  It took me awhile to come to terms with the trust/risk relationship implied there and I take it very seriously. It took me over a year to get there, for some potters I think it takes much longer, it is a very individual call to make. I am fortunate to have total control of my studio and process.  I got a lot of help along the way, reading in this forum, talking to suppliers, researching and testing before I found that the confidence was in place to sell food ware.  Any vessel that I make, anything with my mark that could conceivably be used to eat or drink off of, or serve from, is made of only certified non-toxic, lead-free clays and glazes fired with good oxidization to temps proven by actual witness cones. If I change my firing schedule I use a witness cone to prove it though I have a programmable controller and electric kiln.  This doesn't guarantee perfect results, but it is a good defensible position. The only issue is, that some certified non-toxic clays and glazes, aren't the best performers in terms of consistency, ease of throwing, glaze fit etc.  So I have to work around some things but all in all it works out fine. 

 

Even more gratifying is when a customer buys 3 cups then returns the next week, loves them and orders a dozen more of each.  That's cool because I know that the person has used them and has had a great use experience, and now they want to share that experience with others.  That's exactly what I've been trying to do lately and it seems to be working. I make in a certain primitive-esque no nonsense style that I hope will become popular, and a lot of people do seem to like it. 

 

Thank you for the tips Stellaria, why didn't I think of putting berries in the berry bowls!  Brilliant!  French butter bells... Way cool.  I do need to work on my product release timing, my business has suffered for my not being right on that.  I still have much to learn despite my core product being good.

 

 

 

 

 


"In everything, never do as others do." - some ancient mystic's grandmother


#17 Stephen

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 12:00 PM

Hey Patsu,

 

Hey you're living the dream and now all you have to do is figure out how to make it pay.

 

If you go to a website like festivalnet.com (there are several of these) you can get a handle of all the venues within driving distance and maybe branch out a little. These sites list everything, farmers markets, church events, city events, arts and crafts and fine arts to name a few so you will likely be very surprised at how many selling opportunities there are within a few hours drive of where you are at. The fine arts and a lot of the arts and crafts are juried but most others are not and if you have a booth shot and some product shots you can apply for a few of the juried shows. Overnight adds expenses but those can be minimized with camping and/or cheap hotel options. Some venues also have a cheap/free area for a camper.

 

Mark C has recently revived his thread that showed his wonderful booth display system and such a system will hold enough pottery to sell thousands of dollars of pottery at an event. At the end of the day a booth is a 10x10 retail shop and good displays and plenty of stock, thoughtfully displayed, will get people in. I think the goal is to not have a sparse display that folks can just glance at and move on if nothing jumps out immediately. A larger selection beckons folks into your booth to check it out.  

 

Every form you have currently perfected likely has 3-4 variations of other forms with slight modifications and then different surface decoration. An example would be a common form to make a drinking cup pulled a little larger and handled for a coffee mug and pulled still larger for a small vase and dialed back shorter with a lid and notch in one side for a honey pot would produce 4 forms with a very similar starting form you have already perfected for the cup. 

 

If you haven't done this already I would step back and examine each form you currently make and feel confident about and to see if you can increase your current lineup with work you have already perfected.

 

If your booth is well stocked with a variety of forms then you can let the buyer decide what is well received and what needs to be phased out or altered as you add more forms. 

 

Best of luck!



#18 Patsu

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:35 PM

Thanks for the uplifting thoughts Stephen!  I take note of all you've said.  I will check out Mark's thread on booth display and appreciate his having shared that work.  And I will review my product offerings with a mind toward modifying them into new forms.  I really appreciate the advice.  I am a bit tentative about approaching juried shows, but no doubt will learn a lot when I do,


"In everything, never do as others do." - some ancient mystic's grandmother


#19 TJR

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:09 AM

I was at a Farmer's Market last weekend. The tables/boothes rented for $10.00 for the day. People were selling honey, vegetables, soap, natural mosquito repelant, and one guy was selling imported wallets and purses from Nicaragua made out of rubber tires. He was cleaning up.

They will have a juried craft fair in two weeks. Tables rent for $50.00. Nothing imported. Original photographs, watercolours, pottery, jewelery. This is where I sell my work. It is not outside on a gravel road. It is inside a building, and is well advertised.

I think you have to step up and go for the higher end sales and shows. Leave the farmers market for the guy selling corn and beats.

Also, be careful of how many shows you are in. You can really burn out fast on this way of selling.

TJR.



#20 Patsu

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:19 AM

The two farmer's markets that I am in, were each of them $100 for the season, perhaps that works out to $5 - $6 per session.  The sales window is only 3 hours. The last one involved downpours, thunder and lightning.  The band became afraid & ran away.  Several vendors ran away. There were 4" of rain on the ground, I was drenched, even under the tent my pots were full of water.  I made about $40.  

 

I do need to step up.  Both in my work and in my targeting of venues and customers.  I need to get my portfolio together, to set up the vari-background and take some good shots of my stuff before I've sold it.  So many pieces sold, that I don't have documentation of, apart from stuff like "bowl - $15" and a date in my journal.

 

I am so in awe of those of you who have this stuff in order, because I can see how quickly it can evolve backwardly into chaos.  The scheduling, the planning, the time, so much time, the weather, humidity & ware doesn't dry, throws off firing schedules then product isn't ready.  Breakage.  I am learning a lot though, and making a little at least, in the process.  

 

I will try harder to improve.  In my area, there is the League, the League of NH Craftsmen.  I'll start making moves toward winning their approval.  It will take a lot of time to achieve.

 

Thanks TJR.  


"In everything, never do as others do." - some ancient mystic's grandmother





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