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I read an interesting Facebook post from Simon Levin and Carter Gillies about having a "children only" section during sales events.  The idea is to price items low enough that a child (or young person) could experience buying something handmade, perhaps for the first time. As Mr. Levin writes, "Get pots in kids' hands. Let them know that objects can come from someone they can meet. And that they can own them for themselves."

 

I don't know all of the details of how this might work, but there is something about engaging younger people into the world of hand-made that makes this very attractive to me.

 

Are any of you doing something similar at your sales events?

 

-Paul

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He offers mini-mugs for sale -- kids can buy them for half price.  The idea being if you get kids to appreciate hand made early on, they will continue that appreciation for their whole life.

 

https://cartergilliespottery.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/new-work-oh-and-yeah-pottery-sales-start-this-weekend/

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At my Mother's Day sale in my own studio, I give children a "screaming deal", if they are spending their own money on a gift for mom or grandma.

I will offer "half off " for the next 15 minutes only. "Buy one, get the second one free etc."

The only problem is that other customers here me talking deals with these kids, and then they too want a deal.

When they realize what is going on, then they back off. Unless they are weird. :wacko:

TJR.

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I like the idea about the kids pottery.  Especially the part getting kids to appreciate hand made pottery at an early age.

 

There aren't too many shows I go to, but when I went to the "farmers market/craft show" in Mt. Laurel, (B'ham),

I would take bowls that I couldn't sell to the public, set them all in one place, and put a placard that read "Dog Bowls".

One would catch an eye and the person would ask, "How much are the dog bowls?"  I'd say they're free, cause

dogs don't have money!!!  

 

See ya,

Alabama

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I learned a long time ago that when I'm at a show with a lot of kids in attendance, I'm going to have a bad show. So I avoid the shows that are meant to attract kids, and I don't try to attract kids myself. I have also learned that parents who bring their kids to "grown-up" art festivals are already doing a great job of teaching their kids to appreciate art.

I will never forget this girl I met once. She was 6 at the most. She came into my booth with her mom and a younger sibling. They looked around. She pointed to my small elephant figurines and asked "How much does this cost?"

"Those are $20 each."

In the most gracious and respectful tone I've ever heard this question, she said "Would you be willing to accept less for it?"

I couldn't help but smile. "No, but I really appreciate how nicely you asked. You did that much better than an adult."

She was not bothered at all that I said no. She kept looking around, then asked "Do you have anything that costs less?"

I pointed out some small dishes that were $10. She picked one up and looked it over carefully, then put it back. Again, this wasn't offputting at all. She was very respectful.

So ultimately she decided that the thing she wanted was too expensive for her, and she was ok with that.

At this point, they had spent enough time in my booth that the mom had picked out a nice pot to buy. Then the mom said "I'll take the little elephant too."

Obviously that mom is doing an awesome job. I feel comfortable leaving this responsibility to the parents.

I see a lot more value in trying to attract young adults, in their 20s and 30s, to buy craft work. Those customers have much more potential to become big-time collectors in their 40s and 50s.

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I have a five-year-old son and I genuinely enjoy making pottery for him, and this extends to other (appreciative and careful) children. He actually will ooh and ahh over things I make and occasionally will like something enough that he's even kissed the damp clay before asking if he can have "this one" when it's finished. He doesn't do it with everything, either, just certain ones. I've made him an elephant bank, some plates, a mug, and I'm working on a larger dinosaur bank. He always knows when the things I'm working on are for him and he has never yet broken any of his special pottery.

 

So I really like this idea. I'm a beginner and my first few kiln loads have had their share of bubbles, runny glaze, etc. Obviously I wouldn't sell anything that was actually unsafe for food ... but I like the idea of having a kids only table. I'm doing a show in October and I didn't want to have sale items bringing down the tone and overall prices of the show, but if it was "Kids Only" I could make a few special items like piggy banks and then add any seconds or undersized mugs I have. Another reason this is appealing is that most of my mugs came out way smaller than I expected ... I know about shrinkage, I really do, but I'm still learning to calculate for it. :) However they are perfect as kids' mugs. 

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I don't limit children/youth items to sales events, I make sure I have items year round.  Adding more during the 4th quarter.  Having a free standing destination location, I see quite a few children along with their parents.  Understand that most children do not like shopping ... they like buying.   I have seen a number of parents bring children to the studio showroom so the children will learn to appreciate hand made.   And these trips always include a purchase.  However, I see more children being "rewarded" with a purchase just for making the shopping trip.  Maybe this is the price of a sitter?   Children are more satisfied when they get something ... a purchase usually buys the parent or other buyer  at least 15 more minutes of uninterrupted shopping time.   However, now days, children often return to the vehicle and watch DVD's.   My place is small and in the middle of no where so parents feel very safe with them staying in the car ....  adding more shopping time for the parent.

 

One of my better selling items are these alphabet ornaments ($6)They are made with a cookie cutter and clay production rate on these is about $200/hour. 

 

I always have items that appeal to children.  Kids are easy sales targets.    They are completely void of price/quality associations.   Core values to hit are narcissism (initials & names), bling (shinny, sparkles, bright colors), interests (hunting, dance, sports, etc) and entertainment.  (movement, games).   $5-$6 price range is a slam dunk.  Like who in the hell ever says "NO" to their kids wanting something in this price range.  I mostly price at $6 because I can get it.

 

The  wildlife ornaments provide an excellent sales opportunity for many young male buyers (and gifts for any age male) in my geographic area.  White tail deer are the most popular.  I come out with a new style every fall.

 

I put every child/youth purchase in a zebra or chevron bag, attach curling ribbon.  It's a satisfying feeling to watch them leaving the store with their little bags .... smiling :) (they LOVE their own bag).  A couple of months back an extended family shopping group that had 7 kids/youths bought 3 alphabet ornaments for each one (their initials) 3 initials x $6 x 7 kids = $126.   However, most shopping situations would have only been 1 initial per child, $42.

 

Are these kids learning to appreciate hand made?  Maybe.  Or is this just a perpetuation of gluttonous material consumption?

 

Sharon Grimes

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I have very mixed feelings about this. If I had stuff for sale , and a child was seriously into the piece , I might even give it to them before dropping the price. 2 different issues love of art and learning the value of anything. Value that is intrinsic because of the way we admire the aesthetic or craftsmanship is because of what we see , feel.it doesn't become altered because of a purchase or discount.

Teaching children to value that something is handmade,well maybe discounting it would help ,but I doubt it. Making things that appeal , that is more in line. Allowing them to explore and touch ditto. Explaining the process, perhaps just through a series of photos in a book, perhaps documenting a kid friendly item, again opens them to your world.

Giving them something easiily would actually devalue it, children have more marketing thrown at them now, for quite expensive things, they come to the expect it. Make them yearn and hold back, while making it appeal, I believe that is more effective.

This is my two cents , from my experience w my own.

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Jolieo: In my many years of various arts (some professional, some hobbies), I have found that I would MUCH prefer to do something as a gift than be underpaid for it! I've been sewing for 25 years now. My friend approached me and said she had fabric for curtains and if I sewed them for her she would pay me ... wait for it ... f i f t e e n  d o l l a r s.  For something that would probably take me four hours total. Hold on to your hat, I'm really raking in the big bucks. I know people have no perception of the time these things take but it still takes my breath away.

 

This being said I do love seeing a kid's eyes light up when you surprise them with a gift. Not the same if they expect it.

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dirt roads, could you please tell me the origin of the deer pictured in the third photo?  i see that same design on cars, trucks and all kinds of other places but have no idea of its meaning.  it is similar to the logo of a ski resort in western pennsylvania but not identical.

 

being out here on the fringe of modern culture is not always comfortable.

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That deer resembles the Browning Buckmark.   (Browning Guns).     They actually encourage people to use the Buckmark  http://www.browning.com/buckmark/winners.asp?bg=x

(last year's winners .. one made in a high school ceramics class).  Over 4800 Buckmark submissions http://www.browning.com/buckmark/index.asp

(You know Browning is a top quality gun maker in the US)

 

I worked with Browning on a T shirt several years ago.    They waited several years before trademarking the Buckmark and there are some issues in protection now.  Like only certain items are trademarked, in certain colors.  Mostly the trademark is only protected with the Buckmark and the word Browning (in that specific font).  Therefore, they encourage people to use the Buckmark.  I really need to get a more exact replica and put this in the Buckmark contest but then I wouldn't my "story" on the website if I won .....

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thank you, i have seen it in the rear windows of countless pickup trucks.  never a word with it so i had no idea.  the logo for the ski resort, Whitetail, is slightly different.  i could not figure out why trucks with Florida plates would feature a Whitetail logo on their windows.

 

obviously people like the deer, not necessarily the name that should go with it.

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That's interesting DirtRoads.  I don't let my students use logos and such, both because of copyright issue, but mainly because, it prevents them from coming up with their own idea(s).  

I know many, who'd like to use Browning logo, as hunting is big around here.  I won't inform them, that the logo has relatively lax usage rights.  Because if they knew, the issue of legal ownership was gone, they'd push a lot harder to use it.

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Here is an update from Carter . . . the photos of kids with their mugs are priceless.

 

https://cartergilliespottery.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/sale-recap-and-this-weekends-promo/

The image of the young boy with his mug, and the dog laying on the floor behind him...PRICELESS! :)

Thanks for sharing the blog,

-Paul

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I did an outdoor market last night, and one of my neighbours was a family originally from South America somewhere (I didn't have a great deal of time to get a lot of personal details.) They had brought their kiddo along for the first part of the night, and he seemed accustomed to the whole sale setup process.

Their young son Ian, who was five and a HALF (if you please!) was curious about what I was setting out, and insisted on helping me. He was polite and respectful, and actually did help me by holding the back canvas of my tent out of the water while I did the clips up, and very carefully helping me take my pots out of the plastic bins. Quite the little man! I nearly died from cutenes!!!

He had admired the mini cups that I had made, so I sent one home for him at the end of the night with his parents, as thank you for all his help.

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i had a small bowl and gave it to a neighbor child for his 4th birthday, (complete with the counting out of the fingers to four).  a year later i asked him how he liked his cereal from the star bowl and he told me it was on the mantle and his parents would not let him use it.  sigh.............................

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i had a small bowl and gave it to a neighbor child for his 4th birthday, (complete with the counting out of the fingers to four).  a year later i asked him how he liked his cereal from the star bowl and he told me it was on the mantle and his parents would not let him use it.  sigh.............................

 

Grrrrr.  How will they learn to properly use and respect stuff if it's out of reach.  I made a mug for a four-year-old, and on delivery I asked her what she would like to drink out of it?  It became her "hot-chocolate-before-going-to-bed" mug.  And get's used every day.

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i had a small bowl and gave it to a neighbor child for his 4th birthday, (complete with the counting out of the fingers to four).  a year later i asked him how he liked his cereal from the star bowl and he told me it was on the mantle and his parents would not let him use it.  sigh.............................

 

Grrrrr.  How will they learn to properly use and respect stuff if it's out of reach.  I made a mug for a four-year-old, and on delivery I asked her what she would like to drink out of it?  It became her "hot-chocolate-before-going-to-bed" mug.  And get's used every day.

 

I made my daughter a  tea set, for a Christmas present last year.  Four cups, four plates and a teapot.  I also made the storage box.  So I had countless hours into all of it.  But it's meant to be used.  I made everything "heavy duty" for use by a child.

 

I also make mugs, as Graduation gifts, for my students.  On the card, I include a note, saying that they are meant to be used, and by used, I don't mean decoration, or holding pencils...

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Here is an update from Carter . . . the photos of kids with their mugs are priceless.

 

https://cartergilliespottery.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/sale-recap-and-this-weekends-promo/

 

 

^ Beyond priceless tbh. :D  One of the happiest things I've seen in the pottery business.  This would make a good article in one of the pottery magazines.

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I taught 5th and 6th grade for 25 years, so consequently I only had 8 weeks in the summer to do my pottery, which I did like a demon.  I would always make many small things that a child could afford: cups, small bowls and simple mugs. Each year my school would have a "Breakfast with Santa" occasion at which I would sell my pottery, both small things and my regular pots. Many pots were sold to my students and other students.  I would then take all the pieces $20 or less into my classroom for all my students to be able to buy a pot. They were so excited about getting the chance to buy something quality for their parents, etc.! The students who went to the "BwS" occasion, their parents let them know something that they liked and would come prepared on Monday morning with $$$, but mostly kids wouldn't remember I was bringing pottery into the classroom, so I'd let them choose a pot and they had to bring the money in the next day or it would go back on the shelf.

 

Each year I got a lot of feed-back from parents about how proud their child was at buying something hand-made and beautiful (and made by their teacher!!) for them.  FYI: In the 3 hours of "BwS" and having the pots in the back of my classroom (as well as having a pre-sale for the teachers and staff) I sold as well I usually do at a weekend craft fair.

 

I'm now retired and can make pottery all year long, but but I remember those "Breakfast with Santa" pot sales and pots in my classroom days as a wonderful opportunity to expose children to buying art. And YES, they made a LOT of pottery in the classroom.!! And even though I was a math specialist as a teacher, they remember me for the pottery they made!

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  My efforts to have something at lower levels of my display for children that were inexpensive was designed to put parents at ease.  I’ve experienced stressed parents with small children at Art/Craft fairs hyperventilating and hovering repeating, “don’t touch that, don’t break that, we don’t want to have to pay for that,!† 

 

My efforts were unsuccessful.  These families didn’t come to buy, and when a friend would stop by with their children I’d give them a piece.   Their eyes would light up.

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