Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Good morning everyone! I was gone this past weekend to Mobile, AL for a Vintage Market Days (VMD) show. We got back last night around 11:30. Got to bed about midnight. Though John went right to sleep, I did not finally fall asleep till about 2:00 AM. Ugh.
This is the 2nd time we went to a VMD in Mobile. The first time was this past spring. It was kind of weird. It seemed like the foot traffic was better in the spring than for this "fall" show. I use quotes for fall because it is not very fall like at all here on the gulf coast. We tend not to get the great "feels good" weather of fall till late October. As far as weather it is summer-like. We did not have any weather to contend with as far as our drive over, setting up, the show or load and drive home.
We arrived on Thursday about 11:30 and had time to get lunch at Chick-fil-a before heading to the venue. Our check in time at the venue was 1:00 PM. We got there a little early and was able to go ahead and set up.
This event is held indoors. That really helps in dealing with hot weather or rain. I was in the annex, not the main room. We heard reports from fellow vendors and customers alike that the main room was hot/warm. Ours was generally cooler than the main room.
I was in a booth that got visibility from 2 directions. We were about head on to one of the aisles. Those coming in from this direction could see in at least part of our booth when headed our way. Then, others saw us when approaching from the left front of our booth. This is the same booth we had before. The only change was that someone was on both sides. We were the end of the row in the previous show, on the side where people saw us straight ahead.
The conversion of shopper so to buyers seemed lower than last time. If anyone bought it seemed either they bought smalls or very large, think furniture. It did not seem there was much in between. I know furniture sold because our restroom was next to the loading area.
One bright note, I got to meet Kendra from this site, along with her mom. It was very nice to meet them both and make that connection in person.
Our sales were fair. I had hoped for more but felt we met a little more than the minimum I'd expect. Others felt sales were down. Our neighbor that was next to us last time was trying to move a good bit because she is downsizing her business. Even a 25% off sale on Sunday did not make a big improvement. :(
Last night, and still this morning, I am tired enough to say, "I am not doing any more shows after our current obligations!!!!" I know I'll feel better tomorrow and my outlook will be better.
Congrats on completing another show. I know how grueling it can be especially when you feel like you didn't make the $$ you should have earned by all the work you put in. I set-up/broke down 2 shows on the same weekend a week ago. One show, the one I worked made only 30% of what I did last year. My brother worked the other show for me and did a little better than my very conservative expectations (for a new show). So after loading and unloading my truck 7 times over that weekend, I was able to squeak out a very average 1 show's worth of profit. End of summer/fall shows are usually much slower than the other seasons. Kids getting back to school, people have their priorities elsewhere.
But regarding VMD, I attended one here in Ohio earlier this summer and purchased one of those repurposed industrial lamps. I researched it afterwards since I was so impressed by how it was run and presented. I do think this trend of up-cycled art and craft will continue as VMD seems to be growing quite fast.
What is VMD ?
"Vintage Market Days" for art/craftspeople that recycle/repurposed home related antique/vintage goods?... not sure if I'm doing the description justice but... think HGTV. I believe they are franchising their brand in different cities so each market tries to put on 2 shows a year. I believe it's curated but not juried... typically each show has that rustic, barn-find, artsy feel.
It was great to meet you. Your booth looked great. Sorry it wasn't a better show for you. Hoping your next one is fabulous.
Most shows I do, will not allow "25% Sales" or other posted markdowns.