We love meeting new people (well, new to us anyway!) and, frankly, that's the only way to stay in business...by making new contacts and maintaining current ones. Of course, there is more than one business model out there, but for Lisa and I meeting people face to face seems to work best at this stage.
True, we have a web presence with this blog and our Etsy storefront, but so far our greatest successes have been at festivals where we can interact with people. And when I use the term "successes" I am not only referring to sales, but also contacts. People do not always buy one of our pieces, but seeing the work up close, talking with the artists (that's us!) makes an impression.
Perhaps as important as prospective customers are prospective business partners--gallery owners, store owners, officials from other festivals. We have met several people that fall into this second category. Many of them have expressed interest with working with us. Time will tell how many of these contacts prove fruiteful, but the simple truth is we would have met none of them if we simply sat in our house uploading images onto the web.
It is hard to describe, but it feels like we are beginning to be noticed. A few people have recognized us from other events. And we even had our first repeat customer. Yeah!
So, it was heartening to realize that the pace of our public apearances is picking up. With that in mind, here are a few upcoming events we will be selling at. If you can make it to any of them, we would love to meet you.
AUGUST 1, 2009: "Art In the Gardens." 10 AM to 5 PM. Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. More info at http://www.gardenbythesea.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.detail&eventID=1
AUGUST 15, 2009: "Design Downtown." Sacramento, CA. A monthly music and arts festival. Sponsored by Sacramento News and Review. http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/third_saturday_design_downtown/event
AUGUST 22-23, 2009 (10am - 6pm) "Inaugural Newark SummerFest"
Newpark Mall - 2086 Newpark Mall, Newark, CA, 94560. http://www.newarksummerfest.com/
SEPTEMBER 26-27, 2009: "Pacific Coast Fog Festival" Pacifica, CA
Palmetto Ave. Pacifica, CA 94546. http://www.pacificcoastfogfest.com/
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Well, starting any new business takes time--time to produce your product, time to market your business, time to travel, heck...even time to think. Lisa and I have been doing a lot of thinking and experimenting with different venues to sell our work.
We have setup our booth at roadside stops in the Sierra Nevada Moutains, we have setup in storefronts and even the Berkeley, CA Marina for their 4th of July event. We are seeing the first glimmers of our "niche." Events specifically meant for artist to sell their work seem to be better for us. With this in mind, we submitted some of our work to be juried for the 18th annual "Art In The Gardens" event in the Mendocina Coast Botanical Garden, Fort Bragg, CA. We are very pleased to announce that we have been accepted into this event!
This is a big deal for us, and not just because it is likely to draw more people interested in what we sell than any event so far. It is a big deal because of the sense of satisfaction we feel, the sense of acceptance. It is one thing to know that your art is good and quite another for it to be accepted by someone who doesn't know you---someone who is looking at your work with an eye toward quality. Even the most self-secure artist needs this on some levels.
If you can make the trip, this would be a lovely place to visit....art, wine, music and all in a beautiful botanical garden near the California Coast. Check out their event website http://www.gardenbythesea.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.detail&eventID=1 for details. Maybe we'll see you there!
** Note: Postcard artwork "Back to the Garden" an original acrylic painting by artist Julie Higgins