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Thread: Mission West Fall Art Festival Results

  1. #1
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    Mission West Fall Art Festival Results

    As mentioned in another thread, we did another art show this weekend. It was another del Mano show, the Mission West Fall Art Festival in South Pasadena. This was the fifth Mission West show we've done, and they have always been pretty steady producers. Not our best shows historically, but better than many others. In the case of this one though, we've had better weekends.

    It was 100º in the shade Saturday, and about 91º Sunday. The booths were set up back to back down the center of Mission Street. Our booth faced south. so it was warm, to say the least. We set up our chairs in the shade by the sidewalk, since at least out there we had a bit of a breeze sometime. Due to the wonderful weather, the crowd was out in force. Here's a cell phone pic from about 1:00 Saturday afternoon:


    With the cooler weather Sunday, the crowd was much bigger. This was about 3:30 Sunday afternoon:



    And of course with the wonderful state of the economy and a 12+% unemployment rate here, all the people were clamoring to spend all their money. And all the vendors were making so much money they were renting wheelbarrows to haul it back to their vans and trucks.

    I made a total of four sales. In the end, we came out $50 over our $280 entry fee. As a lot of other vendors were saying, we made the entry but didn't pay any bills. I could have made a little more money on one of the bowls, but the couple that bought it also bought $530 worth of stuff from me last fall, so they got the frequent flyer discount. I'll sell to them again, too.

    I did have a casualty from the heat. (The direct sunshine, more specifically.) Even though I was swapping the pieces around on my tables to keep from baking anything for too long in the sunshine, the walnut hollow form with the ebony finial I showed here a while back developed a thin crack from the rim to the shoulder. I'm going to have to CA the crack, then completely refinish it. Nobody to blame but myself, but I was not happy when I saw it.

    There were two other turners at the show...we all know each other and get along well. They both also had slow weekends. One of them, a guy named Art, specializes in pens, and he usually does pretty decent. $1000 or more a weekend is not unusual for him, but last I heard I don't think he did much more than double his entry fee for this show. After watching Art at several shows, I can see he's a sharp businessman and a prolific woodturner. He can mass-produce 50 pens in a day, and they all look top notch. But he's a technician, not an artist. He does display some bowls and hollow forms in his booth, but doesn't sell many. They are nice, but predictable. He's more interested in production than creation. It seems I'm about the exact opposite. Right now I could stand to be making $1000+ per show, but I just can't bring myself to going into production mode making something like hundreds of pens. I just want to make what I want to make...but I need to find a more reliable outlet for selling it.

    Oh yeah, here's the obligatory booth shot. It was taken with my iPhone Saturday morning before I moved my chair out to the sidewalk...



    We did have a good time at the show, the heat notwithstanding. One of the neighbors behind us is a good friend from previous shows, and LOML was one of her steady customers for years before we got started doing the shows ourselves. Her next-booth neighbor was a good friend of hers, so by the end of the show we were all one big happy family. (We opened up the canopy walls to let the breeze through the booths, and that allowed us to visit with people on both sides or in back of us. And with the crowds the way they were, we had lots of spare time for visiting.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
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    Sure looks like a nice set up, too bad few people turned out to see it

    Still, you did not lose money, well not much I guess, and your attitude sure is good. I guess we all have to start somewhere, I bet in a few years time, when things pick up, you will sell out at one of these events, there is nothing wrong with you work, it is fantastic, just the market in general right now.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    You mention 'the crowd'... but I don't see some 'crowd'.

  4. #4
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    Vaughn the great thing about your show reports is that you always come away saying you had a great time...that is worth it in my book. Like Stu said soon, hopefully, people will be out spending $$$ on wood art.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  5. #5
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    Looks like it was a beautiful weekend for it, glad you came out ahead at least. I would agree with you on doing it for the enjoyment, one can become burned out too easily doing it as work.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
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    any local arts and crafts fairs Ive been attending the past year have been empty. People are just clenching their fists around those dollars more these days, and sticking more to essentials. The pickle booth had 3 lines 8 people deep.(there are a few food vendors there, pickles, baked goods, jams)

  7. #7
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    Well Vaughn, as I've said before - It's been a goofy year. I hope the disposable income is up by next June. Then we'll have more people willing to take their hands out of their pockets and spend some money.

    This last Saturday was my last time at the morning market for the year. Nice day. The rain litterly went around us. Cool temps. Took till about 10:00 to sell the first piece ($125.00) and a kaliedoscope a little later. Not bad for four hours.

    For those who still have shows to do, I wish you success. I hope I can stay well enough to try some ideas I have runnin' around in my head.

    Hope I didn't Hijack this thread. Grandbaby's here so time to play,

    Bruce
    Bruce Shiverdecker - Retired Starving Artist ( No longer a Part timer at Woodcraft, Peoria, Il.)

    "The great thing about turning is that all you have to do is remove what's not needed and you have something beautiful. Nature does the hard part!"

  8. #8
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    Economy woes aside, the booth looks great. Hang in there.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
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    vaughn my comment was directed at the state of the economy, nothing to do with your beautiful presentation or products.
    Hopefull now that holiday season is coming upon us, people will loosen the wallet strings and spend a little.
    The situation is no better here on the right side.

  10. #10
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    No worries, Allen...I didn't think you were directing your comments at me at all.

    You mentioned seeing the pickle booth doing booming business. I've never seen a pickle booth out here, but the kettle corn stand was doing pretty good at this one. For this show, I probably could have made a bucketload of cash with a garden sprayer filled with ice water. The lady a couple booths down from us had a little personal-sized mister, and she was spraying her customers and other vendors at their request. I told her Saturday that I'd show up Sunday with a 2 gallon sprayer of ice water and get rich charging $1 per hosing. I'd just have to tell people to ignore the "Weed Killer" that's written on the side of the sprayer.

    And thanks for the comments, guys. It's been mentioned in the past that my display could use some sprucing up and de-cluttering, an I agree. I'm mulling over a few ideas for dressing it up without spending a lot of money doing so. I have another show in two weeks, so I'll see what I can get done between now and then.

    And by the way, I didn't mean to imply anything negative about folks who turn and sell pens by the hundreds. I respect the guys who can do it...but it's just not my cup o' tea.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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