Sunday, December 16, 2012

May the Karma Be With You...

Well, the Durham Farmers' Market had invited the Durham Craft Market's vendors to set up during the market yesterday (just a two hour market, 10 am till noon).  The weather looked like it would be good and so I decided to go, and I talked my friend, Dawn, aka FireWithN Pottery, to go, too.  She had not made much at the previous week's Holiday Market or at an event that I helped her with the weekend before that, so it was kind of hard to convince her.  I told her that my husband and I would help however we needed to, as she has a ruined knee and is in pain all the time (will be having knee replacement surgery next month).
She was already at the park when we arrived, and had not been able to finish setting she was talking to a nice older couple that bought several pieces of pottery from her, her second customers of the morning, even though it wasn't even 9:30 yet.
We started unpacking and setting up, and she finished with her customers, and turned to me...she was thanking me for convincing her to come out, as she had not been able to pay her insurance (she is a veteran on disability and fixed income).  She called and paid it over the phone while I was still setting up, and I could feel the load being lifted off of her shoulders.
So we set up, and an hour passed, and one of my favorite customers came by with her pooch to say hi and we were able to hug and wish each other safe and happy holidays, etc.  And a few other dear folks came through, sharing warm bread, telling little stories...just a wonderful morning!
And in the last half hour of the market, I had my one and only sale of the day, a top that I wore occasionally (free advertising) and decided to bring along at the last minute.  I felt that cool connection with the customer, knowing that I would see her again, and that she would spread the word about what I do.
It was a good bit of setting up and taking down and unloading and loading and time and gas and on and was exactly the day I was supposed to have...and I was just grinning as I looked over at my friend, most of her pottery packed up, when a couple came by and found the perfect gift for someone dear to them, a pretty blue coffee mug....grin, grin, grin!!  And peace to you....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Last Market of the Year...

Well, the hoopla is over for now.  With the exception of a fast trip to Durham to set up during this coming Saturday's Farmers' Market, I will only be selling on-line and to the local people that know how to get in touch with me.  That is okay, at least for now, because I'm tired.  Saturday we had a good, though not great, turnout for our DCM Holiday Market.  I did pretty well, better than some, worse than others, but it was worth my time and trouble.  I toyed with the idea of going back this coming Saturday for another Holiday Market put on by a different group, but in the same location as ours.  It sounded like a great idea at the beginning of the day, and not so much at the end of the day, when the exhaustion came knocking.
Funny, though, I still haven't fully discounted the option.  I will see how I feel on Friday, or even Saturday morning.  That is the extent of my ambition at the present time.
I will start next season as the holiday/special events chairperson for the craft market.  I have no idea what I'm doing but somebody had to do it, and I already saw a huge amount of room for improvement - assigned spaces in lieu of first come/first served - as the two most represented groups, pottery and jewelry, were mostly clumped together, rather than spread evenly throughout the room, so I don't think individual vendors were given the browsing attention they would have had they been evenly distributed around the market.  I want to change this....some will like it, some will not, but I think I have a valid point and one that is of benefit to all of us, including the customers.
Another thing I will be responsible for is coordinating art/craft demos on the 3rd Saturday of each month at the Craft Market.  I think this is a great way to sell, capturing the attention of the passersby and in some cases, allowing input to make something 'just for them'.  It also is a chance to show the customers just how much thought and sweat and love and skill goes into the making of an item, much less keeping up an inventory.  I saw very little participation from the crafters this past year, and I hope to get more to participate and see it as a beneficial pain in the butt, not just the pain part!
So I have the wheels turning and have the winter to consider these things, as well as looking into extra events that we could participate in throughout the year, and perhaps some 'themed' Saturdays that correlate with holidays and local happenings.  I think it will be a challenge for me but I am going to do the best job that I can and hopefully infuse some new ideas.
So today I will get my studio put back together and start making a few gifts that I want to give to different friends.  Hopefully I will get a few custom orders as well.  But I am ready to do something; after all, I took a WHOLE DAY OFF yesterday, spending most of it lying on, if not in, the bed...reading, gaming, napping, was hard work to stay away from work.  I will take a couple of other days off this week, too.  Now that I remember how much better I feel the next day!
I will keep you posted on the holiday happenings and have a few pictures for you, as well!!
Keep the peace all around you, let it hug you gently and carry you through these turbulent days the holidays have become for most anything but a "holiday".  Take your peace with you wherever you go...