It's the story man, the story.
This past weekend we worked a small local market in Bastrop. Having now moved close by this will likely become a standard market I’ll work monthly even though sales will likely be lower than desired. Hopefully I’ll be able to drum up some commission work interacting with this group regularly plus there is a local city museum being developed that’ll have opportunities for a ‘living museum’ that might open up so I’d like them to keep me in mind via all those live demonstrations.
I chose this weekend to work the event because it was their yearly chili cook off so there would be added traffic. A point of order, when working markets always ask about upcoming events so you can time your visit and get cross promotion.
The demo was tops as again and we sold a fair share of them in the event. But my Dad and I were also in production mode making them at top speed when an audience wasn’t present. He has a retail store in San Marcos that’ll purchase all the extras we make so while it’s slow… might as well make guaranteed sales even if it’s small ones.
Art sales where OK, left with a little under $400 after booth fees and such due to a few bowl and box sales. But the key thing is telling people that we’d be there monthly so they’ll expect us and telling the stories of the pieces we had on display.
Stories about where the tree grew, it’d history, the process we use to produce the work, and special features and such… these do two main things. Most importantly it increases the value of the piece in most customers minds thus making them happier purchasers and it develops an image of us as real craftsmen that at future dates they be more likely to remember when in the market.
In fact it is quite common for past customers to contact us to retell the story so they pass it along to another when they give away the piece.
So if at all possible remember the story of your pieces, especially if you do the harvesting yourself. Not doing so is the same as throwing away both cash in hand and future sales.