Friday, July 30, 2010

The Tote Trove Moves On


If you watched Nick at Nite in the early 1990s, then you may remember a commercial about a "serious message" featuring a cartoon dancing squirrel at the bottom of the screen. I think the "serious message" was preventing accidents in the home by watching Nick at Nite, and the dancing squirrel was to serve as a distraction for "those who could not handle a serious message." Well, I'm stealing their idea and posting a photo of my Toddland cheeseburger wallet from Fred Flare (www.fredflare.com) before dropping this bomb: I am no longer doing craft fairs.
I've already sent my regrets to the coordinators of the eight remaining shows on my roster. Two were kind enough to refund my entry fee, which was completely unexpected. So, why the big drop out? I was, I'm afraid, overwhelmed. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. It dawned on me slowly that craft shows weren't the best venue for marketing my work. At first I told myself that I wasn't doing the right ones, that I needed to find my niche in venues more receptive to my funky wares and that the way to find this niche was to sign up for as many shows as possible. But after vending at shows offering different locations, different entry fees, and different aesthetics, I realized that I was mostly selling a few small items here and there regardless of where I was. I made as many little girls' stretchy bracelets and tiny totes as possible before each show because I knew that people would buy them. But in doing so, I wasn't challenging myself creatively. I felt more like a factory than an artist, and that didn't feel good.
So, my new plan is to tackle all the projects haunting my imagination, even if they end up taking a lot of time and/or money to produce. You'll be able to see the results posted on my Etsy shop, www.thetotetrove.etsy.com, and, of course, here on this blog. So stay tuned. I promise there's good stuff to come.

4 comments:

redlinc said...

I agree that craft fairs are tough. Glad you had the guts to quit. I need to think about that option too.

The Tote Trove said...

Thanks for saying that. And for reading!

SuZ Stuff said...

yep, that's the same conclusion I came to a couple of years ago---the "promoters" do just fine but the majority of the real "artisains" are there for show---there are just too many "craft shows" year round & the "public" does not appreciate the hard work of what goes into handmade items---
I only do 3 or 4 local shows just before the holidays now---because I do like to "talk" to people & they are looking for unusal gifts at that time of year---and they will pay a better price for something different---and I only do indoor shows so the weather is not an issue...
I do sell on Etsy but you do have to constantly renew to stay near the top---
I now only do MY ART (not what I think the general public wants}and I'm much happier and less stressed and after all, that is what art is all about---right?
so I think you have made the right choice for your very creative artsy spirit!
LOL- I can go on & on about this subject but you get the point -LOL
I love reading your blog-keep up the creative journey sweetie!

The Tote Trove said...

Thanks, Suz. It's nice to hear from someone else who gets it. And thanks for reading!