*gulp* I just signed up for the four day Visiting Artist Program in March at the Art Business Institute in Philadelphia.
It's in conjunction with the Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft, produced by craft marketing guru Wendy Rosen and company.
I guess I'm getting serious about this whole endeavor. Actually, my plan from the start was to do retail shows for 2-3 years in order to get direct customer feedback, work out my products, etc., then start doing wholesale shows and just be in the studio more and in production. I really enjoy interacting with the public, but retail shows - it's a lifestyle. So much of it is not the fun social/selling aspect, but traveling away from home a lot, packing, setting up, breaking down, keeping up your display, etc.
The experiences I've had over the summer and fall in Norwich, Woodstock, and the Open Studio Tour, as well as some mentoring I've received from other artists, has taught me so much. I've gotten a lot of valuable feedback. Much of it is telling me that my work would do well in big cities.
Most of the aprons I've sold went to NYC.
I just can't go to those places to do enough retail shows to make a living, so I'm looking into this wholesale business about a year ahead of schedule. Don't worry, I'm going to meet with a business counselor at the Vermont Women's Business Center before I completely shift gears.
And in the meantime I'm going to enjoy the holiday vending season right here in Vermont (and Southern New Hampshire). I hope you can stop by one or more of these events. I'll have discounted items at the Open Studio Tour and the Wellspring School Holiday Faire and I'll be having a big New-Product-Naming-Contest-Prize-Drawing-Giveaway going on throughout all 5 events!
Here's my schedule:
11/17 9am-3pm Wellspring Holiday Faire
Chelsea Town Hall Chelsea, Vermont
11/24 10am-5pm Women's Festival of Crafts
11/25 11am-4pm Women's Festival of Crafts
Burlington Town Hall on Church St., Burlington, Vermont
12/1 10am - 5pm Queen City Craft Bazaar
Union Station (bottom of Main St.), Burlington, Vermont
12/8 9:30am-4pm The Orchard School Craft Fair
The Christmas Trees Inn, Marlow, New Hampshire
12/8 and 9 10am-5pm Vermont North By Hand Open Studio Tour
Topsham-Corinth Road, Topsham, Vermont
Please email me for more info, directions, etc.: firstname.lastname@example.org
And stop by the Howe Library in Hanover to see my display (pictured here) before it comes down October 25th (that's next Thursday).