Have you made something with my beads??

If you're a crafter or artist and have created something unique with my beads or glass tiles, and would like to be featured in my website as a guest artist, please email me at cec235@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

To Fair or Not to Fair? What a Question!

I know, of course, that there is no verb, "to fair."  (Sorry mom...)  But for us artists, to participate in fairs - or not, as may be - is a delicate question.  I'm writing this post, sadly, after deciding to give up fairs.  In a way, it breaks my heart to know that I just "faired" for the last time, even if it makes no financial sense to particiapte in them.

For all of those out there who don't sell at fairs, you might wonder, why do it, why not do it?  The good parts: you get to meet a lot of cool people and, in my case, you get to listen to a lot of fabulous, live folk music.  You get to sell stuff... which can be emotionally exhilerating as well as financially sustaining.  The dark clouds looming over this cheerful picture are that booths at a fair cost money, as does getting there, staying there, being away from your house and/or studio for a few days... it all adds up, often not as you'd like.  The "getting there" part can be complicated, depending on the distance you travel and how much stuff you take with you (shading, tables, products, packaging; it can be a circus).  You need, pretty much, a full day to pack and prepare, and a full day to unpack and unwind when it's over, so a 3 day - or 2.75 day fair, like Jacob's Ladder - takes 5 days of your life.

For some time now, most of my income has been from internet sales, and that's where I see my future as an artist.  For the past 3 years, I've only participated in the annual Jacob's Ladder, and have delighted in it.  However, even I can't justify attending a fair that takes my husband from work, takes up 8 collective days of 2 lives, and gives a profit of less than $50 per day... even if it's just once a year.  Sadly, it would have been more intellegent to spend those days hyping up my blogs and internet stores.  Fortuately, my husband and I both recognize that there are sometimes more important things than money - we genuinely had a great time, got to spend time with friends, and will return there as guests rather than vendors.  While I'll miss being there as an artist, not selling at Jacob's Ladder will free me up to do what I've always wanted to do at the JL Folk Music Festival - rest my feet in the Sea of Galilee after square dancing with David.  See you next year - just not behind a table!


Yael said...

Cec, next we go there together - yap, that we will do!!! Agreed???
Love, Yael.

Janet at New Moon Glass said...

I have to agree...I don't have time to attend to my etsy shop and blog properly in my "spare" time, much less anything else. Perhaps one day I will retire from schlepping boxes (oh..Pleeease) and have the chance to explore all the avenues!
I envy you!!

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