Dealing with a Slow Art Fair and Thoughts on What Sold


I had a fair this past weekend in our hometown. I’ve attended this fair before, and remember it being busy, so I was expecting lots of people. I had also taken note of what people were selling last year, and thought my stuff would fit in-basically, I took all the necessary steps one should take (if possible) before applying to an art fair. So I was hoping for good things.

And yesterday the opening hour rolled around and … nothing. No customers. Crickets. One or two started trickling in. Then the power went out. We had windows, so there was some light, but since it was a city-wide outage I’m guessing a lot of people stayed home. Once the lights came back on there was a surge of activity, and that’s when I did finally make a few sales (by that point I was getting worried), but I have a range of prices, and at least two sales were just post cards. That is not a complaint-a sale is a sale! (and from what I could tell there were a couple vendors who didn’t make any sales) but my overall take was lower than I had hoped.

I was of course chatting with my fellow vendors, and all of them were feeling the lack of customers as well. They pointed out that many of their sales were from established customers who knew they’d be there, and that building up a following takes time. They were unanimous in saying I shouldn’t take this fair too seriously, fairs are a crapshoot, and that I just need to find my tribe, my people. I got some recommendations for upcoming art fairs that they thought I’d have a good showing at. Basically they were lovely, I hope I see them again, and they’ve got a friend in me because I could’ve been depressed after this show, but I’m not after their words.

What sold this time was stationery. I sold note card sets, greeting cards, and postcards. I did sell some ornaments, lots of people liked them, and I’m kinda including them with my stationery, since they’re for writing in. My journals were exclaimed over, especially the upcycled antique ones; several people asked for my card,¬†so I’m hoping I’ve started to find my people. My art was admired, many people liked it, and I’ll take any words of encouragement-no sales, though.

So going forward, I’ll make sure I bring plenty of stationery. I ran out of some supplies, and did not have as many greeting cards as I could have had. I want to expand into making leather journals, and if I do that I can make mini leather ornaments, and having that line would elevate the overall feel of my boutique. I’ll continue to show my art-I can’t think of anything I could’ve done differently, I think most people who showed up were simply not looking to buy art. I’ll try different shows, in different towns. I think my presentation was professional, so I’m pleased with my merchandising skills.


And that’s that. I have new product to list in my etsy and amazon stores. I’ll be looking for another art fair this Christmas, though I think my expectations will be lower. I’ll be relaxing for a bit-I worked really hard in the weeks leading up to the fair and I’m kinda tired. But I’ll be keeping on, and that’s the point of all my rambling: don’t let a bad art fair get you down. Most likely it isn’t you, your product, or your price points-chat with fellow vendors, get their take on the situation, maybe it’s bad for everyone. Try different venues, different times of the year. Don’t give up.

Art on! my friends. Til next time:)

Musings: Where Am I Going?


My studio is a wreck.


So of course it’s a good time to ponder the upcoming year. Because this one is so slow.

(I did clean up a bit last night as I was going through inventory because I couldn’t find anything)

-I’ve had a good year, and I think it will be even better this 4th quarter. I’ve doubled what I made last year, and I’m hopeful I can continue to increase my sales. I’m beginning to notice trends: bookmarks and journals sell online. Cards do not, but printable planner pages do. Art-sometimes? I do sell digital prints but not the physical prints, although at fairs they do well. So I’m pondering shifts: keep the stationery (greeting cards/note cards/postcards) but remove most of them from the online store and bring them to fairs, where they do better. Expand journals and bookmarks, convert my “fun” art to strictly digital prints, bring the prints I have to fairs.

-And I want to get Illustrator, teach myself how to do more in the digital realm, since that does seem to sell. I’ve sold planner pages and received favorable reviews (yay!), I’ve sold quite a few coloring pages. I think I could make some fantastic things there.

-I want to start making leather journals. I’ll need some tools, and of course the leather, but I think it’s very doable. I’ve also thought about expanding into wax melts, because of my “library” theme I’ve got going: art for the walls, journals for the bookshelf, knit throws for ultimate comfort, and then I could please the nose as well. But we’ll see, I estimated startup costs being a couple hundred, and that’s probably low.

-I want to make more “fantasy” art and more art with words. I really like working with moon and sun motifs, I like pairing doodles with calligraphy. I want to maybe? offer printing services, since I have a good printer. I’m still looking into costs for that.

-And fairs. I’m having an absolute blast getting ready. I want to do more of them, although I’m holding back a bit to see how this one goes. I don’t want to do too much too soon and possibly waste money/time. But I really enjoy them, I want to make them a central sales venue. Travel the USA paying my way with art:)

So of course you wanted that unorganized peek inside my head (keeping it real: I AM that disorganized when it comes to my art, it’s like I have a toddler’s attention span). I constantly am thinking about new things to try, ways to improve … unless of course I’m having a downer of a day and NOTHING WILL WORK EVER WHY AM I EVEN TRYING. But longevity … I think that’s key. The ability to outlast the others, to improve, to seek new markets.

So Art On, my friends. Never let it go, you never know where it might lead you.

Happy Hump Day!

All I’ve Been Creating Lately are Journals HAAAAAALLLLP.


My next art fair is this upcoming weekend and I’m excited but also a bit nervous-am I ready? Am I bringing enough of the things that I think will sell? I want money (because I worked hard! Validate me haha). I want people to looooooovvveeee me. I want to make a good impression. All of those things.

And I think my little paper journals might be a hit. I plan on creating some during the day at my booth, so people don’t get self-conscious by the weird smiling person trying to look at something else because there’s really nothing to do in between customers. And people get interested by the process of creating SO. Here’s hoping. And here are a few more lovelies I’ve created:

You can find all of these journals at Look in the journal section and swoon;)

Til later, my friends.Maybe next time I won’t be buried in paper.

The Fabulous Shops and People I’ll Be Buying From This Holiday Season


(Let’s not mention how many effects I put into my featured image. I’m a newbie and I’m thoroughly enjoying using the drop shadow)

I love buying from small shops and local artists. I haven’t always been able to; there was one Christmas we barely scraped together enough to buy a few things from the Dollar Store. But now that we’ve got jobs and budgets and all of those lovely things I buy from the mom and pops, the small businesses, that local artist. And I’d like to share some of my favorite shops-I meant to expand beyond Etsy, but that’s where I tend to hang out, so they’re all on Etsy.

StargazerHomeDecor (Etsy)

There are many choices for wax melts on Etsy, but I love this shop. The smells! The glitter! The packaging! Always prompt to ship, and I frequently get a sample scent (that I then buy the next time-this is a monthly thing for me). She has other items as well-I just bought one of her Christmas coaster sets.

CervelleDoiseau (Etsy)

Jewelry is another saturated market on Etsy (although which market isn’t?). What drew me to this shop was the fantasy theme I saw throughout-the dreamcatchers and feathers are absolutely gorgeous. She also has different backing options, which is a thing I have to look for with our sensitive ears.

SensibleSoapWorks (Etsy)

The pumpkin spice soap: zomg. It really does smell like pumpkin spice, with an emphasis on the spice. I am absolutely in love with this soap and will be ordering more. She has other scents too;)

Tammyneedletrinkets (Etsy)

This is a newer shop, but I saw the cutest little spider trinkets on sale in her shop and bought them for my kids in celebration of Halloween. Absolutely adorable, fast shipping, reasonable prices.

PaintRainbowPrints (Etsy)

I own a print of the wolf painting, and I want to own more. Her artwork is simply gorgeous.

FriendlyBodyProduct (Etsy)

Eco-friendly body products. I bought a gift set for my mom, and she loved it!

Katie’s Custom Jewelry (Etsy)

Chainmail jewelry with Celtic overtones: I was/am so in love with her products! This is where I’ll be directing Kerry this Christmas (he likes buying me jewelry). I bought one of her candle holders for my SIL and she loved it.

MorgansGoatSoap (Etsy)

It might be apparent by now that I like scented soaps:) Her coffee soap is just delicious-remember that you’re not supposed to eat it!

RooCatCurios (Etsy)

We are friends in virtual real life, and I always joke that she should post everything on Facebook because it all sells within seconds. She does polymer clay, art, really whatever occurs to her. I’ve bought several pieces, and will be buying more!

TeeHeeJewelryDesign (Etsy)

My first experience with this shop was when we were moving from Amarillo to Los Alamos. I entered the wrong address, and in a panic messaged the owner. I will never forget her reply: “It’s ok, I’ll take care of it”. Simple phrase, but I was so impressed with the customer service. Her jewelry appeals to me on all fronts: beads, steampunk, fantasy … I need more fun money!

So there you are: the Etsy shops I’ve bought from and love. I encourage you, if you are able, to buy local and buy small. Us small business folks appreciate it, and appreciate you.

Art On, my friends!