Monday, 11 November 2013

Art Fair Report

So, my first Art and Craft Fair appearance of the Pre-Christmas season, or indeed, ever, was on Saturday. It was at Padiham, which is a smallish town about 30 miles to the north of Manchester, which I had never been to before, and which seemed like a nice little town. The Market itself was in the concert hall of the town hall building, which was a lovely wood panelled, art deco style room, and apart from me I guess there was roughly 15 other stallholders, selling knitwear, ceramics, sewn goods, other photographers, some painters, jewellery makers and a woodworker. So, a good mix. And although there were other photographers, my work was very different from theirs, as it was largely landscape or nature photography, so we complimented each other without being competition.
After spending last week fretting a bit about how my stall would look, I was actually quite pleased with the final result, which you can see here:

The proud smallholder with her wares

So, once I was set up, all I could do was wait for the people to come in and see whether they would want to buy any of my stuff. The doors opened at 11am, and there was a pretty steady stream of people until they closed again at 4pm. Lots of people stopped to look and just for a chat, and then one lady bought a card. Yay! My first sale! There was a bit of a lull in trading for a while after that, but then things picked up again and I sold several more cards. I was "warming up" a bit now, and getting better at talking to the people that stopped at the stand, and explaining a little bit of what my work was about and what inspired me etc. People were really genuinely interested and receptive, and said lots of kind, encouraging things,which was really nice. And then I sold one of my more expensive, giclee prints, which I wasn't necessarily expecting to do, so that was a lovely surprise. Sales in cards and stickers were steady after that. Several people really liked Anna's lamps, but nobody "fell in love" enough to actually buy one. And then, right at the end of the day, I sold another print. I was kind of hoping to sell a few more prints, but overall I was really happy with how the day went.
 I spoke with several fellow stallholders and got some good contacts, advice and ideas out of that, and I gave out my "business card" (actually a postcard flyer from an old exhibition, which I happen to have loads of left over) to lots of people, so overall I'm really happy with how it went. It was the first ever event like this for Padiham too, so I think they must have been really pleased as well. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming, so I will definitely go there again when they do their next market.

 Ok, onto the next! That will be the MAKE Art and Design Fair in Wakefield, on Wednesday 27th and Friday and Saturday 29th and 30th of November. It looks like the emphasis will really be on the "Art" side, not so much on crafts, so I'm really hoping that I will be a big hit there. I have a few weeks to prepare for that, so I'll take the lessons I learned here, (mainly, sell work mounted but not necessarily framed, and have a rack to put the prints in, so I can fit lots more on my stand!) and hopefully have a lots of success there!
The Giclée print I sold

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