August 13, 2007

The learning curve

One thing I've learned at the Farmer's Market is that the audience is completely different from the buyers on Etsy and my website. I've mentioned before that I haven't sold any monkeys, the one thing I expected to sell there. After my 4th market, I've still sold zero monkeys, unless you count friends. Also, I've been selling bibs, which don't do well on Etsy. I assume that's based on availability though. There are millions of bibs on Etsy and I'm not giving mine away like a lot of people are. So be it. I'm finding the differences to be a good thing. I like that fact that I'm selling different things in different venues. It's great.
My first, second and third actual quilt sales have been at the market. I always knew quilts would be something people would want to buy in person. I find it very difficult to photograph quilts well too. I discovered recently that clipping them to the kitchen window in the morning works well. It's the best way to capture the quilt straight on and in good light. This one's my latest. I had a customer who wanted one for a boy, but couldn't decide on the ones I had made up. I sent her to my site to check out these fabrics and she loved them. I've had this quilt ready to go for a long time. I'm glad someone finally wanted it. I think it turned out really nice, and very soft.
Glad to know that it's worth my time to have bought all that fabric to make quilts & bibs. And just a little update on the credit card situation. So far, I'd have to say it's a good thing I signed up to take them. Since I put up the sign, all but two sales have been credit cards. The account has already paid for itself. Cool.
I'll be trying a new market location on Wednesday, Fairfax. This one is another new audience. Lots of mommies. It's in a park under a lot of really tall trees. One of my good friends is coming to town to join me, should be a great time even if I don't sell anything. Life is good.

11 comments:

Polka Dot Creations said...

I've noticed, too, that what is popular in person is not necessarily what sells online. I'm always surprised by what customers are drawn to when I do a craft show - it's not always my favorite items that go. Sounds like you're having a good time!

karabu said...

I haven't done markets yet - maybe one day. . .
This is so interesting!

Jenn Maruska said...

Great idea for getting photos of your quilts : )

Christina said...

I think you are looking at the whole experience in a good way. I still find it hard to believe people aren't buying the monkeys. I think it's good you signed up to take credit cards.

African Kelli said...

My mom is a quilter and I agree -- I think quilts are like fine art. They are best appreciated in person!
That one is a beauty. Good luck with the new market.

LeeAnn said...

I really like reading about your experience at the Farmers Market. Someday I would like to attend one. Maybe the next time the crafters in Baltimore host one, I'll give that a try. Looks like I won't be making a fall/Xmas show because of my new work schedule.

jessi said...

What great info - and interesting too! I'll have to try a market or craft fair sometime and see how it is different from Etsy.

June said...

I've been enjoying your thoughtful postings about your creative work and the way in which you share and market your creations. It's very helpful and I'm learning so very much. Thank you!

Nutsy Coco said...

I'm so happy to hear that the farmer's markets are going well! That's nice that you get variety in what people are interested in buying at your different sites and it sounds like you're getting to know your markets well.

Angela said...

I agree that some thinsg are just better in person and quilts definitely. You can;t see appreciate all the detail and work even in the best photograph. I love this one you have here.

Felicia said...

I've got to agree with you a hundred percent about the different audiences. I've been doing my weekly farmer's market since April and I've notice the same thing. My creatures rarely sell at the market but other accessory items I make do.