by Patty Lakinsmith
The year is soon coming to a close - can you believe it? I had my final show of the season last weekend and had a great time. Winery setting, lots of festive decorations and souls, and many friends and customers dropping by. It was my best show there in 4 years, and it really felt great. I got into this business as the economy was heading South, so it seems like each show has been a little worse than the last, but maybe this is the turnaround.
Whether it is or isn't a reversal, I always like getting out there with my work, talking about inspiration, and spreading the good word that beads can be made instead of imported. I do so appreciate my time alone at home, to imagine, and create in solitude, but there is a side of me that needs to get out from time to time and connect with others who appreciate art. Kind words and genuine curiosity about what I do with hot glass go a long way with me, and are nourishing in their own way.
It was fun to be part of several super top secret gift wrangling operations for the companions of some of the shoppers in my booth. The objects of longing glances were noticed, winks were exchanged, and notes were passed concerning certain surprise gifts that would be appreciated more than surprising. I love that.
Here's as much of my 4' x 12' booth as I could get in a reasonable photo:
My space constraints didn't allow me to get behind the table (which poses some challenges for customer engagement), so it's up against the wall and vertical. My earrings and check out stand are to the right, out of the picture. If you follow my blog you know that I'm on a constant quest for the perfect booth setup, and each show has different demands. Much as I love what others do with the artfully cluttered merchandising approach (maybe you know what I mean), I'm determined to scale back on the props for both visual and logistical reasons. I also don't feel terribly confident staging such displays, and worry that they might look silly. I'm also trying to find displays that show the work well, but are also fast to set up and tear down. So, here's where I'm at for now with this show. And yes, it all fit in my Prius. (happy face)
From here on out I'm going to be focusing on getting ready for the holidays, preparing for a little pre-Christmas fun in the snow, and making some lists of some things I want to accomplish next year. I'm thinking that some serious prioritization, and possibly some radical changes to my normal routine might be in the works.
How about you? How is your year winding down, and what are you dreaming up for next year?