The Grass Feels Greener with Cookie Cutter Art

6 03 2012

Dear Florida,

You are not greatly endearing yourself to me. (If you’re not a regular reader of my blog, I’m not gonna use up the ink space to fill you in. Go back a few articles and start there, and all will be explained.)

Oh, there are good points (mostly in the form of people) down here, and in fact, my existence down here has been very much helped by various folks. A thank you and shout-out goes to Ms. R for the booth help, Ms. F for the sewing tips, Ms. E for dog-watching, Bailey’s and other stuff that would take too long to mention, Mr. N for a fantastic and much needed night out and key lime pie, Mr. D for actually opening the door when I showed up unexpectedly, Mr. P for the weekend doses of cookie therapy, Mr. C and Ms. D for the wi-fi access, and various family members who are calling more than usual to make sure I stay grounded.

Any time I add a new show it’s always a crapshoot, because I’ll have never done this show before, so I don’t have records of what sells the best for me yet, and since I’m new, I can’t depend on my regular customers (because I haven’t made people there into regular customers yet,) and so on and so forth.

You can’t ever gauge how you’re going to do at a show (regardless of whether a show is new to you or not), as election cycles, weather, whomever’s winning the SuperBowl-WorldSeries-sporting thing in the city/state/whatever nearest your show, etc. etc, – all change annually, and can positively or adversely affect gate counts. (Gate counts are a fancy way of saying “attendance”.)

But I didn’t expect to find myself down here on what is apparently the worst year that people can remember for this Faire on record. It happens. Florida’s economy is suffering right now, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. We’re in a presidential election year, and that in of itself is usually good for a 12-20% drop in sales.

The biggest thing though (and please, if you see a dent in my forehead the next time you see me, don’t comment. It’s from banging my head against the front post of my shop…) is that I should have saved myself the bloody trouble of making beautiful one-of-a-kind things and just made cookie cutter art. Seventy lanterns all in the same shape and 4 choices of color. Or maybe I should have gone the route of Henry Ford when he announced that, “You can have the model T in any color you want so long as you choose black.”

‘Cause I swear, if I have to say, “This piece is unique. Therefore, I have one of them. In blue.” Or worse, when the customer takes a look at what I have, I explain the definition of unique, they say they have to think about it, I sell it while they’re off thinking, and they come back to buy it and get pissed off at me.

Jeez, lady, go vent your spleen on someone else. Florida’s been kicking my ass enough already.

Besides, I’ve got cookie cutter art to make.

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