Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Exhibition

The ministry I work with holds a big outdoor festival in the woods every Beltane (that's in May, for those who don't know). This year will be the third year running. I taught a workshop the first year, and reprised my workshop and worked on their staff for the second year. I didn't have time to be part of the staff this year, and it seems I don't have time to write a new workshop either. However, the addition this year is an artist's gallery, and I've been asked to participate.

What they mean by "artist's gallery" is like a craft fair and exhibition, only no selling will be taking place (because it's illegal to exchange money for goods or services on Federal park property). So, it will be a showcase of my work, while working and talking to people about my process and techniques. People will also have the opportunity to order and pay for items from me in advance to be delivered at the festival, and to place orders for future payment and delivery during the festival.

For some reason, I feel like this is more within the time I can spare than writing another workshop is this year. (And, I can write the workshop as I have time so it will be ready for next year.) That being said, I'm at a loss as to how to prepare for this! I think I'm going to offer a festival discount, and I know I'll be putting my shop in vacation mode for the duration and taking my inventory with me. It's easy to crochet on the go (I do it all the time) and easy enough to bring needle felting and mala-making things with me, but I don't want to ignore my spirit dolls either - which would be extremely appropriate for this venue. I'm not sure how to make that part of my craft portable.

In addition, since no selling is taking place on the site, should I bother to build up my inventory like one would do for a craft fair? I do know that I want to get more spirit dolls made, since I only have two examples on hand right now. What else? Am I missing anything?

Oh, I'll need some kind of way to take orders. I guess a log for specs and addresses, and I can print up some cards with my Paypal information, maybe? Or take down their information and send them an invoice, I could do that. Of course, I could send everyone to Etsy, and give them a code for the festival discount, but I do need a non-Etsy alternative as well. I could take checks because these are local people (and the festival would know how to contact them if something goes wrong). Frankly, I hate the idea of future orders, because how many people really ever follow through with those? Pre-orders, though, might happen and would be grand. But just showing off my items and spending a couple days talking about my creative process would be great too! I need to find some promotional items somewhere!

Does anyone have any other ideas for me?


  1. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Since no actually selling is allowed, I would bring my most expensive & impressive stuff along, ie. showstoppers, and make sure you have hand-outs with your info that people will want to keep, even frame. Good shiny printed postcards make great keepers for them, and cheap for you to produce
    Good luck.

  2. Oh, fabulous! I guess it's time to hit up Moo and see what they can do for me.