Where does your average artist sell their work, other than placing it in a wonderful place like the Co-op called Artistic Portland? Many of us do craft shows, from small street fairs to large multi-day juried events. You've come to some of them, I'm sure! Here's what it looks like from the artist's side of the tent, in reality show format (thanks to Bill Fantini at House of 6 Cats for the concept).
Today on Buy Our Stuff, watch as our contestants compete in a show where at least 75% of the products are in direct competition! But first they'll have to actually make it to the right event, on time, with all of tables, tents, draping, signage and merchandise they'll need - with only one email from the organizer and their own Google skills!
Once there, they'll compete head-on with people vending similar items made in China, and have to justify the price of their own handmade goods to shoppers. Can they do it? In the related math challenge, see if our artists are actually charging enough for their product after expenses, shows and overhead. You'll be SHOCKED at our results.
We'll also answer the questions everyone wants to know: how quickly can our contestants chew and swallow a cheese stick before someone asks a question? Who makes a cup of coffee that tastes just as good lukewarm or cold as when it was hot? And just how long *can* a solo vendor hold it before leaving their booth alone to make a lightning run to the portapotties (extra points for vendors who do this in Renaissance Faire Garb).
In the weather category, we'll recreate the 100+ degree dustbowl on rocky ground event, where the challenge is not breaking an ankle getting set up; the 40 degrees and all-day rain event, where the challenge is keeping your merchandise dry; and every vendor's favorite, the windy event. Extra points to vendors with tent-weights over 50 lbs per leg, points definitely docked if a tent blows away.
The best thing about this reality show? We're *all* winners, every single artist who does this because they love the work, and more importantly, the people that we meet at these shows. Fans who follow us from event to event, who come looking specifically for us saying "I am so glad you're here, I can't wait to see what work you have that's new!" Doing the craft show circuit isn't always easy, but it's always, always fun!
-Deb Counts-Tabor of Sage and Sea Farms