Coffee is a French roast with an extra shot of espresso in a Java go-cup, the sound of wind chimes from the booth kitty-corner to me and artists kibutzing on the couches across from me for music. It's the penultimate day of the Buyer's Market of American Craft, and I am feeling my age. This is a MUCH easier show than any retail show I do, and I'm still exhausted. Time to stop drinking anything with alcohol or caffeine in it, to lose weight, and to take up walking, yoga and meditation. Artificial stimulants and depressants can only carry you so far. Then in a couple of years I can write a book about how those lifestyle changes affected my life and my art and I can go on the talk show and book tour circuit... Clearly I'm delirious. I want to go home.
And it's a good show! Or good enough so far (talking about sales here). After I posted yesterday I took seven more orders. The orders are unusual in that they're almost all for the new wall sculpture and tabletop pieces in stands--it seems almost an afterthought for the buyers to throw in a few small rectangular plates or a shallow dish or two. And the buyers are almost all new--I'm not seeing very many of my regulars. I was talking to another artist in mixed media this morning and she said she hadn't seen many of her regulars either. She hasn't moved from her usual spot and she is attributing not seeing her regulars to them not being there.
The best news on the orders I've taken is that no one is in a rush to get anything so I can have a bit of a breather when I get home. The only I-want-it-now order I got was from a Personal Shopper (someone who has a business and uses it to gain entrance to this wholesale show to buy for herself at wholesale prices pretending to buy for a business). I am not thrilled with PS's, but if they are polite, wait until I am finished with whatever real buyer I'm talking to, immediately step aside if a real buyer comes into the booth, and cop to being a PS right up front, I'll deal with them. This woman was/did none of the above--she actually interrupted a conversation with a real buyer and it didn't become clear till the end of the order-writing process that she was a PS. I just didn't have the energy to confront her about it so the order stands--though I have plenty of personal outrage now, after the fact. Whatever.
Good thing I get a firing break when I get back as I have to finish my article for Profitable Glass and get the website live this week. I have been sporadically working on the site over the past few days and I am *almost* ready to go live. I have Christian now on Skype...
...And I lost Christian so I'm going to finish up this post and get it up. Then I'll enter my orders into the firing schedule and my show data into Excel, update the to-do list for the website, and start uploading images. Maybe I'll have lunch--and maybe I'll write some more orders (that would be nice--only one today so far).