So far, shows for this year have been much better than last year. The crowds are large and everyone has been in a buying mood. This translates into more sales, and even more work to constantly replenish inventory. My big sellers last year were lower cost items in the $5 – $35 range. This year everyone is back to buying my higher priced items.
This weekend’s show in Atlanta’s Chastain Park continued the buying streak. It seems that walnut is “in” this year. Anything with walnut or walnut and cherry combinations are hot sellers. I took four large walnut end grain boards to a show last month and sold them all in one day. I took 9 with me this weekend and sold them all. The lazy susans have been moving very well. I used the batch of Big Leaf maple that I acquired a few months ago to make these with various contrasting woods and the customers love them. Six of them went to new homes this weekend.
My dipping boards have been a big hit at the last two shows. I sold out last month, and had I not made a double batch a few weeks ago, I would have sold out this weekend. I did sell out of the walnut, jatoba, and quilted maple combination. The biggest surprise is the bookmarks. I was selling 50 to 75 per show last year with one fall show selling 150. This year, I’m selling maybe 10 per show. This also tracks with the less expensive face grain boards. They sell in the range of $15 to $35, but I sold very few this weekend.
Last year, 90% of my customers were paying with cash. This year it has reversed to 90% credit/debit cards. I think this is the reason I’m seeing larger and multiple purchases at the shows. Craft shows are driven by impulse buying and the customer’s return to plastic this year is feeding the frenzy. This is good for me.
I have been doing higher-end shows this year. Most of these are in areas with a lot of disposable income. I’m doing a large show in Tennessee in a couple of weeks that is cut from a different mold. It’s in its 48th year and has a very high attendance, but tends to lean toward the country craft side. It will be interesting to see if the less expensive boards and bookmarks become the selling leaders at this show.
Shots from this weekend
-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com