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Forum topic by cathyb posted 09-03-2011 05:44 AM 1345 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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768 posts in 3240 days

09-03-2011 05:44 AM

I promised a feedback from the show that I participated in last month. It was just awful! Yes, there were nearly thirty thousand people there, but did they forget their wallets? In hindsight, nothing kills sales faster than a plunging stock market. Even my high end customers, who stopped by to tell me how much they love the pieces they have purchased from me, weren’t buying anything new. I sold all my boxes, a lamp, a pair of side tables and nothing else. The fair lasts three long days.
After the fair, I left for the East Coast and met this storm named Irene. Geez…gimme a break!

I’m home again and starting to rebound from my post fair doldrums. Maybe I’m just an old mule, who keeps climbing the same old path, but one thing is for sure: I’m not going to stop making furniture. I might have to do more marketing and I might have to make smaller pieces for awhile, but this is what I do. Instead of living in the past, I’m telling you now, I WILL go with flow and GEL. No big pieces for awhile, shucks!!!!!!!!!!

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

17 replies so far

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3718 days

#1 posted 09-03-2011 06:06 AM

I’m sorry to hear about your fair duldrums, but don’t give up creating what you love to do! Downscaling the size may be a good option, but keep your creatiity alive by doing pieces that make you learn and smile. How about doing section pieces that can be purchased alone or together and they can each have a separate personality of their own, a slight alteration so you don’t get bored?

I wish I had your furniture background, as I have some unique ideas that I’d like to fabricate. But then again, some of my ideas are pretty “out of the box” because I don’t have the traditional wood workers background. This can be technically challenging, but I am concerned with stability issues.

We survived Irene without much mishap. Didn’t even get to feel the earth move the previous week. I feel like I missed the party!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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5688 posts in 3304 days

#2 posted 09-03-2011 06:25 AM

It is a shame to hear your show was awful. I have 2 shows coming up in the next couple of months and frankly I don’t know what to expect. One of the shows is in mid October and they are still accepting applicants…which obviously translates to not a great deal of positive attitude by the artists.

I believe the best attitude is to always be positive and ignore the negatives..because the negatives never get us anywhere but down.
It will get better and in the meantime we survive and enjoy the fact that we are able to do what we love.

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18267 posts in 3671 days

#3 posted 09-03-2011 07:37 AM

Sorry to hear the bad news;-(( That is what it is like everywhere these days. Not mush bidding in the commercial world. Just hope to collect on contracts completed.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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7980 posts in 2793 days

#4 posted 09-03-2011 04:33 PM

Sorry to hear this Cathy, but what doesn’t kill us…..........

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

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10880 posts in 3111 days

#5 posted 09-03-2011 06:35 PM

back in the sadle again Cathyb :-)
and remember one of the importen part of a show is making contact´s … advetising to future client´s :-)
yes its always great to sell enoff to make the expences for the show

take care

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768 posts in 3240 days

#6 posted 09-03-2011 07:44 PM

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and condolences and yes it is a new dawn. There’s one rule that keeps circling in my life: a negative is always a positive. It’s just how you look at things that really counts. I certainly was getting a little too comfortable making anything that came to mind and selling it off in no time at all. So yesterday, I went online, got my Paypal account, posted some of my work on a couple of websites, contacted a few galleries here and have had a good response. Now I’m itching to make something that will knock people’s socks off. Yep, I’m back!

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View WIwoodworker's profile


65 posts in 3693 days

#7 posted 09-06-2011 04:22 PM

“I sold all my boxes…” I’m a big believer in doing more of what works.

-- Allen, Milwaukee, WI

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417 posts in 2940 days

#8 posted 09-06-2011 07:56 PM

I thoroughly believe in making what the customers are buying. I introduce several new items every year to see what people think about them. Sell some of it and some it gets redesigned and others disappear. Meanwhile, I keep making and selling my standard items.

I have found with my more expensive pieces that customers are taking longer to make the decision to purchase. This is why I make sure that they have a way to get in touch through phone and website. And that I can ship the items to them later.

As far as sales go, some of my shows have been down and some have been up, but overall, my sales are ahead of last year at this time.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

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768 posts in 3240 days

#9 posted 09-06-2011 09:07 PM

Hmm, that’s interesting because my sales were great last year. Even though my boxes sold at this fair, I only had boxes because I wanted to use up my smaller off cuts. Many woodworkers here have resorted to making boxes (some of them are gorgeous) instead of furniture. I’ve never conformed to the crowd and I have to stay true to myself.
I remember when I was making rocking horses and carousel art. A friend once said to me, “I like your rocking horse, but you’re crazy if you think you can sell a rocking horse for $2,000.” He was wrong. No only did I sell A rocking horse; I sold about a dozen rocking horses for $2,000 and up to $3,500.
I don’t always hit a home run, far from that, but I believe in myself. In what time I have left in this world, I am determined to make my mark. Clearly, this is spoken by the eternal optimist!

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3337 days

#10 posted 09-06-2011 09:10 PM

well you are back

that is good

after many years
and various shows
and exibits

i have NEVER sold one single thing in one

so now i look around my house
and decide what I need

when the shows are over
i have new furniture
that i like
and don’t have to worry about
transporting it
or storing it

the best to you cathy

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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768 posts in 3240 days

#11 posted 09-06-2011 09:48 PM

That’s true Patron. My house has become a gallery. I have furniture now that I could have never afforded. Sometimes I look around and think, “Wow, that’s really nice. I made that! Way to go, kid.”
That’s why I always make things that I want. After the commission that I start this week, I need a new headboard and dresser for the guest room.

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

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18267 posts in 3671 days

#12 posted 09-06-2011 10:12 PM

There was a time I would have bought one of your horses. I love those things. Now, I have more time to make one, but the g-kids that would have played on it have grown up. My wife would probably have killed me ;-)) I volunteered to help a group restoring an antique merry-go-round. I don’t think they like my comments about their wiring and what the state dept of L&I would require before they could let people ride it. I never heard from them again. I don’t know if they gave up or what? I do know they will never get it in service wiring it the way they were!! ;-(( They had some beautiful horses on it ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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768 posts in 3240 days

#13 posted 09-06-2011 10:19 PM

Oh my goodness, I have to get my heart to slow down. I do love carousel art and it is a crime that I live over here and never had the chance to do any carousel restoration or even visit the remaining carousels. I especially liked the menagerie figures. I’ll add a photo of my giraffe. Her name is Gracie…...

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

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18267 posts in 3671 days

#14 posted 09-06-2011 11:35 PM

Where at, in your projects?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Wood_smith's profile


260 posts in 3021 days

#15 posted 09-11-2011 05:41 AM

I’ve always thought that boxes sell for many reasons. One of them, and maybe the most important to some, is the intimacy small objects bring to our lives. People may go to the shows now, with the economy hurting, ,daydreaming a bit when they look at a beautiful table, dresser, or what have you. They know that can’t happen now, but they can buy a charming little box, maybe keep it on the dresser with a few keepsakes to look at from time to time.
We all need small things like that in our lives…perhaps you should push in that direction a little more now, until the economy turns around.
Good luck…

-- Lloyd Kerry; creator of the Kerry-All Pouch,

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