Friday, October 10, 2008

Can The Economy Get Any Scarier? The Affect on Handmade Sales and Shows Sea Glass Festival

In my last entry, I blogged about the affect the economy has on craft shows and sales overall. I mentioned a surprisingly slow September after a very good spring and a busier than expected summer. Chalking the lull in sales to busy back-to-school Moms, I considered September to be one of those months where summer is over (and I do rely on Sea Glass jewelry sales for much of my sales) and yet, Autumn hasn't quite yet arrived... so my Sea Glass is yesterday's news, while my Fall colors are not quite the in thing just yet.

And then the stock market went haywire. Banks were failing causing people to start panicking, while they watched their investments plummet. So what would this all mean to our Handmade world?

Looking back on last week's show, I had an increase in a show where, even in a good economy, I think I would've been happy. So considering what's transpired outside my Handmade world with the economy, I should be thrilled with last weekend's outcome.

But the biggest positive I took from the show is the amount of people walking around the show saying that they were looking to buy handmade items,...unique items this year as holiday gifts and they are looking to get their holiday shopping underway now!

Of course, when I hear talk like that, I take it as wishful thinking. You know, wouldn't it be great if.... But this week, one of the customers that purchased something from me at the show signed up at Etsy and made a purchase. A second visitor to my craft table emailed asking about custom orders and both inquired about my future show schedule.

One thing seems for sure, the customers are buying and it seems they will be buying early in the season. So I'll be adding several new items over the weekend and hitting the promo forums in hopes of making a few October holiday sales.

Maybe when the economy doesn't appear to be sound, people look to simplify and the unique handmade creations we make appease their needs. Maybe.

This weekend, in Lewes, Delaware, the North American Sea Glass Association will be holding their annual sea glass festival. Normally held on the west coast, the NASGA decided on the right coast this year and luckily for me, it's about an hour away. Since I'm an enthusiast first and a sea glass jewelry creator second, I'm thrilled to have the chance to attend.

My hubby and I had hoped to attend the entire weekend's events, but with that darn economy and our decision to try to save to take our sons to Disney this fall, the whole sea glass-hunting family will take the ferry from Cape May and attend Saturday's planned events.

Hopefully, I'll run into some of the west coast collectors that I've been buying some of my beautiful sea glass gems from. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll have a few frosty beauties in their exhibits for sale this weekend.

I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the incredible gems that are found on beaches all over the world and hoping I can find a little piece of orange to add to my personal collection.

And of course I'll be looking to pick up a few pretties to make some new jewelry creations with!

Good luck to everyone with a show this weekend and please let me know how it turned out!

'til next time...



MaryMarsh said...

Enjoyed your post... very lovely jewelry!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

The shows might be slow but we're doing great on Etsy...sales are up in the last 2 months despite the doomsday litany out there. Your earrings are simply lovely as well!