Friday, April 12, 2019

Looking Back on my First Craft Show

Wow! What an incredible—and exhausting—experience! Last weekend I showed my Shades of Autumn (leaf-covered lampshades) for the very first time at what's arguably the best craft show of them all, the American Craft Show.

I have new respect for my fellow artisans, not just for the near perfection of their craft, but also for the amount of organization and sheer work it takes to display it so elegantly. Many of them take on several of these shows a year.

 What I hope for is some good ol' word-of-mouth.

It takes a toll on an introvert like me having to be up and "out there" for a total of 27 hours over three-and-a-half days. But the rewards made it all well worthwhile: humbling praise from visitors; camaraderie with fellow exhibitors; practice with my "elevator pitch," and a few important lessons learned for future exhibitions.

Actual sales? Fewer than I'd hoped for, but exactly what I'd expected. Several visitors promised to send me their lamp dimensions for custom orders. And I'm told exhibitors are often contacted by folks who simply needed some time and inspiration before buying.

As for the future, I'd be honored to be asked back to the ACC show next year. And I'll consider other exhibitions—possible shows attracting vacation home and cabin owners. And I'll make sure my on-line presence gains some prominence.

Of course, as an introvert - both in person and virtually - what I really hope for is some good ol' word-of-mouth. And that's where you come in...

Thanks! (And if you'd like to learn more about my new occupation and see examples of my work check out my website: Shades of Autumn.)



jean said...

Good for you for getting out there with your beautiful work, Jeff! I am an introvert, too, so I totally understand how hard it is to be "on" for long periods of time. But you did it and it sounds like it was a great experience even though it was exhausting. Yea You!!!

Jeffrey Willius said...

Thanks, Jean. Yes, I guess I was able to be what I've heard called a "situational extrovert." I'm sure you have your moments too. Have you read the fascinating book, "Quiet" by Susan Cain about introverts?

jean said...

I have not read this book, Jeff, but will look on Amazon if you recommend it. I do need my "cave" time :) which includes a long walk as many days as I can.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Yes I do recommend it, Jean. It recognizes how highly valued extroversion is in our culture, but makes the case for introverts' gifts being valuable too. Many historical and current examples of "quiet" people accomplishing great things. Well researched; well written.

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