It seems crazy to be starting this while I’m hip deep in craft shows but it makes more sense to start this now, while I’m experiencing the issues with lack of planning. Waiting a few weeks or months for the panic and silliness I might have avoided to fade won’t help with the motivation in the new year!
2009 is going to be a change-up year for me. We’ll be moving. I’ll have space for my own studio-office but I’ll be in a more remote location, well away from my big city with everything a short hop away. To that end, I decided I will do just the one big show and stick to the mostly small shows for the rest. The big show will be a summer street festival, the Lilac Festival, at the end of May before I move.
Planning for the quantities for that show helps build up stock for the months leading up to it and following it, which is what I need. The Big Show acts as a goad for the regular day to day requirements that get lost so easily!
One approach, which I preach, is very similar to what Lori Greenberg writes about here. Determine what your sales goals are, based off the shows fee. Then make twice (her recommendation) or more as much in order to have enough to fill the booth and give customers a chance to choose. Extra stock can be used throughout your other venues. The issue here is to have enough to make your optimistic goal.
I worked out figures – I love numbers – and it seems that I’m on the right track as is. 5-600 beads a month will stock me up for the show (both in loose beads, finished jewelry and bead sets) as well as keep my bead shops stocked. That works out to about 150 beads a week which may sound like a lot but isn’t if you have the plan, supplies and tools for the volume on hand.
Just to give people an idea of how many beads that is – it’s one tumbler load or about 6-7oz of clay. For 150 of my average beads.
And I must be channeling the bead blogging group-mind because I noticed that Wednesday (I write posts a few days ahead) when I published this, that Heather Powers had written a post with similar ideas.