Today is perfect. Truly perfect warm breezy weather, which makes up a little bit for what April did to us Ithacans. And I just came off four nights in a row of waiting tables, which was fine and profitable, but exhausting. Looking forward to some time with paint today, also time in the garden and running.
Speaking of painting shoes, I've been thinking about marketing a lot recently. Bear with me while I think aloud. I've been taking my shoes to the Farmers' Market for the last few months, and it has been very, very interesting. I am getting loads of GREAT comments and enthusiasm, seeing some real joy (and avarice) in people's eyes when they see the shoes. Lots of inquiries about bespoke work. A few people are even trying them on, and I actually sold two pairs (to out-of-towners). On the other hand, I'm learning that the weekly market is not necessarily my audience. I am also often getting remarks about my high prices, and I don't like seeing the enthusiasm turn to embarrassment and shock when they see the price tags. I'm also not sure if the splashy shoe display isn't detracting from my cards and art, which frankly is my bread-and-butter. Even though I eat neither bread nor butter...hmm, I guess I should say they are my rice-and-greens.
So here are a few thoughts:
First, I'm going to try taking the shoes on Sundays only, to see if having a full booth of cards and art helps my Saturday sales. I will still leave out a sample pair, and have everything in my car in case someone wants to check them out. Sundays are generally quieter days there, and I maybe having two different-looking displays will be good for the different days.
Second, my prices reflect the work and originality that I put into each pair, as well as the cost of buying the shoes and the supplies. They also are in keeping with similar work by other artists around the country. I won't lower them, but might occasionally run a $25 off sale for market customers.
Third, I will be working towards taking my shoes to their audience. As I've mentioned, I plan to apply for some shows in cities in the spring.
Meanwhile, here's a pretty photo from my trip to Oregon, the river at Green Waters Park in Oakridge on a sunny day.