Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Holiday Markets are a long standing tradition in the United States. I don't know but they probably predate the general arts and crafts fairs. Here in the mountain west there is an interesting melding going on between arts fairs and Holiday Markets. The producers of the summer arts and crafts shows have all added a holiday version, but a lot of the local communities still put on the little fair in their community and artists are inclined to participate in the small local shows as opposed to travel in questionable weather.
I do big fairs and local little ones. I do both basically for advertising first and sales second. This year sales at the local fairs topped those of the big ones I had to travel to. For the holidays there is nothing that quite beats little local fairs. One, I know all the vendors. It becomes rather like a party from setup time to take down. This is accentuated by the fact I probably have not seen these people for at least a month or two. We are either out and about at the big fairs or holing up in our studios or grabbing a chance to vacation before the winter tourist season hits or doing all those fall things that have to be done before winter hits in earnest.
Two is you don't have to do this whole set up thing in a big rush. Today is early setup for the locals. Fair opens on Friday. So I personally am taking just my "booth furniture." I will bring my paintings on Friday morning. It will be fun then too before the fair opens. Friday setup is when you get to party with the friends you have not seen since last Holiday Market. It, incidentally, was a grim one because the community center director decided to move it to another weekend when nobody was in town and a lot of artists had other fairs them were committed to. It is back on Thanksgiving weekend for which we are all thankful.
Three, this fair is generally where I do my holiday shopping. This year, probably more because of the economic situation, I will likely be looking for trades with other artists. But even without trades we almost always offer each other discounts.
Four, no travel expenses. I have five miles to go. The shoppers travel to us. And if I had doubts about the economy one look at the parking lot of the local market let me know that at least all the vacation home owners are back in town. So glad gas prices lowered. It will give everyone just a bit more to spend. I have upped my inventory of small paintings for this show - Christmas giving size.