Studio Saturday with Lori Anderson

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

***** This week’s winner is Starry Road Studio!  You won a Colored Wrapped Key Pendant!  Just email Miss Fickle Media by clicking here and she’ll get that right out to you!  ************************

This week we visit the studio of Lori Anderson.  I’m preparing for my biggest show of the year, the Craftsman’s Classic in Northern VA, so if you’re in the area, come by and say hi!  I’ll be the booth with the hot pink curtains.

This year, as with all years, I feel rushed and more than a little behind.  I always debut my holiday jewelry at this show, and while you may think October is a little early, when I went to Target yesterday to pick up Halloween candy, they were busy setting up the Christmas trees.  I’ve also learned from experience that people are LOOKING for that sort of thing at this show and I’m ready for them.  Bring it on.
In the past few weeks, I’ve moved my beading table (read, kitchen table) to the library of the house. I set up one of my 6′ show tables and now I have this wonderful natural light that has helped my eyesight tremendously.  I have to get up and down and up and down and up and stub my toe and down again to get to the beading cabinet, but I’ve found it keeps me more focused.  Fewer extraneous beads make their way to my table — although it doesn’t look like it in this picture.
The wooden tray is all my staples, things I use all the time.  The plastic tray is all my holiday jewelry stuff.  The stuff on the floor is just stuff on the floor.  
Stop it.  I’ll bet you have that, too.
I also have taken over the living room couch in the evenings as I set up my business card station.  SOME of my business cards have spacer beads attached to them, and I bought this cool ribbon punch to make the work easier.  Cut the ribbon, string on the beads, tie a knot, pretty pretty.  I’m not totally insane — I only make a certain number of these, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.  But they’re fun.   To look at.  Not to make.
(Yes, my thank you notes are stored in a lunch box.  I like cute.)
Then there are the official Bead Chasers.  When Zack is at school, I resort to these two.  They aren’t very reliable in the picking-up department, but they do at least let me know which direction that expensive Bali bead skittered off to.
Next comes the Sticking of the Stickers.  I usually discover I don’t have enough stickered boxes two days before the show, resulting in mayhem and general waving of hands and gnashing of teeth.  All of my boxes have inside a business card (non-beaded), an organza bag, and the sticker on the top.  Pink top, purple bottom, and I use Papermart.com to buy almost all my supplies.
And then there is my new sign, which proved QUITE the theft deterant at my last show.  Who could resist the serious little face of my sweet nugget?
The three days before the show are sheer pandemonium and utter chaos in the house.  The office is a mess of boxes.  The van is half-packed.  I do have a list my husband and I check off (he sets things up, I decorate, I un-decorate, and he tears things down, while Zack asks, “Are we DONE yet?”).  I always forget something.  (Thank goodness my hotel is near a Target.  Once I forgot socks.  Once, pajamas.  One memorable time, cash.)  
Don’t get me wrong.  I love to do shows.  My customers have become friends.  Many of them read my blog and stop by to visit, ask about Zack, give me book suggestions, share bits of their life.  I don’t care if they stop by merely to play dress up and then go on their way without buying a thing.  I still feel the connection.  If a customer has become that close to me they make a point of stopping by to say hello, that’s a customer for life.  They just didn’t need something right that minute.
So that’s the tidbit of information I’d like to leave with you.   Yes, you’re exhausted, have worked your fingers to the bone, are likely eating bad restaurant food and sleeping in an uncomfortable hotel.  It may be a show where you have more looky-loos than buyers.

 If you treat your attendees with respect, smile all the time, engage them — give them a reason to remember you beyond your beautiful jewelry — they’ll take your card and keep it.  Get their address and email if you politely can (and tell them why).  Market judiciously but respectfully.  It takes time.  But you can build a customer base that will do your marketing FOR you.  Word of mouth is HUGE.  

Take your talent on the road — but don’t forget your smile, your natural charm, and your passion for your work.
Have fun out there.

 Want to win a lampwork focal, picked out by me?
Answer this question in the comments below:
What is the funniest/craziest thing you’ve heard in a craft booth?
(yours, a friend’s, or one you’ve shopped in)

Lori Anderson writes the blog Pretty Things and creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

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59 Comment

  1. Cabby Crafter
    October 1, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I once overheard a fellow customer say: "How much are these giveaways?"

  2. Jane Perala
    October 1, 2011 at 5:26 am

    The craziest thing I have heard? Here are two questions I was asked by a couple of my customers.
    1. I make beaded bookmarks, and one lady asked "how do these work?"
    2. I also make polymer clay buttons and one lady asked "what are the buttons for?"
    Now I suspect that they just didn't really think before they spoke, and probably didn't mean it how it sounded – I hope!
    I love my customers, they keep me happy.

  3. Shel
    October 1, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Great post – You're raw, humorous and talented! I love it!

    The funniest thing I ever heard in a craft booth was this:

    Customer: "I'm just breezin' though your booth 'cause I'm on my way to pee."

    Me: "Okay"

    Customer: (15 minutes later as she's purchasing a couple of items) "How long's this gonna take to wrap these things up 'cause now I REALLY gotta pee?"

    Me: "I'll be quick! Thanks for the Drive-By-Pee-Purchase, I appreciate it!"

  4. Lesley
    October 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Can I come back to you on that question…I have my very first shown next month and as I'm already a tad nervous I'm sure i'll forget something critical – probably the jewellery!
    Your bead chasers are gorgeous btw.

  5. Shirley
    October 1, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Lori, you know I was laughing at your desk and piles, cause I can definitely relate!!! Oh, I would so love to live closer, to come to the show! Can I pray that you sell out of stock??? 🙂
    As far as crazy comments, I just read one on a blog today. The two shoppers carefully looked over all her jewelry, picked up one piece, and the first shopper said to the other, "Now this looks professional". I think that's really crazy, and personally, I don't want something that "looks professional" That sounds like it came from Belks! As I have come to know all the wonderful artists here in blogger world, I definitely want "artisan"!!!
    Have a great show!

  6. Alice
    October 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks for showing us your studio! I'm hoping to move from the dining room to my son's room since he is away at college. His room has a wall of bookshelves and great natural light.

    I've seen a lot of crazy things at my booth: two women kissing, young men with fur tails sticking out of their pants, one woman trying to hide one of my bracelets behind her back, drunk people being escorted out and more. The craziest thing I've heard at my booth was two women speaking in Russian. But even crazier was the two men dressed to the nines in drag, complete with lovely heels. I almost asked where they got their shoes cause they were sweet!

  7. Julie Tomes
    October 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Hmmm…this struck me as funny/odd more than anything when you hear it in context: My mom and I were a Dog Show and there was a craft portion we were wandering around in. There was a jewelry display with beautiful sterling silver cuff bracelets, charms, necklaces – very minimalist dog related themes. Expensive, but so is silver nowadays. Then there were some dog collars that were turned into bracelets(nothing was really "done" to them – they were a toy size) and a cute sterling silver charm was attached. People were trying them on (their wrists)so my mom and I wanted to see what the big deal was. They were $200-$300 each! We kept looking at them trying to see if there was some secret thing that made them so much money, and I think my mom asked the lady running the booth of the bracelets "did" anything special…kind of rude maybe, but we were in shock over the price. The owner answered "no, but dog collars are so IN right now".
    Now maybe it was the lack of food, the crowds or the smell of dog that was all through the venue but I just cracked up. Of course dog collars are IN. We were at a DOG SHOW.
    Hmmm, maybe not that funny. More of a you-had-to-be-there kind of thing!

  8. indigo heart
    October 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    In my sisters and my booth one lady said, "this one right here? This one looks professional. " emphasis on professional.

  9. mary me
    October 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Lori-I thoroughly enjoyed reading all about your show preparation! Chaotic and Exciting times! You've got it together girlie!!

  10. Kell
    October 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing about your studio and your shows! I always look forward to reading your posts!

    Unfortunately, I don't really have any funny stories from craft shows since I don't sell my jewelry and I've only been to a couple of fairs as a buyer. I think the funniest things I've heard have been comments overheard from other customers who are on cell phones. People really don't filter what they say when they are on cell phones (and they tend to talk really loudly about those personal issues).

  11. Kathleen Lange Klik
    October 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Last weekend I had a booth at an arts festival. I wandered a few booths down to check out some pottery. As I approached, a lady walked in, picked up a large bowl and stormed out as she mumbled something. I looked at her as she left, then the owner of the booth trying to figure out what happened. I asked the owner if that was her bowl. She replied "yep". I hesitantly asked "did she pay for it"? She replied "Yeah, she threw some money down on the table". I looked at her with an unsure expression. She then explained that the lady wanted to buy two large bowls but didn't have enough cash. The booth owner only accepted cash. The customer wanted to take the bowls that day and mail her a check later in the week. The booth owner replied that she really couldn't do that. They argued a bit and the customer left. A while later she came back in as I was approaching, threw enough money on the table for one bowl, grabbed it and stormed out angrily. Very bizarre! I am happy to say every person that visited my booth was very friendly and a pleasure to do business with!
    Great post too! Thank you for sharing your craft show experiences. They were a huge help to me as I prepared for last weeks show. You rock Lori! Also love the bead catchers-too funny!

  12. Kristi
    October 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I make beaded bookmark with ribbon (which I coil so you can see the color, and the beads on the ends easier), I was asked if I can make a bookmark longer because the one she was holding was only a couple inches. I unrolled it for her to show her how long it was.

  13. Off the Beadin' Path
    October 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I really enjoyed your description of preparing for shows, sounded all too familiar. As many times as've packed up, set up the tent, hung the displays, it's still a challenge. The craziest thing I ever heard was "Do you have anything for free?" I guess the markdowns weren't cheap enough! Your booth looks like a show palace, make a killing!

  14. coffeeaddict
    October 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I love your bead chasers: cute but useless ;-P I've got just one and on a good day he'll shot at slow glance in the direction the bead rolled to. And expect gratitude.
    No booth stories, but I have one from Venice street vendor selling murano glass figurines. I was about 12 on a school trip and loved one of the fish. The price was very reasonable. I didn't speak a word of Italian and simply pointed out the fish.
    The guys starts saying something in Italian, really fast and animated. No idea what he wants. It was tutta la familia, tutta la familia on and on. In the end he walked around grabbed the fish and three young fish and wrapped them up for me. I was later told he was trying to tell me the price is for the whole fish family.

  15. CinLynn Boutique
    October 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I love your post! Very interesting as well as entertaining. As for a funny question…I've never set up a booth before, so haven't heard any. So I hope I can still be entered without the funny.

  16. Norma's Clay
    October 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Lori, you are a great writer and artist. So creative.
    I have many stories. I could write a book. One of them: I was talking to my table neighbor and I was in front of my table. Along came a young mom and two kids. The mom was touching everything and of course so were the kids, but in a bad way. One of the kids started twisting a switchplate (made of polymer clay) and although I knew it wouldn't break I gently took it from his hands and said: "be careful". So the mom drops what she's holding and raises his voice and says: "I won't buy anything from you. How will they learn if they don't touch?". And left. My reaction? I just laughed. Those kids will give her what she deserves. Sad but true.

  17. Erin S
    October 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I don't do shows (not my thing) but it sounds like you are all prepared for yours! I can't think of anything really crazy I've heard, but you hear a lot of "my sister-in-law (or whoever) makes jewelry and its really good!" Which always makes me roll my eyes…

  18. flyingbeader
    October 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    It is SO MUCH WORK, but sounds like you enjoy doing it.

    The craziest thing I heard in a booth was during a show at an Art show…I walked into a booth & this woman tells me "these are made from dead dogs"? Stunned me…this must have been her first show ever because she then explained she put dogs' cremated ashes in while making the ceramic beads.

  19. Rebecca
    October 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Ha ha! Great post Lori – thanks for the inspiration. Well, it's not particularly crazy, but today I was doing a small show in a local pub and a lady came over, looked at my jewellery and said "What has happened to the vegan festival that was meant to be happening?" I obviously looked very knowledgeable!

  20. patodat
    October 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I often help my Sister set up her booth and last year she was doing a local community based multi- craft show. I'm a people person, a euphemism for "talks too much," so I started a conversation with the booth neighbor who was selling her photographs made into note paper. She was in her seventies and seemed shy. That didn't last long, with me doing the conversation interrogation that I'm prone to. To get to the funny/bizarre point, after talking for quite a while, I learned that she was a homemaker and photography was her hobby. I asked her if she ever worked outside her home. She said she had one memorable job but had always been reluctant to talk about it. I convinced her I had heard almost everything under the sun when I was a police detective so she opened up and told me that many years ago an inventor hired her to knit "vaginas" according to a pattern she supplied, that were used as a demonstration tool with dolls in a childbirth class. She made many of her "special" items and endured scarcastic comments and pleas from her husband and kids to find otherwork. I thought I would never stop laughing as imagined the kids yelling, "Mother please put your vaginas away, I havefriends coming over."It was a memorable afternoon.

  21. Elisabeth
    October 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I can't think of anything odd since I haven't done too many shows, but I did kind of break into a show with another vendor because the organizer (who was very disorganized) hadn't arrived yet – it was 6:50 and the show started at 7. Nice. Got an -mail invite to participate this year. Um, no 🙂 Great post Lori and so, so great to see you last weekend!

  22. Patternsforbeads
    October 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Your space looks very nice and the display is great. Very good for others to see who are trying to have a good look "on the road". I never seem to hear funny things at shows. I always hear "I could make that myself" but if they could what are they doing at the show? Get to work!!

  23. Cillaw
    October 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    You will do great. Your package boxes are perfect. I did a show and a lady wanted to buy only one earring because she had only one hole. She wanted a pair I made from a set of 5 beads so it worked out well.

  24. Bobbie
    October 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I can't remember the most outrageous, because, like labor pains, nature is kind enough to dull the memory of the worst parts of each show to enable you to put yourself through it again…but I have gotten "so what kind of machine do you use to make these?" (about beadwoven pieces) and "can I buy the display piece?" (um, no). There's a huge (750 artist!) show in my neighborhood this weekend, so I'll keep my ears open as I browse around tomorrow. Maybe I'll overhear some gems…

  25. Mary Newton Designs
    October 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I'll never forget the time an old man looked over my booth and said, "You must have a lot of time on your hands." I explained that I worked a full time job and spent at least another 40 hours a week making jewelry. Then he says, "You must not watch a lot of TV", as if that was a better use of time!

    Good luck with your show!

  26. Pine Ridge Treasures
    October 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Your booth looks great! I have the "Piles of Stuff" in pretty much every room in my house, but the beading area is the worst. No funny stories to share, but I have heard people ask vendors if they have any free samples. When told no, they say: "How do you expect to make customers if you don't let them try things out"?

  27. Noemi
    October 1, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Lori,
    I have never done a show or anything of the sort. I guess that the closest thing was a home party that I had last month, but to be honest, i knew everyone in there, and although we laughed and joked around, i didn't got any silly or funny question about my jewelry. But I enjoyed myself big time! I am planning to have another one in November, and if I get something I will let you know ;o)

  28. Susan
    October 1, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    My parents make wood crafts and they have these cute, flat bird houses that are obviously just decorative items. Today at the craft show, a woman picked one up and turned it over and over with a very puzzled look on her face. "How do the birds fit in there?" she asked.
    Good luck on your show Lori! Your post was cute!

  29. somethingunique
    October 1, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Lori, well your display looks wonderful and your way of telling your story always interesting as well entertaining…my funny story idk how funny it is but at the Comber Fair this summer i am open until the wee hours of the morning as i am set up next to the beer tent…losts of sales that time of night the odd 5 finger discounts…..one young couple quite not feeling any pain… the boyfriend distracted me while the girlfriend stole a necklace…i was quite upset as i was doing him a favor offering to make a custom necklace for her…anyway fast forward to the next day…they showed up at my booth unaware of there memories from the night before with the girl wearing the necklace…i approached her saying you might not remember but you stole that from me last night and if you don't pay me for it now i will call the cops…she tossed me a $40 and they both ran off embarrased…the necklace was $25 i guess i got the last laugh 🙂
    have a great weekend i'm waiting for my camera to charge so i can make a post! ttfn Lana 🙂

  30. Pretty Things
    October 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Patodat, I am DYing over here. No fair, no fair! Holy hannah, but that's a job! How does one parlay that into future jobs on a job application?

  31. Sally Anderson
    October 2, 2011 at 12:25 am

    I love all the stories but the knitted vaginas takes the cake. I laughed out loud until tears fell! So funny. I don't have any tales to tell since I haven't been to many shows. But I'd love a chance to win a bead anyway! Thanks.

  32. CraftCrave
    October 2, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [02 Oct 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  33. stacilouise
    October 2, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Somebodys dog peed on my tablecloth at a show!!!! The lady wasnt even in my booth. It was one of those long retractable leashes. At another show a lady asked if my jewelry had powers or if it was jewish. How those two things even go together is beyond me……..

  34. Skye
    October 2, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I laughed at your 'stuff on the floor' remark. Yeah I have several 'stuff on the floor' stacks… they're there mostly because the stacks of 'stuff on my table' have taken over and there's no more room for me to work… so they moved to the floor until new stacks grow on the able to replace them 😉 lol

    I don't have my own booth at craft shows as of yet, but I have of course visited many. I can think of various things that were overheard by other customers or even the crafter themselves that struck me as humorous at various times… but the only one that comes to mind clearly enough to share was at a booth selling primarily jewelry and hair accessories for children. A little girl had picked up something off the table and held it up for her mother to see…and the mother took it away from her, put it on the table and scolded her for 'always touching things',and said "how many times do I have to tell you,those aren't for little kids!"

  35. Moobie Grace
    October 2, 2011 at 3:25 am

    I love your attention to every single detail!! 🙂

    Girl, I live in southern VA…if it can be asked…I've heard it! Just last week I had a lady come up to me while browsing my booth and asked "are you the girl who owns the peacock farm?" Me: "No ma'am, that's not me." Her: "Are you sure?" Me: "Yes ma'am I'm pretty sure…" Then there was a a great Dad that

    popped in and asked "if I made equesterian jewelry?" I thought he might horse themed jewelry and explained I could probably do a custom order…then stopped me and told me "no…jewelry for horses, like horse shows…I think you'd do well there." Thanks for looking out for me!

    Finally a trio of elderly women browsed & asked me for my Facebook page, which I kindly wrote down for them. As I'm writing she yells to her friends "oh look she's a lefty!" as they gather around in awe. I wasn't sure whether I should join a side show or if they were ready to burn me at the stake!

    I'm writing all these down…they keep me laughing!

  36. Rhea
    October 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Great post! What a creative way to deter theives. 🙂 I do not have a funny craft booth story to tell…yet, perhaps someday I will be lucky enough to travel and sell my stuff! Cheers!

  37. JeannieK
    October 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Great post Lori. I admire those of you that do shows. Such commitment and dedication.

    So I'm laughing so hard at every ones story. What a great question to ask us.

    Mine is not so funny though. I once heard a guy describe in detail how he was gored in the gut by a rushing bull. He talked about his intestines or lack there of.

  38. Paula Lee M
    October 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Wow those are some stories. I have only the usual "can you do better? on a pieces already on sale and a woman who told her friend out loud in front of me " She's too expensive let's go back to that booth at the end. " turned out the booth sold cheap import jewelry. This was at a supposedly hand made only by contract show.

    Then there's the "can you watch my booth while I shop" vendor who left for 3 hours. Dozens of people came by and left cause she had not told me to sell for her too. Not that I could,I was too busy myself. When she came back I asked her where she had been and told her about the customers leaving. She replied " Oh I had lunch with a friend. Those customers will come back. " Bizarre.
    Anyway I love your work and I hope you do well.

  39. Linda Landig
    October 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Oh my, knitted vaginas!!!! No one can top that story.

    I don't have anything really funny, but I always kind of chuckle when people at juried art shows ask, "Did you really make all that yourself?". Well I couldn't be in that show if I hadn't made it myself!

  40. Shaiha
    October 2, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I haven't sold in fair or show but I am rolling at some of the replies. The vagina one was a classic.

  41. Martje Designs
    October 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Lori, Great post, and love your jewelry. It is unique and makes a statement.

    Great question, but I have no booth story to tell…all of my work is sold word of mouth.

    I hope you sell out.

  42. JuLee
    October 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I have only done several shows with my guild, but have had a comment that made me shake my head in wonder. After looking at several of my pendants, the lady said "these are really cute. You should consider selling them."

  43. CraftCrave
    October 2, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [02 Oct 10:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  44. Sandi Volpe
    October 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Lori,

    I loved your post and yes I have piles:-) I have heard many times "you make all this?"

    Thanks for making me smile!!!

  45. Courtney
    October 2, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I don't have any crazy stories or comments, but I have had a good laugh reading all of these.


  46. LissC
    October 3, 2011 at 12:24 am

    hi Lori, I would love to win a bead, but I don't have a crazy story about a booth. I did however, really enjoy reading everyone elses!

    My favorites were the drive by pee, and the ..you should sell these stories.

  47. Kathy
    October 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

    I love your bead chasers…what a precious picture of them! The question that always makes me chuckle is "you made all of these?" Umm, no, I just like pretend that I did. HA!

    Thanks for the encouragement to think differently about a customer who doesn't buy something. It's hard to stay positive sometimes when you put all that work into your pieces and you only get "looky-loos"…what a great term!

  48. Ann
    October 3, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I can't remember any funny, strange comments. I go to a lot of craft shows too. I'll keep thinking and maybe I'll come back and post one:)

  49. Jo
    October 3, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Oh I am sitting here laughing like crazy! These stories are fantastic! It makes be a bit sad that I haven't met any crazy customers, but all I've had is the usual "I could make this for you" from husbands to their wives – I usually just slip the wife a business card – and "you must have a lot of time on your hands if you made all this yourself" – well, it is my job!

  50. TesoriTrovati
    October 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Great tips Lori! I will check out some of your links. I only do one show a year that is coming up this month. The ticket price is quite hefty, $25-35 (it is a community fundraiser). It is a great show filled with all the people that would buy my stuff, they have a cash bar and music, and an appetizer spread (which leaves me to believe that they are there to eat not shop). Last year I was saddened to talk to a young friend who was there with her friend (she bought the tickets for them both) and she said that she wasn't buying anything becuase she made her donation at the door. I have shared this with the committee year after year but they don't hear me. I think that the price went down slightly (to $25) but still… If you don't have people buy (vendors give them 25% of my sales as the booth fee) then you won't have them back and you will lose out on the money. Lower ticket price – say $12 – would mean more people and higher sales. But like you, I realize that it is not so much about the selling as the connecting. I love your ideas and may snag a few!
    Enjoy the day!

  51. Cynthia
    October 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    What a good post, Lori. Hope you do well at your shows this year.
    I don't do shows, but when I first got bitten by the jewelry making bug, I made dozens of earrings. More than I could possibly use, so I brought them into work, and set up a little display next to my desk. And my polite co-workers stopped and shopped. One woman pointed to one pair and asked me "Who would wear those ugly earrings?!?!?" (Gee, I kinda liked them) I guess she forgot that I made them all.

  52. KayzKreationz
    October 4, 2011 at 1:36 am

    I like all your ideas and tips. I need to put some of them into practice.
    I guess the craziest thing I've heard in my Glass craft booth would be, "Oh I could make that so much cheaper. So, you do stained glass? Oh, I haven't done it for years, but that can't be that hard or that expensive to make"
    I had made my own barbed wire to attach the the frame all around the piece and had soldered a 3D cow skull to the outside of the frame. 🙂 It had taken me quite a while to figure out how to do it all and attach it properly, but I guess she felt like she could do it much better,easier/cheaper after not having done stained glass work for years. Oh well.

  53. Stories They Tell
    October 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Your booth looks fabulous, just like your work, Lori!!

    I usually never read other people's posts but I think I just wet my pants over a few of them– of course, the knitted "vaginas". Great stories!

    I was sitting behind a table at a local Foliage Season event with my hooked rugs and people were crossing the street to see one particular rug. It was a moon and stars design and was getting a lot of attention. So one old Vermonter guy came over, checked it out and said in an annoyed voice "what makes this rug worth $300?" and I said, "Well, for starters, there's $100 worth of wool in it, I designed it and hooked it and put about 100 hours of work into it and it will probably last 100 years." He just shook his head and walked away. I figure that guy has never made something himself by hand. I can't believe that it was sheer ignorance.

    Good luck on the show! Sometime I want to pick your brain about booth lighting.

  54. Cindy
    October 4, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I am just a hobby beader. But I read ArtScene every day and always enjoy the daily posts. The funniest thing that happened to me at a bead show was at the Bay Area Bead Society show in Oakland, Ca. I always stop at the Global Marketplace/Kazuri Beads booth, I like the idea of supporting women in Africa. This time, as I was looking at the usual ceramics, my hand picked up a piece that I thought was a gray bead but when I opened it, the bead had turned into an elephant! I think you had to be there… Anyway, thanks for chance to share and your photos.

  55. quiltingjewel39
    October 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Before I got into jewelry, I made almost life size soft sculpture people. I had made some "saloon girls" like to ones in the old western movies. They had short bustier type costumes with plenty clevage, fishnet stockings and old fashioned high heeled boots. I had a lady crying she was laughing so hard at them. She bought one for her brother and she was flying out that night. I offered to package it for her and she just laughed and said-no way- she was carrying it on the plane(obviously before new regulations). I would have loved to see her get on that plane!

  56. missficklemedia.com
    October 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Love the theft deterrent!

  57. rockcreekcreations
    October 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Mine isn't terribly funny..I usually have a basket with all my rocks that I get that I end up not being able to use. I put these on the table .50 each. One time I had 4 adults standing around the table pawing through the basket. Only two knew each other and a few times 1 would snatch up a rock as another would set one back into the basket.

    Usually this only happens when kids are looking at the rocks.

  58. Lindy
    October 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I don't sell at shows but from home. I had one lady ask me if I could "solder" her lampshade back together. When I tried to explain that I use a flame for soldering she told me that if I didn't want to do it then just say so. She then went on to tell me that I didn't need to make up lies! lol

  59. Rena Klingenberg
    October 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    So funny the things people say! 🙂

    At lunchtime during one show I was discreetly eating a sandwich I'd brought from home. A lady came into my booth and proceeded to spend quite a long time examining every piece of jewelry in my display.

    I was thinking – wow, this is a sure sale!

    Finally she approached me, peered closely at my food, and asked, "Where did you get that sandwich?"

    She never bought any jewelry, but if I'd had an extra sandwich she would've bought it in a heartbeat!

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