In the Beginning
Growing up, my mother did art fair after art fair with art classes scattered through the year. I grew up watching my mother put hours into putting on a display that was completely temporary. Like a circus the artists arrived, spent hours before and hours after putting on the show and the people would flock.
You have probably been to an art fair, but have you ever really paused to appreciate what people put into it? There is a large up front investment that nobody acknowledges, or cares about unless you do them. Unless you have been through the application process, and await your application status for months as if your waiting to know whether you made the team or got that part in the play. Its nerve wracking, there are highs and lows, you loose money and you make some and when you are done with it you can actually begin to breathe again.
Art fairs are how I started Briggs and Craft. It was my introductory into the world of business. I was familiar with it, the only difference being that I wasnt selling my moms stuff, I was selling my own. My own money was at stake. And I think the only reason I was ever successful was because there are people out there who want quality over quantity. They search for the hand made item that speaks words too you, that isnt made of acrylic yarns, that is unique and fresh.
Those crazy circus-level shows will always be part of my brand. They will always be me, and who I am as a maker. Its how you meet other makers, and how you can have a in-person relationship with amazing customers who support you year after year. Of course you can meet people online, but when you have a face to face conversation with someone and hear there adoration for your hand-crafted items its music to your ears. SO go to an art fair. GO meet some artists, and remember that they put their blood, sweat and tears into everything they do if they are passionate about the craft they practice. Have a conversation with them, get to know them, read artist statements and appreciate the circus level crazy that goes on!