Sunday, July 05, 2009

Weekend #3 not a good finish...

I'm beginning to think that my time spent at the flea
market (we won't mention the money spent) is
going to be more of an education in networking,
marketing and public interests rather than earning
much in the way of dollars.
Not a bad thing exactly but, it was at least supposed
to bring in enough to pay the rent there.

I'm getting mixed reviews from other vendors.
Not about my products but about how well they will
be received by the typical clientele coming through
the market. All the vendors like my products.
Potential buyers are very complimentary.
Just not buying much at all. But, all the vendors are
complaining about the lack of money changing hands.
All the vendors say I picked the worst season to start
a business there. Summers are always slow and this one
is especially sucky. Well... thanksahelluvalot.

Most say if I can hang on until September, business
will pick up considerably. Really?
One or two have said I should add cheap chotchke to
draw interest. One other specifically said I will not see
enough people here who will appreciate what I have.

My biggest argument is that I do NOT want to sell
anything other than my own work. Period.
I do not want to compete with the other vendors who
mostly sell inexpensive doo-dads and gee-gaws.
(most, not all.)
More than one has suggested approaching places like
Starbucks and Hallmark stores. Those are now on my list.

One vendor is opening a store on the Boardwalk on the beach
with a Hawaiian/tropical theme. She likes what I have but
said if I can come up with ideas that go with the theme of
her new store, she will sell my products there.
I have two ideas on the drawing board.

There are a few of you reading who have experience working
for yourselves. My hat is off to you. Seriously.
There is no way to know about all the details and time
involved in starting a business until you dive in yourself.

I am not giving up. I am learning as I go. Sometimes, I am
overwhelmed with information and opinion.
I will figure this out if it kills me. (please don't kill me.)

I've started the process with PayPal. Waiting on their
confirmation of my banking info.

Recently posted some test photos at theponderingstore.
Go take a look, please, and let me know if they show the
products clearly. I'm still not sure how the final set-up
will be done.

Have I mentioned how much I appreciate all of you and
your encouragement, ideas (and orders)? No?
Damn me.
I do appreciate, very much. And I thank you.

13 comments:

Cactus Mark said...

I think, and this is just me talking here, you're trying to sell caviar to farmers. You need to find a more high-end setting to move your product.

My opinion.

Jean said...

You're not the only one who thinks that, dear.

the walking man said...

Farmer's eat roe too...just not as often because it's rarely free and they can't grow it on their own land.

Jean said...

Also correct, WM. I just need to explore many venues to find where I fit best. Of course, I'd be thrilled to find that I fit in several.

jck said...

So do I wait for PayPal?

And... I agree with the others. Also wondering if you want to look at selling at the high end Art Fairs. I am headed to Ann Arbor (MI) next week. I know there are shows all over the country, and your stuff would fit one of the three fairs (all the same weekend and same streets, just different sections) in Ann Arbor. Think that would hold true many places. But an investment of time and travel (but thinking you stay regional for now). But I am a dork with no expertise except to buy stuff I like. I like your stuff!

Jean said...

Thanks, Jeannie! If there is something you want now, you can email me at whichever addy you have for me.
Art shows are something I considered. The entry fees can be prohibitive (locally, some are $1,000 for a 2-day event.) but some of the smaller ones could still be a good idea.

Blaez said...

hey sweety!! since i can't make it home this winter i'm thinking your pondering store might be good gifts for my fam, i can't wait to see it all up so i can browse around.

hmmm, i don't understand why the flea market isn't going well in general. all the ones i've known of have flourished more-so in the summer because of tourists. then again, i've lived in climates that have snow and winters can be brutal.

i don't have any advice but i am sending you lots of money vibes!! and when christmas rolls around honey i'm looking at you for my presents!

Doom said...

Stick to your guns. Take a break if you need to, but if they say it is just an off time, get back in and play. I know, now is better money wise.

I was able to click in and see everything really well, even on this micro notebook, running Win XP. It looks good.

Stiff upper lip. I believe you can do this. At worst, you have learned, and a lot. But I don't think that will be all. I'll be keeping you in my prayers.

Jean said...

Blaez, you are a dear!
Florida is a unique place. What can I say? :-)

Doom, I believe, too. Thank you for the eval and the prayers. ;-)

K9 said...

i have a lot of ideas about photographing your work. i think i would like to call you sometime. are you open to that?

flea markets are where i go to find bug juice (skin so soft) and junk for the garden like old pails and wrought iron. whirly gigs and old farm tools. if i came across you i would be very excited at the unexpected classiness of your offerings in that context.

you need to find a couple of shops. each shop will want to be exclusive. so you would find one in daytona, new smyrna, ormond, etc etc. i think resort wear and beach but also bookstores. the cups in particular say independent bookstore to me.

the tshirt shape i told you about is called "bella" and it tapers in a bit at the waist. i love the fit of these.

take a look at big cartel. it is a template with paypal code ready to go. i think you can list 6 items for free.

also

artfire
1000 markets

i think Etsy has gotten too big. i used to make good money over there but the search has changed and they diluted the market with vintage and supplies and its too big now.

once on a flight home i found a Forbes magazine in the seat pocket that featured the 50 top CEO's. it was a great read -a third of them had epic failures but believed in whatever and kept trying -changing only the business model but having faith in the product. this is my version of the kind of advice found in a fortune cookie.

go jean!

Jean said...

Open to that? hell yeah. email coming.

Jean said...

K9....grrrrrrrrr...I thought I had your email addy. Cannot find it. Help!

Jean said...

k9...check your yahoo mailbox :-)