Encouragement to my creative peeps

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hello long neglected blog!

I just have so much whirling through my head from this past weekend I thought now would be a great time to write it all down!

This weekend I was a vendor at Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market....I had done a Vintage Market with Junk in the Trunk long ago - well about a year and half ago:) It was a great experience and I learned a ton and that's actually where I met many of my vintage loving friends like the Shabby Junker and Liz from Blue Eyed Owl! 

Shortly after I quit working outside of the home, I decided to jump back in it for this market scene. I knew it would be crazy since Junk in the Trunk has grown SOOOO much. What started in a backyard was now in a huge tent at Westworld with more than 100 vendors and thousands of shoppers! Holy Cow. I felt like this was the big leagues and I. Was. Nervous.

I painted, distressed, waxed, dusted, tagged and packed like crazy to get ready. Like I mentioned on facebook it can be a very nerve wracking experience putting all of your stuff in the public eye with a price tag. Pricing can be a very tricky thing for us vendors and let me tell you why.

One - we are typically thrifty people - so we know what WE would pay for an item. However, we recognize people either 1. don't have time to look for things like we do and 2. people just don't have the eye for things. Totally fine! People are gifted in different ways and sometimes it takes a vendor to show them how something old can look really cool and unique. There is also the work factor. Sometimes we buy a piece and need to sand it, prime it or do something else to it to look cool. Sometimes we need to drive a far distance to get a piece or borrow a vehicle. All of that costs time and money. Which is why if someone offers me $20 for a piece I have marked at $45, I am probably going to say no.

One - the paint alone costs money. Also, I probably spent at LEAST and hour or two preparing the piece and another hour finding the piece - not to mention the original cost of the piece. And then there are booth fees and taxes (yes, as vendors at Junk in the Trunk we pay taxes on items we sell) and setup. Personally, I think all those need to come into account when you are shopping at a vintage market. This isn't a garage sale. This isn't even Goodwill. This is a place where people have put a LOT of work into the pieces in their booth - and personally I think they deserve a decent offer - if not the full price they have the item listed for.

I just write all of this because while 99 percent of my experience at the market was awesome - there were also several offers that came in at HALF of what I had listed during the first twenty minutes of the show. I get it - sometimes I do think pieces can be expensive - and the nature of a market can sometimes be a little bit of a bartering experience - that's totally part of the fun! I totally had a few pieces there that I was happy to take a lower offer on - the vintage clearance rack if you will.

But seeing the behind the scene work that vendors go thru to do something like this is pretty impressive. I am not tooting my own horn here but I am genuinely in awe of my market buddies. They have an incredible eye, they have skills at painting and creating and they have invested their time, money, creativity, gas and husband's muscles to produce pieces that they are proud of.

I had someone offer me a very low amount for a piece that I woke up at 5 am to go get. With a newborn. It was a beautiful piece and I politely declined the offer. Later, someone came by and paid full price. I wasn't super offended by the low offer - I just think we should give ourselves permission to be valued. What you do might not be within everyone's budget and that is ok. I am not looking to get rich here - I just think that people in a creative position have a hard time putting a price on what they do. Let's not get crazy here - but it's hard to even find a globe at Goodwill for $12.

Anyways - these are just thoughts I had as I wrapped up the day. I struggled with pricing my items but I also left feeling good about how the day went and more confident in what I do. I wouldn't have wanted everything to go in the first two hours - that could potentially mean my prices were too low- but I also didn't want to leave with all my stuff - that could mean I priced my things too high.

Overall the market was a huge encouragement. The people who shopped at my booth were so sweet and I loved hearing how they were buying a piece because it was maybe like something they had when they were little. While I thought this might be my last hurrah as Linny Jane - as the market got closer, I realized I can't stop because it is just way too fun for me to not continue.

I leave you with this pinteresting piece of wisdom.....