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.....


elizabeth said...

That is AWESOME! And SO true...Value the time you spent...the creativity that went into it. There will be people of all sorts of budgets and that is understandable...but showing the world your creativity its an art form and should be valued. LOVE this post...LOVE you and wish I could have been there! Keep it up Linny Jane! :)

Moons and Junes said...

so encouraging. As a new small business owner, I've been getting really down about not being where I want to be. ( i only started selling in April) I've been considering lowering some of my prices, which would leave me barely any profit. You've encouraged me to keep at it and believe in my product.
"Value your work" really goes a long way.
I've been so blessed by your post!
No more neglecting!

Lindsey Stamm said...

Thank you Bets! I am sure you've struggled in a similar way:) It's hard when you put a price on your work and people don't think you are worth that. You have to be your own advocate!!

And Moons and Junes, thank you for your sweet words! I just checked out your etsy site and I LOVE your mobiles! So sweet. I thought your prices were very reasonable too! I saw a pin on Pinterest that said "Work for free or full price but never cheap" I love that. Stay true to yourself and you will attract the right buyers! Do you have a blog or a facebook? Would love to follow if you do:)

Anonymous said...

Great post! There is value in what we do. Most of our customers realize that but there are the few that haven't figured it out yet :) So glad you are back!

stacey gibbon said...

Such a great post. I have experienced this SOOO much. Whether it was for my photography business or when I sold handmade jewelry/cards. I was offended how many people didn't see "value" in what I was selling them. If they only knew how much money & time went into creating works of art, they would understand. But since everything is so cheap at walmart or discount stores, people just think, "Why should I pay that, when I could get the same thing at the store for cheaper." Not realizing you are also paying for a service, not just an item. We also want to feed our families or have nice things. People just don't "think." It's really sad

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