Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lessons Learned during recent Studio Tour (and Camping Trip)

I noticed when compiling this list over T'giving, that all of these items pertained to camping as well. For instance, I camped over Thanksgiving and wished I had reviewed my checklist.

  1. Review your checklist. (If you don't have a check list, well, then start at 0. Create a checklist.) I forgot my middle layer of clothing while camping--my fleece jacket--so froze my butt off the first night when it reached 30 degrees. Brrr. I will not do this again.  
  2. Invite friends. I've read that 80% of sales come from people you know. (Use your mailing list!)
  3. Have enough food. Consider a donation jar? Carolyn and I spent $85 each on wine and food for two weekends, so providing food isn't cheap. The second weekend we opted for smaller, cheaper cookies and store brand Chex Mix plus no drinks, vs. bakery style cookies, Pirate's Booty, and wine and water for the first weekend. Live and learn. 
  4. Bring a chair. A stool works great for a studio tour. 
  5. Have music. We played Motown at the studio for background tunes, thinking everyone likes that. It was just loud enough to hear if there was quiet shuffling going on in the room. There was a studio down the hall playing loud and obnoxious music and folks were talking about it when they walked into our studio--so beware of making that mistake. For camping? Ukes of course!
  6. Bring paper to record stuff. You'll need to jot down down notes, tally your sales, record whatever. I can't live without my Moleskine and I bring it everywhere. 
  7. Plan your space. Once your work is hung and looking brilliant, take a mental note of anything you'd like to share about your work before the tour starts. I had someone ask me about the piece below, and since some time has passed since doing the research on it, I was super hazy on the details (to me, that piece had long been done and forgotten about, but collectors like this info and if it's not too personal and weird, can be a selling point). I sounded like a bumbling idiot. It was a historical piece and I didn't know jack beyond the dome. I think if I had been able to articulate the meaning behind the piece, it would have sold. Hard lesson here.
  8. Appropriate attire. No cowboy boots or your feet will be killing you. I have a stress pad to stand on in my studio. Sitting seems kinda weird so I didn't do much of that, even on the stool. If you don't have a stress pad, you must wear comfortable shoes or your feet and legs will hate you by evening. Pockets are a must. See my painted Home Depot "pockets" I use as my cash register. 
  9. Hand sanitizer. Lots of hand shaking going on. Don't get cooties. Keep a stash for yourself and use it frequently. 
  10. Have fun. 

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