During the fall/winter season, I participated in my first craft shows - the Austin Flea and the Holiday Sale at Gallery Black Lagoon. There was a third show in that list, but my most valuable lesson learned? Be sure you have enough inventory to take to your events. While that is a nice problem to have, it reminded me of the importance of planning for these events with a serious increase in production.
The next lesson? You get by with a little help from your family/friends. I tend to me a "lone wolf" about things, but with events like this - you need all hands on deck. And with my perfectionist anxieties and the overwhelm I often experience when I can't control every facet of my surroundings, it is really nice to be able to look at your support network and let them handle the things making you want to rip your hair out - those last minute details that require attention, but offer no solace in exchange. I'll be abandoning my super hero cape for these events - and special love and hugs go out to my family. I couldn't have pulled those shows off without them and they know enough about my tendency to hide my needs to stand and deliver even when I insisted I could manage it all "by myself."
Final lesson learned? What you like to make, isn't always what people want to buy. What you hate to make? People usually love. Maybe that's less of a lesson and more Murphy's law. :) Being able to observe what drew people in and what lured people in to touch, really helped me understand what people like about my work - and what I need to produce more of. Granted, I don't want buyer behavior to shape what I make - because that ruins the fun and spiritual exercise of creating that drew me to pottery in the first place. I do, however, want to make sure I create excess stock of things that will move at these shows while I continue to establish a name for myself and sort out my aesthetic.