Jun 20, 2008

So..... It's really just me.

I've been getting frustrated at my own lack of sales. I think what fuels my frustration is watching others, some of whom seemingly take little pride in their creative process and work ethic and yet at the same time charge ridiculously exorbitant prices, excel and be praised. Jealousy, I know. The green-eyed bug has me. But really, I'm in a down in the dumps kinda mood. I know our work is stellar - our products are completely unique and extremely well made - but I am terrible at promoting myself.

That's where the real issue lies. When we first started helping my father make leather goodies and would go to shows more frequently, I used to wonder why we always bombed. Was it the prices? Was it the quality? Are my leather goods "something only a mother could love"?

I recently found out - no, it's just me.

I had a wholesale order for sandals a while back from a wonderful woman in Texas. She had planned on taking my sandals to a festival to sell. After taking her order I thought, "Pssh, good luck," since every time we tried to sell ours at shows all the patrons nearly fell over after looking at the prices.

Well, she hasn't even started her festival yet and she's already called me back for more sandals. I'm expecting a call for another batch once the show is complete.

So this whole time, it's been me.

What am I doing wrong? I need to acquire some marketing skills that work! I'm not unfriendly. I'm not scary looking (at least, I don't think so). I know my craft well enough to talk about it for hours on end (not that I do).

Well, if anyone reads this and has some legitimate advice please feel free to advise me. I could use a pick-me-up.

In the meantime I will leave you with my newest cuff bracelets. I call the sea sponge cuffs and I love them. You love them, too.


brightonEarly said...

I feel that way sometimes; like I could do the exact same work as another person and not get half as much credit. I think that people perceive me as unfriendly and intimidating. Which is sad. I don't MEAN to look mean. But I do. I really have to work at smiling. This post is getting too long. whoops!

jkziel said...

I've never sold in person because I have a hard time putting myself out there--I love to talk to people, but to talk about my craft and try to sell people it at the same time makes me feel uneasy. I also had women who wanted to re-sell a bunch of my giraffe dresses, in the end I didn't do it, but it gave me a bit of a boost, if she thinks she can resell them to a bunch of boutiques than I should just do so myself! Advice--hmmm...your items are very nice, I've been going to more craft fairs and mentally taking notes about what I like not only of the displays, but how the booth operaters interact--what I myself positvely respond to and what I don't like. I get frustrated all the time to, I run a very tiny shop though so I'm trying to keep that in focus.

Arty Allsorts said...

Yep - I know exactly what you mean - my hubby can seemingly sell anything - old computer bits, tatty second hand phones, whatever - me? I don't seem to be able to sell water in the Sahara!

Keep going though - your work is lovely and should sell itself online at least!

pinkrosesglass said...

I also have a hard time talking to people and selling my stuff! I can sell other people's stuff much better than my own. hang in there! You have great leather items! Don't forget that with the economy being so bad, people are concentrating on putting gas in their cars and food on the table and less about luxury items.

Good Luck!

nicaeli said...

You do great work, I get to thinking like that at times too. I was really down after the last couple of craft shows I did and did'nt sell a thing. I think a lot of it has to do with the right people seeing your work at the right time, if that makes any sense. I know that rings true for me in my area. My work is just a little out there for a lot of people that go to our local craft shows. I know this, and I am used to it, but it still bums me out when I don't sell anything.