It's Wednesday morning and the election is finally over. Did the campaigning last a lot longer than usual or did I just get tired of the rhetoric sooner? Whew! Now the phone will stop ringing.
I got an email this week from Fairs and Festivals with the usual list of upcoming shows--craft, garden, agricultural, all kinds. It was my reminder that it's pretty near time to start thinking about next year's shows. Some have pretty early deadlines.
As I look over my stats on shows I did this past year I see at least 3 that I won't be applying to next year. Each year I've had fewer and fewer buyers. My customers just aren't there. On the other hand I have 4 or 5 that were huge successes so I'll make sure to watch for the apps online. It seems I still do much better South of here rather than locally. I'll also try to find a couple of new shows to try as I do each year. Sometimes you just can't tell about a show unless you participate in it.
I'm finished with craft shows for the year. Last weekend I was at 2 great little shows--Handmade with Love in Easthampton's Eastworks and the Handicrafts and Collectibles Show at the Salem Cross Inn. Both had great traffic with people beginning to shop for holiday gifts. Both are keepers.
My remaining inventory has been sorted and will be distributed between a couple of local pop-up holiday shops--one in Greenfield and one in Northampton. Darcy Rosner is opening a shop, probably this weekend, on Federal St. next to the People's Pint. It will feature mostly local artisans and she's already collected some wonderful items. I'll post the url on my Facebook page when I get it. Knack is a local organization dedicated to the art of creative reuse. Their pop-up on Massonic St. in Northampton will be open every Saturday beginning Nov. 17 through Dec. 22. Everything in the Knack Holiday Pop-Up Shop will be handmade by local artists who use at least 75% reused materials in their work.
Looking over my spreadsheets I can say that this year was better financially than last. Jansjems sales have been growing a little bit each year. And, most importantly, it's still fun. Besides the pop-up shops, my jewelry can now be found in 3 gift shops and I have one holiday wholesale account.
I'll be getting ready for the holiday, cleaning up my very messy family room workshop, deciding on the menu for Thanksgiving, and eventually, my favorite, decorating for Christmas. But for now I'm off to get a little exercise at the Y.