This street fair was a 2 day event in Encinitas, CA. It is a HUGE fair with about 10 blocks of booths on both sides of the street. I think the attendance was great - there was constant traffic and a lot of people stopped to talk about my artwork. I got a great response.
I was hoping there would be more arts and crafts booths but this fair was mainly gifts, gadgets and (sorry) junk. (SEE PICTURE BELOW) I called the booth next to me "The Dollar Store". There was a non-stop, mad frenzy for plastic jewelry going on next door! I mean really, how can I compete with $1??? People were not at this street fair to buy one piece of art for $40 - $150. They were there to spend $5 on a doggie visor, $5 on jewelry, $5 on Kettle Korn and the rest at the beer garden. I'm not trying to sound bitter - this was the reality and it's OK because I learned a lot!
- Frame more canvas paintings and make more framed prints - It seemed that people could imagine hanging the framed pieces in their home. My big framed print was the first thing to sell.
- Take better care of my paintings in transit. I noticed that some of the paintings had marks on them the second day. Luckily I brought some baby wipes and got the marks off. Baby wipes were a life saver!
- More variety in themes - I had a lot of my food paintings out and they attracted a lot of attention but people either loved them or said things like "that's just going to make me eat more!". In fact, a lot of women made that comment! I never thought of that and I bet they wouldn't say that if I had some fruit and veggie paintings.
- Send out more personalized notes to people who have told me they like a specific painting. People who already have a vested interest in a painting will be more likely to make a large $ purchase than an impulse buyer.
- Another thing I would do differently would be to try a strictly ART fair. My next door neighbor vendor told me that he had better luck selling art at art fairs where people knew they were coming to see and purchase art. He said that people don't go to typical street fairs to make large purchases.
In addition, it was AWESOME to see so many friends come by the booth. Seeing friends really got me through the long days. I am lucky to have so many nice people in my life!
So I'm on to my next art business adventure. I can't wait. There is something invigorating and amazing about doing something you've NEVER done before and getting your art OUT THERE. It's scary but it's so worth it.