Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Prairie Winter and Bean Counting

View to the south east as we left Olds, Alberta, home of the Olds Fibre Week celebrations, and where I will be teaching the Level 2 weaving class next June.  :)

The drive home was long, especially with both of us tired from two weeks of long trips, hotel beds and long hours on our feet.  I am so grateful Doug is happy to do (most) of the driving and actually enjoys being in the booth (which I don't!)

But now it is time to put my Bean Counting hat on and analyze the results of the 3 largest sales that we do.  The results were unpredictable (as they always are).  There are a million reasons for people to not buy a 'luxury' item (which a hand woven textile most definitely is).  Any bobble in the economy - global or personal - and people will zip their wallets up tightly.  So it is always a gamble to pay big bucks for a booth space at a high end show, the costs of travel, the wear and tear on the body to drag your booth and product hundreds of miles (literally!) as well as the wear and tear on one's psyche when people look you in the eye and say in all honesty that they can't afford your prices.

My problem (or challenge?) is that I have devoted my life to the construction of textiles.  I have invested my entire being in trying to design and execute the best possible cloth I can make and I can do it with a fair degree of efficiency.  I love what I do but I have not (yet) won the lottery.   The only way I can continue to bring my fibre dreams into reality is to try to sell them.

And so I will most likely do most of the shows next year that I did this year - excepting Seattle which for a number of logistical reasons just isn't working for me - and taking in the feedback I received from the public try to come up with more attractive textiles that I hope will entice people to purchase.

Because quitting isn't an option!

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