(the above totem is by my friend susan nebeker and i posted it here because it just makes me happy.)
tonight i'll be selling my pots at the west glacier farmer's market....it's only the second time i have participated but it seems like a good venue for the amount of work involved. it is only a couple of miles down the road which for me makes it very appealing. i don't really care to haul pots all over the valley for other markets. at the last one here, i sold a totem to a nice woman from california which made it well worth my time. there are locals who drop in but it is predominantly tourists who can't resist the lure of the white tents. the woman next to me last time was selling homemade pies for 11 dollars and the line was constant until she sold out.
selling and marketing are two areas where many artists lose their way. to be a self-employed potter means that you not only have to have the ability to create the work, you also have to have a little business sense so that you can make a living. it's definitely tough and a constant conversation with people in the arts.
i have always refused to really 'market' myself....i figured that if people liked my work, they would buy it. this approach has worked for me for a long time but what i'm learning now is that you can't always count on that (especially when people are holding their wallets a bit closer). It helps to really get yourself out there so more people have an opportunity to appreciate it and also to educate the public, as much as possible, about the value of handmade objects.
currently, i sell in my own retail space in whitefish (located in the bookstore), a co-op in kalispell, a lovely gallery in bigfork, a gift store inside glacier park and then i'm working on my online etsy store. heidihaugen.etsy.com i have been struggling with inventory for months now but feel as if i'm getting into a bit of a rhythm with my new kiln and porcelain adventure.
it has been rough to be low on product during the busiest tourist months but that is the way my cookie crumbled this year...tis the nature of the business. enjoy.