Ceramic Arts Network: Do you participate in pop-up shows, or other unconventional ways to sell your work? What advice do you have for those wanting to try it out?
Kathleen Jensen: I usually sell my work at a nearby farmer’s market that has an agreement with our local art guild. We come once a month, set up on the sidewalk (the farmers are all in the streets that are closed off to traffic) and we sell from 8 am to noon. There is usually a variety of artists from soft sculptures, quilts, jewelry, photo and original paintings and of course, ceramics. We sell from April to November and it is usually very well attended by families, seniors from three senior living neighborhoods and locals. Everyone is responsible for their own set up which varies from card tables to full-on 10×10-foot pop-up tents with massive displays. It has been a joy to meet and get to know the other artists.
My advice to others in searching for farmer’s markets that allow artists is to attend the market you want to sell at. Find one that is close to your home. That way, you already know the area, and future sales from your studio are easier as well. Look around at who is buying-are they just buying vegetables or are they also socializing with friends and neighbors? People tend to spend more time at the market if they are connected to the area and community. Contact the person in charge and ask if they would allow you to sell if you stay on the sidewalk and adhere to the market rules (no smoking, no pets, no music). Show them pictures of your work and set up.
Make sure there is local Wi-Fi if you plan to use a credit card system or just note that you only take cash. Have all of your pieces well marked with a readable price and a little about it-food safe glaze, dishwasher safe, etc. It is amazing how responsive people are if they can give your piece as a gift and the critical information is already attached. Make sure you have plenty of business cards that are professional looking and carry current contact information.
From my contacts at the farmer’s market, I have been invited to sell at other craft events, local teaching kitchens, charity events and community fund raisers. The sky is the limit!