the "new face" problem

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Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on June 4, 2002 at 15:06:49:

In reply to: Re: Quesions about henna gigs in New England posted by Christine on June 4, 2002 at 01:07:50:

: : I did an event on Sunday and it made a bit less than half of last
: : year, which is odd as the weather last year was nasty but yesterday
: : was henna-perfect.

This is actually very normal in art fairs, in my experience. Novelty
sells. The next year .... they want the "new face" in the crowd.
After 30 years of working art shows (500 fairs, more or less) I found
that most shows fit that pattern. Great first time out ..... ok
second time ..... weary thrid time. Fourth time, find a new place or
find a new line.

There certainly have been venues where I've had a growing core of
devotees waiting for me each year .... but that's NOT the usual
situation. To have a solid, growing core of people who come back to
you every time, you have to offer something totally exceptional, and
highly desirable, that no one else can do. In henna, ANYBODY can buy
a cone and make a satisfactory squiggle, so if you want a solid
customer base, you have to have artistic skills that blow everyone
else out of the water ..... or ...... or clients go to the lowest
bidder or do it themselves.

New England? I always had good luck up to about Purchase New York,
but once north of that ..... pfffffffffft. Sales would collapse by 90%
between there and West Springfield Mass. Is it something in the water?


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