I joined the world of art fairs when my line of coasters was born. They're called "Gloasters" because my ingenious friend, Gail, knew right away I needed to combine my nickname "Glo" with the word coaster.
Gloasters made their arrival in the summer of 2016. I was making pastel drawings then, and someone suggested they'd make fun coasters. Okay, I can do that.
Ever the entrepreneur, I wasted no time finding just the right person to convert my quirky drawings into brightly colored, 4" x 4" hardboard, cork-backed coasters. I also wasted no time applying for my first fair.
I'd poo-pooed art fairs for years. I'd been an art dealer, after all! A galleriest. Too high brow for tents, plastic display stands, and folding tables. Never say never, my friends.
Eddie and began carting my bins of coasters, our newly purchased 8' x 8' REI pop up tent, and so much more to small town craft fairs. I managed to get accepted into a few juried ones, and others just wanted to make sure I'd pay the fee. Gloasters started selling, and we were actually having a good time watching people react to them. At a fair in Sandy, Oregon, a couple who loved them said they had a friend who owned the Made in Oregon stores and they thought she might like them. She did and placed an initial order of 1,000 coasters! Stuff, one of our favorite gift stores in Kansas City, also brought Gloasters into the fold. I made an online store, and before I knew it, my funny little drawings were finding their way into homes all over the country! I eventually added hand written messages - mostly positive, some snarky - and sales increased even more.
Doing art fairs is hard work. There's a lot of schlepping, standing, schmoozing, and smiling. So far, we're still enjoying them. The best part is watching people respond to my work, usually with a smile or belly laugh. People appreciate the positive messages. The top sellers have phrases like: Love Wins, Celebrate Diversity, Hold Onto Your Friends, Breathe, Help Repair the World, and My Therapist Has a Wet Nose.
So, while our back and feet hurt this morning, we did our last fair of the season yesterday and had ourselves some fun. And some new customers will be stuffing the Christmas stockings of their friends and loved ones with my little drawings.
Can't beat that.