Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Letter from the President

The Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival is around the corner, the yearly premier event for the ACGA. This is when we have a chance to highlight the work of our artists, educate the public about clay and glass, interact with our customers and fans, and continue to fund all of our work through sales. If you have time to volunteer at the show, we love to have extra help from our ACGA community. Any contribution is welcome, even an hour to help booth sitting. Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Sheila Dubin at or call 408-395-5994.  If you are not showing your work at the Festival, I hope all of our members will try to make it to the show, and also take a moment to promote it through your social media outlets. It's a big push to make this show successful and profitable, and we need all hands on deck!

Retail shows can be a lot of fun, but they can also bring stress and anxiety. I've learned the best way to deal with this is preparation.  Make lists, pack ahead, stock up, whatever it takes. Maintaining a certain level of calm helps the transition from busy artist to salesperson, a role that many of us are not comfortable with.  There are professionals who can teach us how to be better at selling artwork, and over the years I've cherry-picked the things that work for me: greeting everyone who walks into my booth,  paying attention to customer body language, engaging with customers who are looking for a connection, keeping distractions like cell phones and visiting friends to a minimum, being helpful without being pushy. It's a lot to balance for someone who is used to spending all day alone in a studio. What about you? Do you have any killer sales tips to share with your colleagues? Post them on the blog!