Firstly, a report on how the book bindery sale went back in February. I went into it hoping to sell about 30 books, and I ended up selling 89! It was very different from a pottery sale on many fronts. I did not need to stock up on inventory in advance, because books can be made on demand, one at a time. Unlike pottery where it takes a few weeks to finish a pot, and it takes a kilnful of pots to make the kiln worth firing. The books were made to order, without needing to anticipate in advance which items would be popular or not. Whereas the pottery business involves so much analysis to predict inventory needs before every sale. My stated goal was to ship every order within 2 days, but that proved to be impossible. As soon as the store opened I got flooded with orders, and it took me four days to finish the initial rush of orders. After the first day, the pace of new orders slowed down, to a point where I could definitely ship everything in two days. But now I know I need to plan for a big rush at first.
My plans for this summer is to do one more book bindery sale in late July or early August. I was really happy with the designs I sold in February, and some of them will get small upgrades for the next sale. I'm hoping to develop a design for a weekly planner later this year, which will be available around the holidays. It will be based on the weekly planners I used when I was a graphic designer. I don't really need them anymore as a potter, but they will be well-suited for anyone with a desk job.
Going forward, I will do another "Free Home Delivery" sale for the State College, PA region, in conjunction with the Virtual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, from July 8-11. (I will write a separate blog post with more details.) I'm preparing a large inventory for this show. When I get home from making these deliveries, I will put any remaining pots for sale online, for customers anywhere in the US. That's right, I will mark the end of the pandemic by doing one last big online sale, and not just with small pots. (I'll make a separate blog post about this as well, with all the details, when it gets closer.) As much as I hate to ship pottery, I do need to show gratitude for those who bought my pots online when art festivals were not available. Just to be clear, this will be the last time I ship pottery. Of course, I reserve the right the eat my words if the pandemic takes a different turn. But right now, it looks like art festivals and craft shows will be back in the fall, and I will return to my "no shipping" policy.
As for the fall, I have been accepted into two nice shows, though still waiting for confirmation that these events will be allowed to take place. Things look optimistic. I have applied for two more shows. So I am hoping to have four shows total on the schedule. And I am planning a Holiday Open Studio, just like the ones from before the pandemic. Details will be posted on this website as soon as they are confirmed!
Again, I hope you enjoy the warmth and the long hours of daylight! It's been a very strange year, and we should be proud of ourselves for making it through. Let's keep our fingers crossed that things continue to go smoothly. Oh by the way, keep your fingers crossed for me, because tomorrow I am belatedly celebrating my 50th birthday by doing something exciting and scary. I'll report back when it's over.