Seattle is a wonderful city. Completely in touch with nature, it has an almost fantastic quality. The arts prosper there. The world's most impressive glass work is created in the Seattle hot shops, galleries can be found in any neighborhood, the stalls the Pike Street Market are lined with people selling handicrafts of every kind.
My friend Chris also lives in Seattle and is not only starting his own business, but also is the king of networking. When I told him I was visiting, he immediately sent me links to the local bar that had a needle work collection in its gallery and to his friend's purse pattern book.
Still not knowing exactly how I was going to market what I made, my sister and I went shopping for birthday presents. Her taste is slightly different from mine, but just enough to make me notice what she pointed out. She took me to the local markets, small clothing boutiques and showed me jewelry her friends made. With Chris together we took in outdoor public art and the bar with the needlework. Again I came home inspired.
Immediately after I attended "Shecky's Girls' Night Out" with Kelly and Abby. Similar to the Pike Market, Shecky's rents out the Puck Building downtown and allows local artisans to rent tables. Colleagues of mine at Comedy Central had raved about and told me I might want to consider selling there once I was up and running. Adding to the enticement, the door price includes free cocktails and a goody bag of sponsors' samples. I was curious, it was always a sold-out event.
The Shecky's night did not disappoint. There were many tables of creative jewelry, accessories, bags t-shirts. I noticed what people sold and how it was displayed. Some vendors clearly did these kind of events frequently, some were newer. I made mental note of what was sold, who had the most traffic and the pricing.
What I took from both of these trips was that people are successful at selling. Streamlining a product line is the best way to start. It was easier to appreciate vendors who sold one thing or variations on one idea. The less focused the vendor, the harder it is for the customer. Make quality items and charge the right price. But mostly, anything I've made is as good as anything I saw in Seattle or at Shecky's.