Monday, June 27, 2011

Show Research

This weekend I went to see a couple of events in the area and decide whether I should try to vend there next year. Local events are good because there's little cost involved in doing them. The fees are usually small and the travel costs negligible.

The first show was the Summer Arts Festival in Roseburg. It was nice. The Atmosphere was friendly. There were a few woven pieces in the gallery, but no vendors selling hand weaving. (This is no surprise. The lack of competition is why I chose weaving.)

Overall, this seems like a nice show to do. I don't expect to make a lot, but I think it would work out well considering that the show is about an hour away.

The next show was the Black Sheep Festival in Eugene. Of course, I expected it to be kind of wool-heavy, but wow! I had no idea.

This is a show for the other end of the fiber spectrum from me. There are three (or four) giant rooms full of sheep. There are many, many vendors selling wool and spinning tools. There are some vendors selling yarn and books, a few selling weaving tools, but no vendors selling handwoven cloth.

I think that this show could be lucrative for me when I have an entire line of locally sourced wool cloth at fairly low prices. The attendees at this show want to know who owned the sheep that made the wool that I'm selling.

This doesn't cut me out entirely. In a few years we expect to own a new piece of property. This new monastery will be focusing heavily on homegrown food and fiber. At first the wool we grow will probably just be for our own use, but we may eventually take some of it to market.

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