I was reading an article by Ryan Jones on The Craft Report's site about Pricing for Better Craft Marketing.
In the article he mentions the we as artist should have very expensive pieces of our work for sale during our shows. I am not talking about marking up the price of one or two regular pieces. I am talking about creating what I call Show Stoppers. Those one of a kind, go hog wild, creations.
Ryan gives four reasons this is a good idea. I will paraphrase:
1. Having a more expensive item for sale in your booth helps to increase the perceived value of your work.
2. It creates an item that collectors want to own. Even if they are not ready to own it yet, they will want to buy other pieces of your work, to begin or continue their collection until the can get that piece.
3. It will set you apart from other artists in your medium. If you are showing off this amazing creation, a customer is more likely to view you as a master of your medium, rather than just an artist selling their work. (Remember that perceived value thing?)
4. It establishes to the customer that your best asset is your craftsmanship. That your time is worth the money you are asking.
So I am sharing this article with you, because I wanted to share a story from my last show. This is the first show I have used a glass display case. This is not the first show stopper I have used, but it is the first show stopper that really worked.
Why did this one work, when others did not.
1. I did not skimp on this piece.
I took my time and created something from my soul. I created it for the joy of creating it. Although I hope it sells one day, that was not the main focus I had when I made it.
2. The display.
Previously, I would show a show stopper on a neck form. And it blended in with my normal stuff. Although my earlier show stoppers would get some attention, they were quickly forgotten.
With my new piece, I set it up as if it were on pedestal. I placed it in a glass top case, that gave the impression that it was expensive. I placed it on black velour so it would stand out! And I placed the entire case in where the sun would shine one it, so it would sparkle.
All of these small touches, made it stand out. And customers took notice. I have a number of customers say "You have the best jewelry out here." I don't know if that is true or not, but I do believe the show stopper had a lot to do with hearing that comment repeatedly throughout the day.
Here is a picture of my show stopper in it's case from my last show. I did not sell the show stopper, but I did sell two other pieces from that case!