Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I love my life as a "maker of pretty things." But the reality, and what it requires is rather challenging sometimes. For example: I have lots of orders. Lots and lots. People like and sell what I make, and so I can realistically expect reorders. It's awesome. I have help here, I don't mind working all my waking hours. Really. But what's tough right now is that damn cash flow. Doing a big show like I did last month in Philly costs me around $14,ooo (shipping & show fees are the primary costs, incidental costs include travel, hotel and meals). That's EVERYTHING that I had managed to save in the last year. I had heard from most of my buyers that they were going to Philly instead of Baltimore this year (economy & timing) so I decided at the last minute to pull out of Baltimore and do the Philly show because I couldn't afford to do both. And I thought that between what the buyers were saying and my hope that I would get exposure to new buyers it was the right choice. Smart. True. But... In Baltimore there is a retail component to the show and I usually cover my show costs and come home with a little seed money for the year. Philly is wholesale only. I made a poor choice, I should have borrowed the extra money I needed to do both shows, just for the sake of that retail component. Instead, I came home totally broke and still need to buy the supplies to fill the orders I wrote in Philly, pay my worker-bees, pay the mortgage, etc. etc. etc. I hate being here again. I loved the past year when I was out of debt, had enough money in the bank to order the supplies I needed when I needed them, could handle a plumbing repair when it came up, and could buy bubble wrap when we ran low! I made a bad choice. In retrospect I should have borrowed the money to do both shows (it would have only cost around another $5000). But we make mistakes. I'll be okay, I will just need to use yet another essential skill of being a self-employed artist: juggling!