Last Saturday I took my new wares to their first debut. It was a Flea Market. I had my doubts (which turned out to be true) but knew that this would be good. It gave me an end goal, it forced the work out for critique (a scary but necessary part of this whole process), and forced me to try something I wasn't absolutely certain about the outcome.
All in all the day was complete fun and a flop. I learned so much about the market for my things, about display, and about pricing. The flea market was a great debut. People who go to flea markets like that are either really in need of a deal or just really love old things. The latter are my customers.
People's responses were so encouraging. They would be snooping around all of these random stalls with assorted items and suddenly stop at my display. The intrigue, shock, and appreciation was payment enough to make up for the lack of actual money made. People don't go to flea markets to spend a lot of money for hand made things... they go for deals on old things. I did sell the New York mail/Key piece to a woman who loved it. She was from NY and had just bought a house on the Chesapeake (where I found the crate top). I also met a master craftsman who ended up giving me some metal Victorian ceiling pieces and some large letters which I certainly have exciting designs for. (I know i just ended that sentence with a preposition and I'm not changing it! ha!)
Armed with a healthy dose of discouragement to surmount, I left the experience much better for doing it. I was humbled and seriously cold (ha!) but as the G.I. Joes say, "Knowing is half the battle." So, I'm getting back on the horse and continuing to ride towards the sunset, dagonit.