This year I was able to attend Alix Mikesell’s annual home show, despite freezing rain. This year she held her show on two non-consecutive days, a Thursday evening and a Saturday afternoon.
She really transformed her house into a gallery — I didn’t feel like I was in a house, I felt like I was in a gallery, and the atmosphere was one of “people are here to shop.”
The dining room was the main display area, with the check out area in the next room — I thought that was good, a very clearly defined check out area that says, “yes, we expect sales.”
Alix served wine and cheese, another decision that contributed to the “gallery” feeling. She created a full color oversize postcard and distributed it to 300 people. Attendance was about 55 people over two days.
She had multiple display areas, one area mounted on the wall, and three areas on tables, which is a great thing to consider for traffic flow. If one area was crowded, I still had other things to look at.
Going to Alix’s home show, and another one the same day, I was surprised how exciting it was to be in the artist’s home, to see their entire line, to be near their creativity. And this is what I do too! I thought I was immune. (The only thing that could make that even better would be large photographs of the artist at work on display.)
I was surprised to experience first hand that that that “feeling of something special” is greater at a home show than at a craft fair. There’s an air of exclusivity and urgency because you were only invited because you’re a friend or a friend of a friend, and there’s a time limit! If you don’t buy now, you might not be able to!
Both of the artists whose home shows I visited mentioned working non-stop for a month or two to prepare for the show, not to mention the disruption to the house itself.
“Was it worth it?” I asked them, Alix replied,
“Absolutely! The bad weather on Saturday affected turnout somewhat, but Thursday night went very well. Next year I may add Sunday afternoon hours also. As long as the house is set up, whatâ€™s another day? I couldnâ€™t have done it without the help of two friends. One helped me with pricing everything the day before the sale. Both assisted with displays and setting up the day of the sale and both worked the sale with me, greeting customers and processing sales. They get free jewelry for all their time and help.”
If you’d like to host your own home show, plan now for next year’s holiday season. Schedule in the time to make enough jewelry, and plan backwards for how much time you will need to have your postcard printed and get it mailed.
Will you try it? Have you? Post a comment and tell us about it! Thanks.
(c) 2007 Elaine D. Luther All Rights Reserved
Image is (c) Alix Mikesell All Rights Reserved