Richard (www.richardjwalls.com) and I had our second outing sharing a stall at the saturday Artsmix market in Leeds yesterday. We were both fired up to exceed last month’s vast income. Very nice weather, which is always encouraging. Even more encouraging was a lady buying one of Richard’s prints while he was still away parking his car. That was it for the morning though, some interest and nice comments but no more sales. However…that had been the case last month so I wasn’t downhearted (yet).
As hoped the afternoon became busier and we sold more. We tried various sales techniques – talk to the customer, ignore the customer, reduce the prices, take the price tickets off, but sales still seem to be random events with no link between type of customer, price, subject matter, or anything.
There are some pictures (for both of us) that definitely draw interest. They don’t necessarily sell but they bring customers to the stall. We’re definitely getting a feel for what customers like to look at but getting them to buy them is something else entirely.
We were feeling pretty good by about 4:30, a successful day and there was a late rush of people (also expected from last month’s experience) and then it happened. The skies darkened. The rain started. The lightning flashed, the thunder clapped. We piled the stock into the middle of the stall away from the rain and mostly got away with it, just the odd spot of water.
Fifteen minutes later and the sun was out. We dried everything off and laid it all out again. Still looking threatening though. In my mind I was remembering weather maps I’d seen the day before showing some very bad weather. Sure enough we started feeling a few drops. Then another stallholder started to yelp as a gust of wind caught them. I immediately put all the pictures flat on the stall – wind is (I thought) our worst enemy, it blows the pictures off their easels. I thought it was time to pack up, and started piling everything onto the stall again, but the deluge had now started. I couldn’t pack anything away without exposing it to the rain so I just had to leave it under cover and hope for the best. At first it was OK. The rain was coming straight down and the stall cover was doing its job. But the rain got heavier, and heavier. Then it turned to hail. Quarter-inch diameter hail. I’ve never seen such a downpour. It was still coming straight down but it was bouncing off the street and onto the stall. I could see everything getting very wet but there was nothing to be done. Half an hour later and it was over (or at least, just turned to more normal light showers). The stock had taken a battering, I could see water damage to a number of framed prints. All we could do was pack it away and take it home. It’s now scattered all round the house, drying. I’ll take a look tomorrow and see what the damage is.
Thanks to Richard for the photos, like the bad photographer I am I had forgotten to take my camera 😦