Sorry in advance, this will be windy. Last Fall, an artist friend encouraged me to apply to a local juried art festival. What the heck, I took three gits to present for inclusion, not expecting to be included with "art". Well, two weeks later, Grandpa's gits were accepted into the Fine Crafts division of the 58th Annual Art Festival. Now what? Last week, I took 6 of my best gits to the show for judging and sale. After the Thursday night preview, I came home deflated. This place was four halls and rooms filled with real art..paintings (all mediums), sculpture, glasswork, ceramics, everything. And my homemade gits. Be lucky to get out of the place with any of my minimal dignity intact after the three day event. This thing was the real deal, with real artists.
Festival opens at 10:00 am Friday morning. At 10:30am I'm kickin' around at Home depot, and get a call from my friend at the festival. "Two folks are looking at your gits, have some questions, can you come over?" Sure, I said. "Can you bring some more guitars?". Yep! By 3:00pm, 6 gits are sold. "Do you have anymore you can bring in the morning?" Yep. Enter three more on Sat.morning, and sold three more by Sat. afternoon. 12 entered, 9 sold. Sat. night I reviewed my remaining inventory, and did not have any more gits I was happy enough with to enter in the show. So, Sunday I had 3 gits left in the show, and sold 1 more, a LPG. 12 entered, 10 sold. Beat my best day ever by 7!
Now, I'm a builder, like you. I've built @ 70 pieces, and the second 35 are way better than the first 35. I'm just a guy who wants to share and sell (when possible) some of my gits. Folks, these awesome art festival patrons were asking me where I get my "creative ideas", and called me "artist". They marveled at the ingenuity of a stick in a box making music. Let me add, 5 of my gits were purchased by musicians and players who thought a CBG was something they needed to own. Look, I'm just Grandpa, 68 year old git guy. Creative? O.k. Artist? If you say so, and thank you, sir or madam. Thanks for your support and interest. The festival gets a piece of each sale, which is cool. The Festival Director congratulated me on my successful weekend, and asked if I planned to return next year. Yes ma'am!
These were not uppity snooty folks. Sorry, my preconceived bias.They are just like us...liking new ideas and creative implementation. I made a lot of new acquaintances this weekend, maybe even a new friend or two. The socializing aspect was awesome. This was a crowd with a few discretionary dollars, too. I saw a sculpture sell for $8700 freakin' dollars! A painting sold for $5600 dollars! Many other pieces sold throughout for less, and most for much less. Nobody else sold 10 pieces. I had a dozen people come up to me saying "I saw a lot of people leaving with your guitars". They notice. I also handed out 30-40 business cards to "interested parties". This isn't because I'm hip, slick, and cool. But the gits are!
Here's the closing of this tale. To me, a hobbyist builder, selling 10 gits over a weekend is a big deal. Hell, I've given away near as many as I've sold, like lots of you. I'm not a big festival vendor, I don't sell online, and I'll never sell (or build) hundreds of gits. Some of you folks do these things, and sell a crapload more than I'll ever build. If you are a local builder, selling some gits at local craft shows and swap meets to make money and free up space to build more, I'm with ya! Check your local City/County/Regional events calendars, and when your wondering where to sell your wares, don't blow by the art festival listings. Some are pricey to enter - $200-$300 entry + commission at some around So. Cal. I won't be entering those. The one I entered is $60.00 + 30% of sales. I adjusted my prices up 20%, still had what I felt was a good price point, and brother, I had some volume!
As the advertisers like to say "Your results may vary". But my experience, once again, tells me not to discount an opportunity to spread the joy of CBG's. Happy Buildin'.
Great deal Grandpa. You got me thinking. ;)
congrats, what a great weekend you had..
Happy for your success
What sort of prices were you asking? Were these all acoustic, or were some wired? Were you playing at least some of the time? Enquiring minds want to know!!
Hi Mark. Here's the scoop. I sold 5 acoustic three string gits, 1 electric three string bass, 2 electric three string gits, 1 electric four string git, and 1 acoustic three string license plate git.
I hope I don't get torched by the high-volume builders over pricing, but my range of sales was 1 x $80, 2 x $150, 3 x $120, 4 x $110. I build for joy of building, and sell to buy parts and make room.I only sell in person, at shows or in my garage/shop.
I wasn't planning, or required to spend a lot of hours at the 3 day event, but once I got to the event, I had a pretty steady flow of interested folks, so I played quite a bit to demo the gits, explain the build process, and tell folks the history of the instruments. I spent 5-6 hours on site on each of the first two days, and about three hours on the last day. I am convinced, again, that being there to demo and talk "closed" many sales. Two were sold when I wasn't there, eight were sold after I met with the buyers. Probably not a coincidence.
Hope this is helpful.
That's what I want to. I'm not making these things as world class instruments. They are in essence, playable art. I think the arts & crafts shows is the way to go.
Thanks for posting.
Yup, Frog, that's where I'm at. I think my gits are pretty nice, they play well, each one different. We've seen awesome, professional luthier-built cigar box guitars. Mine aren't that. But, the folks that buy my builds all seem to be smilin' happy when they take them home. The arts and crafts visitors seem to be appreciative of cigar box instruments.
Thanks for posting!