Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Handmade" Links Buyer & Seller

I admit that I'm a little weird. The more time & effort I put into a jewelry creation, the harder it is for me to part with it... even for good money. That's why Challenging Path & Our Town, requiring 30 hours of labor each, are very special to me. So with mixed feelings I set them on my display table at the wonderful Renton Hassle Free Holiday Bazaar recently. They both attracted A LOT of attention from shoppers, but the price tag was too high for most, though my goal in life is to some day make WA State's minimum wage. (My prices are far from it.!) But the appreciative comments were very satisfying, and amazingly I felt a sense of relief when buyers left without my special treasures. (That's weird, right?)

Challenging Path
Our Town

Then a middle-age woman with a very gentle demeanor & a British accent focused on Challenging Path. She picked up the necklace like a fragile treasure & asked me about its name. Clearly the symbolism of life's winding path, full of gaps & obstacles, but beautiful in the Big Picture meant as much to her life as to mine.

She really wanted my creation! The price tag didn't push her away, though it was obvious that she was not wealthy. But this was her birthday, & she "deserved something special & this was it." I felt very honored that this jewelry meant so much to her. As she left with my creation, she promised to come back next year wearing Challenging Path, and gave me a huge hug. We definitely bonded over this necklace! This is weirdness I enjoy.

The next day, a repeat customer stopped by with eyes riveted on Our Town. She was fascinated by its 3-D engineering & unusual architectural design. She wanted it for her niece, but said she'd "test drive" it herself before Christmas:) She was impressed by the weight of the fine/pure silver in the piece. But when she saw the price tag, she knew she must think about it. Two hours later, she was back to see it again. Then off to think about it. That night after the show closed, the phone rang. Mary wondered if I had sold it yet. I told her it probably wouldn't sell quickly because it was so unique & I "wasn't giving it away." (I obviously need Marketing lessons!) But I felt that if she really had reservations, then I preferred to keep it. (Yes, more weirdness!) A week passed. Mary called again to say that she couldn't get it out of her mind & must have it! She "might" give it to her niece... "or not." She's a great repeat-customer who looks for me each year to buy the most unique items on my table of unique items. I was proud to release Our Town to her when she couldn't get it out of her mind.

It's amazing how an object created by hand & turned over to another's hands can create a bond. I LOVE seeing my repeat customers who seek me out at the few fairs I do each year. It's difficult for me to part with my most special pieces, but the appreciation in the buyer's eyes is just as important to me as the money they spend.

I look forward to seeing these 2 customers wearing "our" treasures next year in Renton:)