There are plenty of avenues for you to sell your "stuff"... but which ones are going to be worth all the time, money and effort? It can be a bit of a gamble signing up for a new show or market. So when we heard that our new friend Lindsey of The Pod Shop (her stuff is PRETTY cute!) was going to be doing a RAW: natural born artists show, we had to ask her about the experience!
Q: What is RAW?
A: It's interesting. I've never seen anything like it in the crafting/art community. It's basically an organization that has outlets in most of the major cities in the world and they put on art shows that have a nightclub environment. You have to "apply" to get a spot in the show, but I'm pretty sure that if you aren't completely terrible you'll be accepted. The nice thing is that when you do a show with them, they give you a cool page online to promote it, plus professional photos of you and your art. AND you can get into any RAW show afterwards for free.
Q: What was the night like?
A: It was awesome. I had such a great time. I was lucky enough to pick out the perfect booth right by the stage and it got me a lot of traffic. It was however, REALLY loud, like REALLY REALLY loud. But after a couple whiskeys from the bar it wasn't an issue. :P My good friend who helped at my booth had gone to a RAW show before and he told me it was like a circus, and that was an accurate description. It's totally sensory overload, but in a good way. I think it was a bit much for some of my friends and family that came to support me, but for my more outgoing people it wasn't an issue.
Q: It costs a bit of money to do... what made you think it was worth the investment?
A: I was a little concerned about doing a pay-to-play thing for my craft and I think a lot of people are. There's actually this female artist that tirades against RAW on the internet for this sole reason. I was worried when I read her blog, because she's very professional and her art is beautiful. But, after doing the event, I see no issue. You always have to pay something-- whether it's a booth fee or commission. But with ticket sales the artist actually doesn't have to pay a dime if they sell all their tickets. I mean, your friends and family are going to support you anyways, and selling 20 tickets at $15 isn't really that hard. The great thing was that this ended up being my most lucrative show ever. I sold 11 pieces and got to keep all the money :)
Q: What were you expecting to get out of it? Did that happen?
A: I had no expectations. I thought it was either going to be wildly fun and successful or awkward and a waste of time. I'm so glad it was the former.
Q: What was the application/jurying process like?
A: It was easy. I was contacted by one of their reps and then I filled out a questionnaire and gave them photos of my work. I was approved the next day and then I just had to focus on ticket sales and prepping my booth.
Q: Tell us a little about your business.
A: I make jewelry out of natural materials, but specifically seed pods. It's really eclectic, and I like to think it's something that Mother Nature would wear, were she actually a person. Right now, I make mostly earrings and necklaces, but I'm expanding into bracelets and rings, and hopefully plugs! It's very down to earth...literally..on the ground.
Q: What would you tell someone who is considering doing RAW?
A: I would definitely recommend it to makers, photographers, or painters, and maybe even fashion designers-- but probably not to bands. You can get cheaper shows at other venues. But I think physical crafters should try it once. It's a neat experience.
Q: Where can people find your stuff?
A: People can purchase things on my Etsy (thepodshop.etsy.com) but because every piece is so time consuming and made with found materials, no two are ever the same and sometimes it's difficult to keep the Etsy updated. I think the best representation of my work can be found on Instagram @thepodshop. I post everything I make there and it often inspires people to email me for custom orders. I'm also on Facebook at facebook.com/thepodshop and I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Anything else you'd like to share?
A: They really make an effort to connect the artists together, and you meet up a couple of times before the show. Because at the show, it's sooo busy that you have no time to walk around and see the other booths. I wish that I had put in more effort to connect with them...instead I was just dancing by myself. Maybe it was the whiskey...it probably was...I'm gonna go with yes.