We did it! SAM has come and gone and I’m going to go ahead and say it was a success. Very early on in the semester, the five of us defined what success would mean in this project. We decided our venture would not be a failure if in the end we broke even.
In his UDACITY videos, Steve Blank stresses the point that the founders have got to be the ones getting out of the building, asking questions of potential customers, talking about their ideas. On Saturday, I understood the importance of the founders being very present for the launch, as well. There were so many questions, so many small things to do (some we had planned for and some which were overseen). Sure, we had volunteers, but it was the 5 of us that truly were passionate about standing outside for 6+ hours; making sure the tables looked just right; greeting each artist as they arrived to set up; greeting each customer who walked through the entrances.
The feedback from our audience was GREAT. My job was to man the info table. Geared with my clicker for attendance and clipboard for a mailing list, I was fortunate to be on the receiving end of many excited, kind and complimentary comments about SAM. Most people thought it was a brilliant idea, some assumed we did it every week, many were super impressed it was student artists.
It was interesting to pay attention to which artists were selling a lot of work and assume why. We had a wiiiiiiiide variety of art and craft showcased; from large canvas paintings to $5 crochet hats. Some of the work seemed really underpriced to me (maybe from the artist lacking in confidence for their work? Or perhaps new to the art market scene?), while others priced artwork on the high end (usually it seemed justified, due to size or detail of the work). However, many of our 115+ visitors didn’t appear to be overly wealthy art connoisseurs (I mean, who knows, but the $650 paintings didn’t sell, so I think it is a safe assumption….). Artists with fairly inexpensive work (under $50) sold more, as did the unique gifts, like Molly Schenck’s clay polymer piggy banks (see below and Nathan Smith’s comic books and stickers.
Looking forward to debriefing with my fellow entrepreneurs on Wednesday. I’m proud of us as a collective and I think it went as smoothly and as well as we could have hoped, given the planning time and circumstances. And, like I said earlier, we cannot forget that originally we said we’d consider ourselves a success if we broke even. And we broke even!!!!!