by Lady Mockingbird.
(Upstate New York USA)
Near the beginning of May 2013 I got a surprise phone call from the president of our local public library’s board. She’d purchased one of my pendants (made in 2009) a few years ago when I was still doing outdoor shows.
And she started the call by saying how she still gets compliments on her piece every time she wears it. She continued by saying that she had a proposition for me and would I be able to give her some time the next afternoon.
Intrigued I happily agreed to meet with her and was astonished when she arrived and outlined her proposal. She described that after having done some recent renovations to the library that the board had decided instead of putting up permanent decor items, they wanted to do something a little different with the walls and a couple of small shelving areas.
The concept was that they’d like to feature works in different mediums by local artists and that they would like to show of some of my work during the summer months. She further mentioned that they wanted to have one show stopper kind of piece but asked that it be accompanied by smaller less expensive items the library staff would sell on my behalf.
The catch, she said, was that the display area for my work would be limited that it needed to be classy AND she’d need everything by the end of May. Ack I had just 3 weeks to come up with a concept for the display AND make product while keeping up with the orders in my queue.
The first thing I thought of, was some kind of shadowbox deal for the show stopper. If I sealed it properly it would protect the pieces inside from oxidation, dust, and curious children’s fingers. I also considered a small basket to hold the items for sale.
I worried a little bit about a standard shadow box having the stability I’d want for a freestanding display, and also about the basket leaving enough of the product visible as this would be a chest high shelf. So, really wasn’t sure about how to handle the sale items when I went to the craft store to see what I could find.
I was right about the shadowboxes until I saw one intended for displaying game balls from various sporting events. The aha! moment came and I snagged it for the showstopper, but found nothing on that trip that looked right for the other items.
While I worked on making stock, creating a new and brief artist bio along with a special product information card, I let thoughts of how to display the work slide. Then suddenly it was the end of May and I still had about 15 more pieces I needed to finish AND I hadn’t yet figured out the display issue. Ack!
So, I called in a friend to help me put together branded cards on which to place the stock and it was while cutting them and stacking them in a rectangular tray that the answer came to me. Not baskets but square glass candle holders.
If I got three I could separate the copper earrings from the sterling and put the special antique nail cross pendants in the third. They’d take up very little space, and would not obscure the product at all. So, even though I ended up being two days later than promised, the board president was as pleased with the end results as was I.
Who knew that a single sale I made years ago would end up the gateway to a new opportunity?