I have been in this position plenty of times before and have been saved but I am not counting on it and it is getting harder for me to keep my game face on. Not feeling sorry for myself, just stressing, please excuse me.
It is beautiful here in New Mexico right now, perfect cool weather, short afternoon rainstorms and I am happy to be in the marketplace with my comrades after a two year break.
But none of my three shows have really fired and I have largely failed to connect with the marketplace in a meaningful way. With huge expenses and the cost of goods I am afraid this whole near month on the road is setting me back financially at a time when I needed to move forward.
I could come up with a million excuses for my troubles, some of them probably valid. Crowds are down due to covid, people and dealers are scared to come out. The Delta variant continues to wreak havoc. There are about 30 to 40% less dealers here, but that is every show I have attended in the last couple months. The pandemic caused an enormous attrition and has shaken the antiques and decorative arts business and a lot of people aren't ever coming back.
I think the bigger problem is my material. I am what you might call a Swiss army knife dealer. I like to say that my knowledge base is a mile wide and a quarter inch deep. I sell items that span the decorative arts, from classical to modern, soup to nuts, all year long.
My peers and competitors are specialists that might do a couple shows a year. They tend to be much more attuned to the fine points of their market than I am and they frankly know the material better than I do.
I have done Indian shows in Marin and Santa Fe for close to thirty years and in some strange way am still an outsider if not a rookie. The business is built on relationships and I have not forged enough of them with this material. Pots, baskets, paintings and expensive big ticket items were not moving, jewelry was and I didn't have enough of it.
The noted chemist and engineer Owsley was an acquaintance of mine many years ago. On more than one occasion he remarked that my problem was that I was always trying to play pinochle at a poker game. So I got to Albuquerque and tried to play poker at a poker game, a novel approach for me.
Verrier said my stuff was too good for the venue, not sure if that was true. In any case I went back to playing pinochle at the poker game at the Objects show in Santa Fe, with a very personal mix of stuff and failed to fire there as well. Didn't resonate, couldn't seal the deal.
New van ran really well, no issues whatsoever. I think I made the right call buying the ProMaster. Great air conditioner, in any case.
Now this trip started out about three weeks ago or more, so forgive me if I am a little foggy on the initial stages.
I remember having to stop at a gas station for a little personal relief and in a grossed out pique thinking that there should be a special hell reserved especially for the people who purposefully leave a steamer in a public bathroom without flushing them. What the hell is the matter with you?
I got to New Mexico the second day of travel, after the normal stupid traffic slowdowns near Grants that will probably continue for another hundred years.