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Old 05-03-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: United States
464 posts, read 662,460 times
Reputation: 767

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Howdy everyone. While I have long been a reader of this forum, I have finally registered and this is my first post.

Did anyone attend the "Starving Artists Art Show" which was held this past Saturday and Sunday (May 1 & 2) at SAHA Park in downtown San Antonio? This long-standing annual event raises funds that help support the food program of the Little Church of La Villita. Previous Starving Artists events had been held in La Villita and this was the first year it was being held at SAHA Park.

I had a family member who participated as a vendor in the show and sales were not very good; other established artists who frequented this show in previous years also echoed the same sentiment. For several vendors, this is their biggest show of the year.

Another vendor from out of town commented that they had to lower their prices for the San Antonio market by 35 to 40%. The prices I observed for hand-crafted items were very reasonable when you consider the time, effort and materials that go into creating such things. Most attendees commented on how nice the artwork and jewelry was but didn't buy. If the items are priced too low, the vendor loses money and so does the food program of the Little Church of La Villita.

This raises some questions:

* On average, are folks in San Antonio very frugal when it comes to purchasing arts and crafts or has the economic downturn induced this? Is there simply not much interest in hand crafted goods here?

* Was the new location (SAHA Park vs the previous La Villita) off the tourist path (Riverwalk area) hence lower sales?

I was hoping to get some feedback from long time locals (I'm a relatively recent addition) on the shopping habits of locals when it comes to arts & crafts. With that feedback I can hopefully formulate a better strategy to help achieve better sales and a larger contribution to the Little Church of La Villita.

Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
5,142 posts, read 11,480,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillcountrywinefan View Post
* On average, are folks in San Antonio very frugal when it comes to purchasing arts and crafts or has the economic downturn induced this? Is there simply not much interest in hand crafted goods here?
Frugal in S.A. when it comes to arts and crafts, I think it depends on the area of town. Yes, some of it is attributed to the economic downtown but S.A. has a smaller arts scene than the other comparable larger U.S. cities.
I wouldn't say not much interest in hand crafted goods here if the price is not right. It's a bit of a struggle to sell hand crafted goods even if they are of high quality here. I've been to tons of art shows, crafted goods type of get togethers and see that people wince at something that's $15.

There seems to be more luck in the neighboring Hill Country towns especially with Market Days events.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:18 PM
 
Location: United States
464 posts, read 662,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeet09 View Post
Frugal in S.A. when it comes to arts and crafts, I think it depends on the area of town. Yes, some of it is attributed to the economic downtown but S.A. has a smaller arts scene than the other comparable larger U.S. cities.
I wouldn't say not much interest in hand crafted goods here if the price is not right. It's a bit of a struggle to sell hand crafted goods even if they are of high quality here. I've been to tons of art shows, crafted goods type of get togethers and see that people wince at something that's $15.

There seems to be more luck in the neighboring Hill Country towns especially with Market Days events.

@skeet09: Thank you for your insights; very helpful.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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I was a vendor there last year. I have been to the show three times in previous years as a shopper. The main problem was loyal shoppers did not know about the show. After being in the La Villita district for many years, the show skipped 2009 and then moved to a new location and date (May instead of April) in 2010.

All of the shoppers I asked had heard about the new date and location by word of mouth. There was nothing on the La Villita web site about the show, presumably because it had moved to the park.

The church did have one of those over-the-street banners a couple of miles away from the show. Locals said it was not in a particularly good location (not a busy street and not a spot traveled by likely shoppers).

All that being said, I'm giving in another try this year. The fees are very low, under $40 for a booth spot plus a percentage of sales.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:13 PM
 
574 posts, read 1,164,729 times
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So when is the show taking place?
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:34 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,260 posts, read 4,954,555 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadlockd View Post
So when is the show taking place?
I wondered the same thing - definitely something I'd check out!
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:16 PM
 
Location: SA/Pipe Creek
2,790 posts, read 5,188,283 times
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You can get some good stuff there. I remember going downtown way back with the parents and they always bought nice artwork for the house.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:41 AM
 
3,669 posts, read 5,920,219 times
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:42 AM
 
Location: United States
464 posts, read 662,460 times
Reputation: 767
It is very interesting that this location (SAHA Park) was chosen again for this event. I was present at last year's show and at the event's conclusion, the SAAS coordinators asked attending vendors for comments.

Many of the vendors I spoke to indicated their feedback to SAAS coordinators was to return the show to the original La Villita location with its unfettered access to the tourist traffic along the Riverwalk. In the past the La Villita location yielded higher proceeds for the artists and therefore more money for the Little Church food program.

Several vendors mentioned the tourists were traditionally more inclined to spend than the locals, based upon their observations over the years hence their preference for the La Villita venue.

Does anyone else feel the change in venue location has negatively impacted the potential amount of tourist-derived profits as SAHA Park is off the tourist foot path so to speak?
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:09 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,686 times
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@hillcountrywinefan - Yes, the change in location did hurt sales. The rumor last year was that there was friction between the church and the managers of the La Villita space.
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