There comes a point in every theatrical production where practicing stops and the show begins for the paying customers. Same thing in the woodshop.
Beginning last week, a few of my reproduction items went on display at a local gallery for a month-long show. The gallery typically doesn’t feature a lot of woodworking, but that was the point of this show – in addition to their regular offerings, they’re showcasing the work of 19 regional woodworkers, including yours truly.
While most of the woodworkers have priced their stuff, I opted to put my best work on display only, not for sale. However, one of my items, a miniature reproduction spool cabinet of the type common in general stores in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, I did decide to put a price on for orders.
I had no clue if anyone would be interested in such an odd item and honestly wasn’t sure I had the time to make a bunch of them anyway. I figured I’d price it slightly higher than what I thought this area might be willing to pay and then just see what happens.
Surprise, surprise. I’ve started getting inquiries and it looks like I may need to roll the curtain up on this production and make a few. The response hasn’t been overwhelming, but that’s fine. Making items for sale isn’t really my thing, but a few I can handle. Better still, I already have all the necessary wood on-hand as well as the proper hardware, so there’s nothing to buy. The bottom line is that all this will take is an investment in time, and everything else will be profit that’ll become a nice amount for gifts and travel expenses over the holidays.
Hopefully the response will remain about like this, something I can easily handle that allows me to continue my regular shop work.
Then again, I suppose having to turn customers away is one of those luxuries every woodworker should experience at least once.