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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving My first show
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My first show
Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3414
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2004-06-27 9:57 pm   Permalink

Really too bad that 99.5% of Wisconsites haven't got a clue what the value of handmade art is, let alone the art form of the South Seas. I had reasonable prices for my work, and many here on TC who have seen it have commented on the craftsmanship as being good. Not a single piece sold out of the 40 that I brought with me to a street festival and a fine art fair (I use that term loosely now that I have seen what was considered "fine art" there) that drew between 20,000 and 40,000 over 2 beautiful summer days.

Must people pound on the tops of the tikis as they walk by? And 1 out of 3 people called them totem poles. Children age 10 knew what they were and called them out, "TIKIS!" Too bad the little buggers didn't carry wallets, they would have been my best customers!

I blew $100 on a booth space and out of the Beenie Baby booths and welded junk creatures and cigar box purses I swear I was the only vendor that didn't sell a thing all weekend. Secondly, I was hoping to share my love for the art/tiki culture with others and maybe find more people who share the same or get someone new on the path to addition like me. If tiki happens to be the next biggest thing in pop culture again we don't have to worry about Wisconsin catching on. I have one more show in a few weeks and I am hoping to make up for some big losses this weekend... after that I think I'm back to the underground... I have a lot of tikis in my house again...

Thanks to Tiki-Toa and finkdaddy for stopping by and their Aloha! Nice to meet in person!

Some pics from the weekend...

Me carving trying to attract a little business to the tent...

My wife in the tent trying to keep her spirits up...

[ This Message was edited by: Lake Surfer 2009-02-08 22:46 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2094
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2004-06-27 10:30 pm   Permalink

I'm really sorry to hear that you didn't even sell one tiki! Your work is REALLY good and I hope that the next one will yield many costomers. I'll bet you could sell some of your tikis to TC members...

OMG! I'm on Instagram!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 316
From: SLO California
Posted: 2004-06-27 10:30 pm   Permalink

sounds kind of rough, in all likely hood it was your crowd, those Wisconsites. your work is good and i would think that in a better environment like Florida, CAlifornia, or another area of the country were tikis are a bit more recognizable, and valued your stuff would sell much better. don't worry about your rough time with those Wisconsites, it doesn't reflect your work at all, but more of a cultural/interest difference.

[ This Message was edited by: Octane on 2004-06-27 22:31 ]

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 82
From: SanAntonio, Tx.
Posted: 2004-06-27 11:33 pm   Permalink

Don't let it get you down...it's a similar situation here, for me. I travel all over the country and even Japan and sell the hell outta my signs, wall art and striping...but I can't hardly give it away at home. It looks like you do some real nice work! Send me an email of your price range, and hopefuly I can order one in the not too distant future (I'm playing " $ catch up" after several road trips). I've also got some friends that might be interested in snatching up a tiki from you...I'll be happy to pass the word along.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 27, 2004
Posts: 47
From: columbus,OH
Posted: 2004-06-28 05:41 am   Permalink

Sorry about your weekend man. Your tikis look amazing. You gotta keep chuggin' away. I know the feeling when nothing moves, but sooner or later. Besta luck man

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 15, 2004
Posts: 464
From: Knoxville, TN
Posted: 2004-06-28 06:30 am   Permalink

[ This Message was edited by: TNTiki on 2004-11-06 15:47 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2004-06-28 06:31 am   Permalink

Dude that sucks! It happens to the best of us though, don't take it to heart. Like you said it's Wisconsin!

I suggest you put them all in a truck and drive them down to Hukilau where they will be appreciated.

Good luk with your next show.
Original Art by
Scott "Flounder" Scheidly


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 29, 2004
Posts: 599
From: outside the windy city
Posted: 2004-06-28 06:31 am   Permalink

Lakesurfer-your stuff is terrific-maybe you should carve a "Packer Tiki"-that would probably go over big,but I wouldn't buy one of those,being a Bear Fan.Keep a good thought.

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Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1542
From: London
Posted: 2004-06-28 06:47 am   Permalink

sorry to hear. probably, a lot of folks at street festivals just go to browse & will only purchase something if it's easy to carry w/ them & involves virtually no commitment (magnets, hand-made cards).

the exposure may have still made it worthwhile. you may one day hear, "oh yeah, i saw you at the street fair! i really like your stuff!" or "my friend told me about this great tiki carver he saw at the street fair."

your carvings look great.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 590
From: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posted: 2004-06-28 07:01 am   Permalink

Don't let it get ya down. The folks who posted previously are right. Wrong crowd. I imagine Tiki is hard to push in Wisconsin. Your work is very good. Someone said it before... Hukilau, you're gonna sell something there for sure. Gotta web site? Or, post some more pics.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2003
Posts: 111
From: Boise, ID
Posted: 2004-06-28 07:23 am   Permalink

Don't worry LakeSurfer. We have always enjoyed looking at the pictures you posted for your carvings. I would agree with everyone else. Take the carvings to Hukilau.

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Satan's Sin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2004-06-28 07:38 am   Permalink

Lake Surfer, all the advice above is very good; keep broadening your market, use the net, etc. All that's very good stuff.

As a person who was once in a position similiar to yours, I would only offer this. Make sure your prices are on the low end. Too many newbies with promising enterprises have shot themselves in the foot by asking dream prices for their products (one starting-out-painter I knew was shocked and outraged that no one bought her painting for the asking price of $8,000 even though a lot of people SAID they liked it). I say start with very, very reasonable prices, and once they start to move then start upping the price.

I'll bet you that Shag's first pieces probably went for peanuts.

Good luck! Your stuff looks great!

"Never, never, never, NEVER give up!" --- Winston Churchill

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 02, 2003
Posts: 402
From: Atlanta
Posted: 2004-06-28 07:42 am   Permalink


Sorry about the disappointment. I've always liked your stuff. If I've got the scratch I'll take one off your hands at the Hukilau!


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10397
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-06-28 07:48 am   Permalink

Lake Surfer, Chalk it up to Experience. I remember the first few Art Shows I entered into got about the same response. It was very frustrating and I blamed everyone. Fact was there were no Tiki Lovers at the show to buy your work. Put some on consignment at the local Plant Nurseries and Landscapers shops and they will sell. Go to the next show, and the next, and the next. People will see you and start buying knowing you are a "Regular" rather than "some out of town artist". I like the Idea of "Loading a truck and going to Huki Lau" There, they Will sell. I'll share my table with you.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 26, 2002
Posts: 39
From: Knoxhell
Posted: 2004-06-28 07:57 am   Permalink

Yeah, keep on trying. These fairs can be tricky... 20,000 people who came for hot dogs and funnel cakes doesn't do you as much good as 20 people who had to pay admission to the show because they were interested in buying art.

Definitely keep trying the show circuit though, your stuff looks good and you will find your customers.

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