Last weekend was the last weekend of Open Studios. We have had steady crowds and a lot of people are buying this year. They are not buying the huge expensive pieces. But those many small sales add up to a nice hunk of change.
It is interesting watching and listening to people while they are there. We are part of their Christmas tradition. They come, they watch demos, they bring friends and family, they talk to all of us, they eat our cookies and candy, and maybe they will buy some small item. They think they have been to a party. We want them to enjoy the visit to the shop. When the economy is better maybe they will come back and buy.
Lots feel they are "closer" to us than our other customers. These folks come an hour or more before we open. They are just sure it is fine with us to have to stop cleaning the glass ( which takes me about an hour each morning), to stop opening the register for the day,to stop setting out new glass pieces and doing our pricing, to stop eating our breakfast on the run. We are to visit with them, to help them decide what to buy. They usually do buy, we treat them well, but it puts us behind on starting the business day. I will end up cleaning glass after we are really open, which is a no no. At that time I am supposed to be the sales clerk, the greeter, the information lady.
I enjoy Open Studios, I also dread it every year. It gives us a 7 day working week. Long hours on hard concrete. And I have to make nice to rude people. Those that know me well, know just how hard that is for me. I could never work retail much more that this one month of the Holidays. I would lose it one day and tell people to get their dirty sticky fingers off the glass I just cleaned.