dust stuff #9: The Next Step

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Blog entry by JoeyG posted 06-05-2012 01:40 AM 2015 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: check this one out Part 9 of dust stuff series Part 10: Possible contest? »

I thought I would give you guys an update on how things are going.

I did really well at the art show on Saturday. I sold 4 boxes total and have another 6 commissioned to be built. While that may not sound like a lot, I was really pleased. I spent $10 on the table, so I packed up the rest of my boxes with a few bucks in my pocket. I made a few mistakes, like taking boxes that belonged to my kids. They wanted to show them off and I thought maybe seeing a larger variety would help with custom orders. What I think it actually did was distract my customers from the ones I did have for sale. I will not be doing that again. Sorry kids. I hope they understand.
It seems I had my prices about right. No one tried to talk me down. I wouldn’t have dropped my prices anyway, but I felt that was a good thing. I don’t feel that they were to low either since I now have the money to buy some new jointer knives and a few boards.

Another thing I did right was to drink a lot of coffee and do a lot of talking. The talking led to a meeting tonight with some folks who are building a new home just a few miles from my house. I will be spending the next couple of hours designing a furniture style vanity made of Wenge. While the contractor’s cabinet man is responsible for most of the cabinets in the home, there will be many opportunities for things like window seats and other things they did not think about while designing the house along with random pieces of furniture and extra built in’s and possibly a custom mantle.

So in summery, a small coffee shop art festival turned in to a great day for boxes and a brighter future for my small shop in general. I went into the show with the attitude that I did not mind taking every box back home with me as long as I got my name out there a little and made a few contacts. Well I was able to accomplish that and much more.

I think the $10 I spent on the registration and table space fee was possible the best money I have spent on my shop all year.

I guess that’s about all for this entry. I know a lot of you may have been wondering how I did and since I will be laying tile in my basement over the next week or two, I don’t know how long before I post another project and I just wanted to let you all know how I did. Your support and encouragement helped me make it through a couple of hard weeks there that I really didn’t want to work in the shop. Every time I felt like that I would post a box or two and after your comments I was ready to make some saw dust.

Thanks to everyone who view, commented, or PMed me about a box. You guys got me through and I am grateful.


Here is a picture of my lay out at the show

-- JoeyG ~~~

15 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30441 posts in 2849 days

#1 posted 06-05-2012 01:47 AM

Patience & exposure is everything. You have very quality products. Being willing to talk is huge. Being comfortable talking to customers always sells. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3814 days

#2 posted 06-05-2012 01:53 AM

well from what i see in the picture there, there is one cute little girl who i think made the sales…lol…while dad was off drinking coffee…yep, that’s what i think happened…lol…....and now most of you might think wow, hes gonna work in the basement doing tile instead of wood work, well guys i know the real story here…hes been bribed…..yes…for every room he remodels, he gets a new tool…and i thought wow what a genius…so i started remodeling my whole house tonight, and even though i only have 5 rooms…well i think i can get a pretty good start on my next shop addition..some guys have all the luck…and Joseph here aint no dummy, he knows how to make the deals …, but he sure does do well at making his boxes and other wood work, hes really good…good luck Joseph…if i don’t see a post within two weeks, ill send down some divers to bring you out of the basement.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3136 days

#3 posted 06-05-2012 02:09 AM

Grizz, your giving away all my secrets…. Well since I have inspired you to begin the remodel let me pass on what I have learned. Women are very smart. Make sure you get your tools before you begin the project else there will not be money left for them. Also make sure what ever tool you choose for the trade is not something you need to complete the job. That way you get those extra tools to finish the job. LOL.

My wife enjoyed the banter on facebook. I thought it was great fun and I am very happy to get to know you on a more personal level than just projects.

And I may need those drivers. A week laying tiles and my knees are liable to leave me laying on the floor unable to make it back up stairs. LOL

Have a great evening

Thanks Monte,


-- JoeyG ~~~

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3819 days

#4 posted 06-05-2012 02:49 AM

Joey…I am glad to hear you did well at the show. Your hard work and skills paid off. I really enjoy doing shows and agree that you need to talk a lot and build relationships with future clients. Hope you gave out many business cards cause they will pay off.
Laying tile in a basement will seem like it goes on forever because you will be thinking about making boxes.
I just spent a couple of weeks building a new storage shed and felt so guilty that I was not boxmaking.

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3136 days

#5 posted 06-05-2012 02:57 AM

Thanks Greg, The show was a lot of fun. I did give out a lot of cards. I am looking forward to the next one. I am not yet prepared for a large show, but for now these small ones are fun and I don’t take a big loss if I don’t sell. I know you do Art Festivals also and try to pick up any advice you and many others here share. I think at the moment my biggest problem is making enough inventory to take to the shows.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3658 days

#6 posted 06-05-2012 03:07 AM

That’s a great display of some of the finest boxes ever. I’m exited to put some walnut to good use and a few boxes are first on the list. I just saw a vid on how to turn the bandsaw table to adjust the drift once and for all. That way I can put that 6” riser block to good use. The bandsaw has been frustrating for me so far but it needs to get working to start resawing this walnut. Thanks for showing all your fine work. Scott.

-- $tudie

View Boxguy's profile


2856 posts in 2778 days

#7 posted 06-05-2012 03:27 AM


I am glad you did well at the show. The nicest part is that you get feedback from customers and future customers. It sounds like you had fun. Your boxes are really great and should sell well…you deserve that.

I quit taking commissions to build boxes…too easy to have disappointments. Better to make what you like, and if they like it – they buy it…if they don’t buy it – someone else will.

May I suggest that you make a demo box that has the various stages of spline inserts. On one corner…just box, next corner…just slots (with string attached spline), next corner…splines glued in, forth corner…finished corner with trimmed splines. It helps non-woodworkers to understand the process and saves a lot of hand motions. Mine has the bottom board cut away in a corner to explain that too.

You might also build a demo box that shows the process of some of your carving techniques. I find that knowing the process you went through to build the box helps customers understand the price you are asking.

Wear your knee pads…and while you are down there doing tile consider that you could have enjoyed making a couple of boxes, sold them, and paid someone else to do the tile work.

-- Big Al in IN

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2717 days

#8 posted 06-05-2012 04:16 AM


I am so happy for you! That is awesome! Keep up the great work! You are an incredible artist and an inspiration, especially with those carved boxes.

Your Friend,


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3136 days

#9 posted 06-05-2012 09:56 AM

@Scott, Thanks, I wish you luck with your walnut. I use my table saw to resaw boards, but that only allows be to cut boards that are at max 6 inches.

@Nate, Thank you. I just try to make each box a little better than the one before. If I can help inspire others by doing that then I am honored.

@Alan, I have considered stopping commissions, but they make up a large part of my sales. I like the challenge of trying to make a box match a person, but if I do begin to do more shows, the commissions will possibly have to end. It will be a tough call when the time comes.

Your idea on the sample boxes is a great one. I will have to make some mock ups once I get back in the shop. It will definatly make it easier to explain. As for paying someone else to do my tile, well that just feels wrong. That would be like admitting that I am old, and I am just not ready for that. LOL.

I hope you all have a great day.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3315 days

#10 posted 06-05-2012 11:22 AM

Sounds like a gr8 day Joey. With your box talents, you should be just fine.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 4109 days

#11 posted 06-05-2012 12:15 PM

Joey, it is sure great to hear someone being positive about their experiences! Best of Luck…

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3136 days

#12 posted 06-05-2012 12:30 PM

Thanks Roger, It has been a great week for the shop. It seems I will have a very busy summer.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3136 days

#13 posted 06-05-2012 12:34 PM

Hey Chuck, I try every day to be positive. I figure bad things are going to happen no matter what but I can choose how I let them affect me. This just happened to work out really well, but had it not, I still would have viewed it as a success because everyone who came to the show has seen my work and will hopefully think about it in the future.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3201 days

#14 posted 06-06-2012 01:27 AM

Way to go Joey! I knew you would have sales. You worried me there when I thought you sold all your kid’s boxes. That sounds like something I would do. Now you can add salesman to your skill list (unless Grizz was right and your daughter really did the selling while you drank coffee). Congrats and let me know if you run short of boxes. I have plenty!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3136 days

#15 posted 06-06-2012 10:51 AM

She did talk to a lot of people, but I think the boxes sold themselves. I gave a brief description of what and where each wood came from and how I shaped them. I am no salesman, so I have to build the boxes well enough that they speak for themselves.

-- JoeyG ~~~

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