I went with Courtney to UDMA the other weekend and had a great time catching up with everyone—costume and shoe vendors, event organizers, studio owners attending the show, you name it.
Aside from the regular chitchat, though, I had a very specific agenda: I wanted to find out how everyone was doing in this recession we’re facing. Most people spoke to me in confidence, but I will say that the overall attitude was very much “let’s wait and see.”
Some manufacturers reported sales slowing down, but not by very much—yet. Others said that the decline in domestic business was being offset by international sales. Still others were seeing different stock moving differently—for example, an uptick in cheaper, more generic items rather than the more elaborate costumes. Vendors on the whole seemed to be cautious, but accepting and prepared.
The studio owners I talked to seemed to be doing just fine, but I wonder how much of that recession-proof success has to do with where they’re located (affluent suburbs). What if you’re in a rural area? Or inner city? I imagine everyone, even those fortunate enough to be riding things out so far, are busy thinking of ways to save, save, save.
This is something I’d really love to hear about from all of you out there. Have your parents been coming to you with tuition concerns? Have you had students drop out? How are you attempting to cost-cut around the studio? Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.