November 20, 2011

Craft Show Recap!

It's over! It's over! It's finally over.

It wasn't a total bust, but it wasn't great either. Let's recap first:

I had packed everything Friday afternoon so Saturday morning was pretty easy by just needing to iron the table cloth and get last minute stuff.

My sister's beautiful photography

We got there at 8 am and were assigned our table... Right next to the entrance! I was very happily surprised! It was a perfect spot in the corner too. Even if the people entering missed us, they did see us when they were leaving.

Saturday morning was exciting when it was all new and fresh. We finished setting up and then walked around to look at the other booths. Family and friends came by to visit and support us. By around 2 on Saturday afternoon we were all very tired of sitting and waiting. It was pretty slow - with only about 30, maybe 40 people who came through the entire 6 hours. I got a TON of knitting done. Finished an ornament, nearly finished a cowl that I had just started, and started another ornament. 6 hours of sitting around becomes very productive when you have hand work!

Swifts make awesome displays!

Ben and the kids stayed with us until nap time at 2.  There is a park right behind the hall, so he would take them out when they got restless and let them run until they got tired or too cold. Then they would come in and sit again until they got restless. It was really nice to have them with me over the weekend.

Sunday was... not so good. We got there at 9 and put everything back up again. It started to rain, which I thought was wonderful but I think it killed any desire to venture out to craft fairs. We saw one couple walk in almost first thing and I thought it would be a good day. And then over the next 3 hours we only saw about 4 more people come through. By noon we were all so tired and restless (my sister and her fiancee, Ben and I and the kids) so we decided that we would wait for the church next store to let out and see if it brought traffic. If not, we would just pack up and leave.

Well, no one else came in so we packed up at 1 and left, even though the show didn't end until 4. I was very grateful that we did. I was able to still have a Sunday afternoon at home with my family.

What I learned:

- Be a little more picky about the venue and find out more before hand. I was talking to one of the ladies who was working in the kitchen and we were both surprised (and disappointed) how very few booths consisted of hand made work. She said she had asked the coordinator if she was going to close it off to commercial things, but she did not. While the stuff in the other booths was nice, I think it hurt our chances since it was mostly commercial/retail/franchise/premade things and the whole show didn't have a "hand made" feel.

- I'm not sure how well this was advertised, considering the lack of traffic. It could also have been that EVERYONE was having a craft show/fair on Saturday and we were just too far out of the circle. The weather on Sunday probably did not help either.

- I was priced a little high. I value my work. I know I put a lot of effort into it. I consider it to be quality work. I am comfortable with my prices for selling online. And everyone that came through would say how lovely and nice and beautiful my work was, but I would catch the looks once they looked at the price tags. Which is OK, I figured I would be a little high for the venue anyways. I decided Sunday morning to drop my prices a bit to try to move inventory, but since no one came through it didn't work so well. I know I can do better in a market that caters to people looking for specifically hand made (like my Etsy shop).

- I did hand out a few business cards. There were quite a few people that asked if I had things in a different color, or were looking for something different, and when I told them I did custom orders they were very happy to take a business card. Which made my day!

- Those little stuffed ornaments drew a LOT of attention. :)

All in all, it wasn't too bad. I proved to myself I could do it, I learned a few things, and I got my name out to a few people. Thank you to all our family and friends who came out to show support and see us. If it weren't for you.... we wouldn't have sold anything. LOL!

Would I do it again? Mmm.... Probably not this venue. Perhaps I will try another one at a different time. One more focused on hand made. But right now, I think I will stick to online.

I will be spending the next few days adding my remaining inventory to the shop. I have quite a few ornaments left, as well as fingerless gloves and scarves.

And for anyone else who loved that orange "Foliage" colorway as much as I do - they're discontinuing it! Boo! So I will be buying up a few extra skeins to have on hand, but if you have anything you'd like in that color you should speak up now! :)

Happy Monday everyone!


Kessie said...

Ahh well, it was a learning experience. Now that you have this under your belt, you know what to look for next time.

I don't think setting it the weekend before Thanksgiving helped much, either. I imagine a lot of ppl are out of town.

Kim said...

That's too bad. But you did learn a few tricks to help you find a better venue next time.

Farm Girl said...

It is all about learning and that is why you wanted to do it. I was a little disappointed that it didn't have more handmade things. Gosh was every Avon lady in town there with a booth?
I don't even know if they advertised. I know if you hadn't told me I would not have known about it.
It was still a lovely day though on Saturday.

ArtyMarti said...

Well, at least you did learn the ropes, and that's a valuable lesson. I have been in a lot of shows, and have found that advertising is what really makes a good show. If it is advertised as a hand made/art show it will draw the people who value hand crafted items, and they won't wrinkle their noses at your prices. If it sells on Etsy, then stick with your prices. You're not "made in China".

Your items are nice and colorful and laid out well.

Have a good week.

Allison said...

I'm impressed that you did it, even if the results weren't all you'd hoped for. Good for you! Your work IS beautiful, and people who know what to look for will always say that. Three cheers for Meg!

no spring chicken said...

I'm proud of you my wise friend. Your attitude is right. You had wonderful merchandise and now if you decide to try this again, you know the right questions to ask! I love your knits.

Blessings, Debbie

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

What a great attitude. Sorry to hear it didn't turn out as you had wished. Now I'm going to check out your etsy store! :)

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