Well…my first craft fair was a bust. 😦 Unfortunately, it was really rainy and awful the days leading up to the fair, it was raining the morning of the fair until about 10 minutes before it started…so that really hurt foot traffic. Plus, there seemed to be a lot of looky-loos walking around…people not interested in buying at all. Most of the vendors I spoke with didn’t even make their booth fee back, myself included. There were a couple vendors that did really well, but for the most part, the only sales people got were to other vendors.
We had two versions of our booth set-up…our initial morning set up, and then our set up after our friends arrived with some baskets and the like…and all of her creativity and design abilities. She definitely helped more than I could dream of.
My younger daughter ran around in her Halloween costume for a few hours, but then it got to be too warm, so she changed and we stuck the costume on the carrying case for our EZ-Up. The costume definitely brought a lot of attention to the booth, with several ladies talking about getting custom clothes and costumes done for their kids and asking for cards, so here’s to hoping that pans out.
I learned a valuable lesson about set-up; do not put your most expensive items out front! People kept walking by and looking at my cashmere scarf and leaving immediately after seeing the price, so we swapped it for a cheaper scarf and then people would actually come into the booth. However, I was definitely overpriced for the market. There was another knitter / crocheter who is definitely a hobbyist, and not running a business, that was selling hats and scarves for about half of what I was; but hers were all acrylic, made of red heart super saver and the like; mine are wool blends and made from much more expensive yarn. So yea…definitely not my crowd. Everyone loved the stuffed animals, but would scoff at paying $10 for a stuffed animal. I heard a lot of “I could get this at Walmart for $2!” It took some effort to hold my tongue and not respond with great things like, “And just imagine the little kid who made it probably got a whole $0.02 for the entire day!” People definitely don’t seem to see the skill, time, or money involved in crochet. They just think “yarn is cheap” (which it really isn’t, depending on the yarn!) and that anyone can make this stuff. I had about 5 ladies who ‘crochet’ (they can make a blanket with a straight single crochet all the way across and back) look at my daughter’s costume and comment with “that’s not that hard, I could make that” or told a friend who was inquiring about custom orders “don’t bother getting her card, I will make it for *insertchildnamehere*”. On the plus side, no one was obviously taking pictures, so I don’t actually think anyone will be studying too hard to replicate the costume. Not that I think anyone could. There are definitely people talented enough to do it….but I am not sure I could replicate it exactly. I made it up as I went along and stupidly did not write anything down about it!
Anyway, enough venting about how horribly rude people are at fairs. I did have a good time though, I definitely feel like I got a lot of exposure, I made a few vendor friends, and I found out about a few more fairs I want to do. I did sell my ten F-Bombs to my friends for their Christmas order. I also sold an octopus finger puppet and some toddler multi-color fingerless gloves. And I got the experience I needed to feel more confident about the fair I am doing in May; it is a MUCH larger event and I was slightly terrified. I now have my “inventory goal” list and am working on that after I finish the last of my Christmas orders.
No more vending plans until May. Then I have the Soka University International Festival in Irvine, Ca on May 2, then the BrewBQue in Norco, CA on May 30-31. I am really excited, and I feel like I will be much better prepared. And realistically, after that, I am going to focus on Halloween costumes, since that was my big seller this year, and then Christmas items. I have to be a lot more prepared next year, as I want to do several Christmastime craft fairs. 🙂
Anyway, I will be photographing and listing all the inventory that wasn’t already up in the shop this weekend. So keep an eye out! There is some really awesome stuff in there! Have a fantastic day!