Thursday, 1 December 2011

...the craft fair...

Finally--- here is my Craft Fair update! I'll start from the very beginning (a very good place to start)...
Last Friday we were able to set up for the fair. When I entered the arctic tundra of a barn-- I was a little shocked. When they said limited heat-- they sure meant it. We made our way to our chipped, sad looking table and slightly broken chair, with the backdrop of cracked paint. Okay, I know it's a barn... but wasn't really the ambiance we were going for.

Once we put the table cloth on, arranged our 'wares', and took a step back-- it looked pretty good. We were the only table to do a more modern colour scheme--- ice blue table, fun Michael Miller Christmas tree fabric, chrome snowman card holder and jewellery stand. We didn't realize that other people brought a bunch of extra tables and configured it into horseshoes and L shapes. That is definitely something to keep in mind for next year. Tip#1 You pay for the entire space around you-- use it. Considering we were first timers-- I think we did okay!
I was ridiculously nervous the first day of the Fair. Two ladies came up to us and admired the dolls before the fair had even started. They had the funniest argument. Apparently one woman was buying a doll for her daughter, saying it was knit by Mrs. Clause (yikes!) and putting it in her stocking. The other lady REALLY liked my dolls too... but the other woman said she couldn't purchase one, or her daughter would see and it would ruin the "Mrs. Clause" story. I could have made double the profits... but sadly the other lady gave up. (This is why I'm not a huge Santa Clause myth fan--- it's gets waaay too complicated).

Old ladies were the cutest at the fair. Lots didn't have anyone to buy the dolls for, but they certainly put a smile on their faces. One lady circled back about six times remarking to her daughter how cute they were. One teenage girl just loved them, but couldn't bring herself to buy one because she was "too old" (no such thing!). Little girls loved them-- but their parents all dragged them away. One was so cute-- she was playing with it, and her dad told her its name, "Nina". She said "Nina!" and looked so happy--- then he walked away. I wanted to buy it for her!! Jeeze, it's 20 bucks people. That's like two orders at McDonalds. One odd thing was how popular the hooded ones were. I wasn't sure if people would want to pay the extra $5 dollars, but they all sold out!
We discovered quite early on that although we were stationed very near the front door, we were on the left hand side. From 12 hours of watching people over the weekend... 90% of people turn right upon entering. This made us the 2nd to last booth in the whole Craft Fair. From our acute observations-- most people had a glazed look and many bags of crafts already when they approached our table... some were simply tired of the whole thing and bypassed us completely. Tip#2 Location Location Location.

The people who did stop by, however, were super complimentary. My cousin got tons of compliments on her cards (they are beautifully done btw), and I got quite a few comments about the dolls, wine charms and jewellery. I ended up selling $300 dollars worth of product-- so I didn't do too terribly. There were tons of quiet times throughout our 6 hour shifts where it seemed like the barn was almost empty. Other vendors said it was one of the slowest years-- so not to be discouraged. Tip#3 Find out the spending climate of the Craft Fair-- Who is buying? What Age Group? What other things are they buying? We were thinking perhaps of trying a small school fair next year. There will be less of everything, so fewer competitors and a cheaper table fee might be great.

Another problem may have been that few knew what wine charms were. I had a sign, a martini glass with an example charm on it, but it still wasn't enough. I wrote a paragraph explaining the concept-- and they seemed to sell much better the next day. My boyfriend had the great idea of selling them 3 for $25 too... which encouraged people to buy them in 3's. (He's an entrepreneur). Tip#4 Label!

On the second day, I didn't sell one thing until 1pm (it started at 10am). Our competition wasn't too fierce... we sat staring at a few coolers of beef and lamb organs (no joke-- who comes to a craft fair for a lamb liver?!), but I decided to walk around and see what else was for sale. I can sum it up in one word-- Tacky. Knitted items in the cheapest acrylic in ugly colours, terrible fake floral arrangements in horrific beaded containers, hideous toll painted items (A giant wood holder painted like a Canada Goose was the worst), and these knitted pom pom cats that were a cross between nasty shag carpet and road kill. There were some cool wooden trees that were carved, some decent jewellery, and a booth selling feather hair fascinators-- but on the whole-- it was pretty bad.

Our families stopped by half way through the first day, which was a nice surprise. Thank you family! (if you are reading this!) It was nice seeing some familiar faces. By then our bums were numb, our feet ice cubes, and our morale slightly wavering.It's funny how others will check out a booth if other people are in front of it admiring things. Thanks for being our cheerleaders!

Anyways, all in all it was a success. We survived the frozen temperatures (thanks to copious amounts of hot chocolate), sold some of our crafts, learned a ton about Craft Fairs, figured out new and better ways of showcasing our stock,and learned what table to pick next time. I had a great time hanging out with my cousin, too. She's 12 years older than me and I never saw her much growing up--- so it was really nice to get to know each other. ^_^ I would like to extend a big thanks to my boyfriend for braving the temperatures and boredom with us. What a great guy!

Here's some miscellaneous pictures from the fair! Thanks for reading!

This last dollie didn't even make it to the fair. My mum bought her the day before she loved her so much.

Happy First Day of December!!


1 comment:

  1. That was an entertaining read! You did great for your first time and as you say, lots to think about for next time!


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