Monday, November 17, 2014

Finally Participated In A Craft Show.....sort of

So, after agonizing a lot over whether or not to sign up for a craft show, I bit the bullet, squashed my fears and signed up for a Holiday Boutique.  I feverishly crafted away just to have enough stuff to fill up a table.  So, I ended up having a decent about of things to sell, but I still felt that I should have had more.  So, this experience was not financially successful.  Not because people did not like my things, but because NO ONE CAME!  In my mind, when you pay for a booth part of what a vendor should be able to expect is that the person organizing the event would also Market the event.  I think that the only people that actually came were friend/family members of the organizer.  

Now, I have to say that this girl put on an awesome, very well done event.  The space was great, the food provided was great, she made sure that she had a variety of vendors. She even had a great DJ. She had swag bags for the first 50 people to come in and several raffles throughout our time there.  

What she did not have  was customers.  I am sure she still had many swag bags left over.  

What I learned:

  1. This was a Holiday Boutique, not a craft fair.  So, I was basically the only crafter there.  There were some folks with handmade jewelry. But other than that, there was MaryKay, Scentsy, Gold Canyon, Bedroom Kandi, etc.  I sort of did not fit in.  If there had been a crowd, they might not have been interested in my handcrafted items. So, if I do this again,  I will look for an event that is marketed well and marketed to people who are interested in handcrafted items. 

2. I learned that people who do craft shows/holiday boutiques, work really hard to get ready for them.  Its tough when you are a vendor of ready made items. Its even more challenging if you are a maker.  I worked hard to create my inventory and still feel that I did not have enough.  If you are a maker and work full time, it can take a while to build up enough inventory to sell at a fair.  So, I might stick to taking orders from people.

3.  If I do this again, I won't do a first time event.  And if I do,  the booth fee will have to be very low.  I think I will look for an actual craft fair with a track record of attendance.  You can have great stuff and great prices but if no one comes.........
Overall, I am glad I did it.  I had my business cards and passed out a lot of them so if nothing else, I got my name out there. And I learned a lot.  So, I guess I will consider my booth fee as an educational investment!