Friday, November 20, 2009

Creative Community Fest

I promised some photos and a post about my first craft fair last Saturday. This week ran away from me a little bit, so they're later than I anticipated. Well.... better late than never.

Anyway, here's the skinny on my first show.

This is an overall shot of my booth and I. Don't you love my apron?

$1.50 for my angel! Isn't she cute?! These little guys got a lot of giggles. Almost everybody who walked by stopped to peek at them. Dana, the lady with a table next to me, kept making up stories about why they looked frightened, or shocked, or cheerful. They did make for a fun day.

Aren't the little price signs cute? I did a lot of research on how to run a craft fair booth successfully and one of the main tips was to have your prices very visible. I had a round price tag attached to each individual item and a little tabletop sign for each type of item. Thanks to Jason for designing both the little table signs and price tags for me.

I think the next time I do one of these, I need another quilt holder of some sort. I brought this little rocking chair that I draped one quilt over and a quilt rack I draped two over. I had a few more than that, so unfortunately, they had to be folded on the table.

My mom and I made these tote bags. She made the peachy ones. I paper-pieced the black, orange, and brown bags.

This is one of the peachy bags my mom made. Please note the tie rack lent to me by Jason. (It seems like he claims all the cool stuff I need to display my wares.)

The little basket with my tissue covers was left over from our wedding. I can't remember what we used it for there, but it worked perfect for this.

Jason found this little gadget for me at Urban Arts + Crafts. We thought I just had to have it to use for my business card holder. It also had those little alligator clip things on it that worked beautifully to hold a sign with really important information, my name. The spring made a great pen holder.

I aligned the magnifying glass with one of the price tags on a casserole dish cover.

The quilt on the left is a baby string quilt I had made. It was a fun quilt to do and I love the fabrics in it. There's a couple of conversation prints in it, but they all work together. :D

The quilt on the right is a Chinese coin baby quilt my mom made. Pretty, isn't it?

I love this suitcase! I paid $3 for it at the thrift store. I thought it was a cute color to use for baby items.

So, this is my booth. I had a blast setting it up. I learned a lot at this little fair.

Some of the things I learned:

  • Do some research about the fair before you sign up. This fair turned out to be really small. There were only 14 booths and it wasn't really well advertised. I kept a tally of how many people walked by my booth throughout the day. There were only 75 visitors over 10 hours. I get that it was in it's first year, but this was really small. Next time I do one of these, I'll be sure that it is well organized and not the event's first year.
  • Make sure you know what you are getting for your booth fee. I paid $30 for a booth, but then got an email a few days later than a table is another $5. And then I was required to donate an item for a raffle (which wasn't even given away at the event). What did my original $30 go for?
  • Don't be afraid to go all out. I ironed the muslin I covered my table with. Some of the other vendors used sheets that didn't match and looked like they had been tied in knots in a closet for years before they pulled them out for this event. They made fun of me for bringing an iron and getting the wrinkles out of my table covering. I think my booth looked inviting.
  • Use what you have. I only spent $11 on props for my display. Everything else I had around the house. I bought the wooden box for $1.50 at the Goodwill. I got the blue suitcase for $3 at the thrift store. The angel on the tree (who I love!) was $1.50 at the Goodwill. I got a $5, 5-foot tall Christmas tree at the Goodwill. I used only the top half and put it in a cookie jar I had already.
  • Do a practice run of your booth. A few nights before setting up at the show, I did a practice run on my desk at home. Take photos, print them, and take them with you to set up your real booth. Here's the photos I took:

  • Those are some of my top tips for doing a show. I don't know that it was necessarily a success for me. I sold several bib and burp cloth sets, and several owls. I got a few commission projects (check back Monday for a little post on one of them). I'll post the others as I finish them. People seemed to really like some of the stuff I had, they just didn't seem to be buying.

    The fair was supposed to go until 6 pm. At about 5:30 I had a woman stop by who started chatting with me about all of my items. She seemed really interested in purchasing some of my casserole carriers and was probably the most interested person in hearing about my things all day. Unfortunately, that was the time the coordinator of the event chose to do her break down speech. I got scolded for chatting with my customer and the woman scurried out of the room quickly. That was very irritating to me because I was the only one in the room with a customer and she seemed really interested in chatting and I got scolded and lost probably my biggest sale of the day.

    So, it was a really good learning experience for me. It was also really good for me to see that people like what I'm doing (that's always a shock!). I'll definitely try it again.

1 comment:

Waldeck Dry Goods said...

Looks great! I have a show this weekend, and I always struggle with how to set up + display things without spending money.