Saturday, June 13, 2009

It was a learning experience.

My first craft show wasn't all I hoped it would be. We got there an hour early to set up and we were originally told there would be 75 spots reserved and that the craft show was going to be in one side of the park and a fleamarket on the other side. Then we found out that there were only going to be 35 crafters total. After all was said and done, only 12 spots were filled with crafters and then 3 with fleamarket stuff. It ended up raining half the time so I don't know if people cancelled because of the rain or what.

There was a historic home tour going on during the time of the craft show, which brought in people but most of them had white hair and weren't interested in the kinds of crafts I brought. That may sound bad but it was true. I only had one younger girl come by and she thought the frames were cool but she didn't have any money cuz' she didn't have a job. (She was someone that was there selling fleamarket stuff.)

I had a booth with my cousin and she ended up bringing a ton of garage sale items, which I didn't know about. When we had originally talked about the setup, I was going to bring a card table for my stuff and she was going to have a couple card tables and a long table for her stuff. She said she was going to have one box of garage sale items and that her long table would go lengthwise so that we'd share the front of the booth. When we got there and looked at the setup, she decided to put her long table along the front, which seemed okay at the time because I could put my card table on the side and I figured I'd get traffic from that side and people would see my stuff when they were walking by the front.

She ended up having huge displays on the front table that blocked my stuff pretty much completely. (Pic below.) She had three sides of the booth and two of the sides were along the sidewalk so they got most of the attention. All in all, I had maybe 10 people walk on my side to even see my stuff and a few of those were fellow crafters. Most people that walked by our booth didn't even know I had a side.

A couple hours into it when some people started coming through, I mentioned to my cousin that people couldn't see my stuff and she offered to swap sides with me. Well, the other side had a big tree blocking half of it, so it didn't look like a good option. It was actually so obvious that I wasn't getting people that the crafter next to us came over and suggested that I put a couple things on the front table. After that, my cousin gave me a small bit of room to put two picture frames and a bookmark up front but by that time, our "rush" was over and I was ready to pack it up. When I do a craft show in the future, I'll be sure to stand up for room in the front because that's always the most reliable spot to bring people in.

I ended up selling one my cousin, which was nice of her. I told her that if she really wanted one, I could make one customized for her but she really liked one of them already made so she bought that. She ended up selling jewelry and a scarf to a couple of her family members that came by and she sold one necklace to a regular customer. The rest of what she sold was books from her garage sale pile and food that she had brought (pop and cookies). I looked around and none of the crafters were doing well. Looks like most of the sales went to the fleamarket items, which I guess I can understand in this economy. Us crafters aren't selling our stuff for dirt cheap because we're factoring in our time, effort, and cost.

There was a guy there selling homemade wooden bowls, etc and it was his first craft show too. We talked for a bit about our experiences and we're both going to try again in September. Since I'll have so much time to prepare, I'm going to come up with a whole smorgasbord of stuff and I'll be damned sure I get a decent display area. : )

So what went wrong? Here's what I think:
  • Not many crafters so we didn't attract much of a crowd.
  • They combined crafts and fleamarket stuff, which made the craft value go down.
  • I didn't get a decent spot to display my product.
  • The age of the crowd.
  • The weather. Most people don't go out to craft shows when it's raining.

Now some pics for your viewing enjoyment. : )
The below pic is of my product where you can see that the view from the front was obstructed.

The below fountain was across the street from us. It's such a cute park.

This was a gazebo also across the street on the other side of the park. You can tell the craft show was in a small town!

This was a monument in the middle of the park side that we were in. Behind that is one of the historic homes that was on tour. Normally this home is an adult foster care facility.

UPDATE 6/25/2009: My cousin and I talked about the booth set-up and she ended up giving me some cash back from what I had paid for my portion of the booth. We now know better how to do things for next time!


Diane said...

i'm sorry it didn't go well for you. but, like you said, it's a learning experience. i love your stuff and i think all you really need, like you said, is decent exposure and the right crowd.

you just keep at it!

i love the pics of the fountain and monument!

at least you had some good scenery.

The Frog Queen said...

Ah, don;t give up hope...but stuff on Esty...I am sure some frog fan type person will buy something!!!

You do great work. I realy love your frames...and who, even in the ecomony does not fram pictures. You are going in the righ direction. Thinking of you.


halloween spirit said...

Sounds like it was indeed a learning experience. Hopefully, future shows are more positive.

cindy said...

i'm sorry to hear about the craft show, but it sounds like you took a lot of valauble experience away from it. when the crowd and weather are not right, sales will definitely suffer.
etsy is great because EVERYONE who visits the site is interested in craft items, so I have no idea that you will have great success there when that time comes. and i'm sure your next craft show will be a success as well. :)

Eve Noir said...

That's too bad. :( I can understand why there wasn't a big turnout because of the rain. And combining ART and flea market stuff (junk) should NEVER be're right because people would expect BIG deals on art. That is very odd that they did that.

Well, live & learn right? Better luck next time around.~

Dracenea said...

Diane - Yes, we definitely had great scenery. I love that park! I know my stuff would sell quick under other circumstances.

Frog Queen - That was a very sweet comment! I'm not sure now if I want to save some of it for the September show or start listing it on Etsy. Nice to know that a froggy lady would be interested! :)

Halloween Spirit - I'll be checking to see what type of vendors/crowd will be at the Sept show. That way I know what type of craft to bring.

Cindy - Thanks for the nice comment! Good point about Etsy.

Eve - I don't think the person that organized it realized that when you add fleamarket stuff, the value of the craft goes down and you attract a different crowd. :(

Ghoul Friday said...

Bah. Sorry it was a bust. What a let down. :(

Dracenea said...

Ghoul Friday - Thank you for your sympathies. If at first I don't succeed, I'll try try again. :)