Monday, 8 December 2008

Craft Fairs - I must be mad!

As you can see from my previous post, I was prepping for my 1st craft fair. Well, the day before the fair, I went for a job interview - really good timing with all my stuff everywhere, all the last minute bits running through my head and then having to be 'professional' for an hour. It seems I can multitask because I did get the job and started the next Tuesday after the fair.

Anyway, so, how did the fair go? Pretty well I think, for a 1st attempt. I managed to find Debsmuddles' house to pick her up en route which was just as well because she knew the area and got us to the Community Centre on time. We went in and found the lovely Trish from Re:form, one of the organisers of the event and a fellow Etsy seller. Set up didn't take too long because I'd done the sensible thing and had a practise at home the day before.


Then the doors opened and I pasted a smile on my face and prepared to meet my first ever face to face customers. There was a fairly constant flow and after a while, I relaxed and just chatted to anyone who stopped long enough to look. I sold about 30 cards over the course of the day which covered my table fee, fuel and snacks but it was fun so that was OK.
One thing I did discover - people didn't seem to want to rummage or flick through the prints in the basket or the cards in the card stand. But that was OK - I also worked out that neither the basket or the card stand was going to fit in my suitcase for the next craft fair in London anyway!
Photo of me at Handmade, Leigh-on-Sea, courtesy of Reform ©
So I started a new job and had to print a few more cards to replace the sold ones, ready for my next outing to We Make. This time, Debsmuddle came to me and we caught the train together. My case was fine for wheeling around but I hadn't taken into account all the stairs on the Underground and we hadn't checked on maintenance problems. It worked out OK though because the train terminated at Stratford which also has the Central Line tube station - just the one we needed - straight through to Tottenham Court Road. Ten minutes walking later, we found a Starbucks next to the American Church where the fair was being held. Grabbed a coffee and went to set-up.

We Make was organised by a lovely group of ladies who happen to be fellow Etsy sellers so it was with lots of squealing and many air kisses later that we got going. Debs was at the far end of the room from me so I just quietly got on with it. No basket or card stand meant that I had to rethink my display - luckily I had asked for a wall behind me so I blu-tacked a few of my larger prints up there and leant one very large print against the wall from the table. My magnet displays fitted in between and I laid all my cards out on the table.
The carol singing started and the doors opened and we were ready to face the public. I stayed by my stall for a fairly long while before wandering round to see/meet the other sellers. I was really strict with myself and didn't splurge on anything even though I could probably have maxed out my credit card quite easily with all the lovely stuff on sale. I'd also borrowed hubbys' little camera so dashed round to get a few shots - I can't believe I didn't take a shot of my own stall though - I'm hoping someone else may have. so here they are - just a few of the lovely ladies selling at We Make - I haven't put them all here but there are more on my flickr stream if you would like to have a look :)

All in all, a fun day out, meeting lots of lovely Etsy sellers but very tiring and boy, do I know how heavy that suitcase was - here I am two days later and I can still barely lift the kettle, my muscles are aching so bad!

7 comments:

HandiCrafts said...

Congrats on getting the job! I really like how you presented your items on your table! I have found that people don't like to rummage through baskets either. Maybe it's a time commitment thing? We had a custom card display made for us and that seems to have helped a bit! But we're all done for craft shows this year.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

How wonderful you got the job - way to go.
Love your set up, and congrats on making sales. At least that makes lugging the inventory worthwhile.
Peace and prosperity, Judi

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