Saturday, April 17, 2010

My "Craft" Fair

Last September I got a booth at the Richmond Good Old Days Festival. I haven't written about it till now because not only did I *not* walk the show ahead of time, but the whole experience highlights my weaknesses. I wanted the show to be a good fit because my husband has worked as a parade marshall for about 20 years, and wouldn't it be sweet if I could be involved too, sigh...

Its really my own fault, it would have been super easy to see that I would have a hard time selling there. I made up a bunch of my totes, with many improvements. I am proud of that.

getting ready for the Richmond Good Old Days

I bought a 10 X 10 awning and set up my wares (red probally wasn't the best choice).

Booth at the Richmond Good Old Days

If you've done a fair, you can probally see problems right away. I really wanted to hide in the back and let my bags sell themselves. I got some tips from my cousin's husband, and made some changes, but I still need to work on getting out of my comfort zone. I'm so happy just sewing away in my little shop and leaving the selling to everyone else.

I need to make the booth more welcoming, I need better/more signage, and things need to be displayed more, spread out. I also included some old stuff, not really representative of what I'm doing now.

I'm sure I lost at least one sale because I'm such a dork, but I just have to make up my mind about what I'm doing. Its not like I can't be social, its just that I'm not comfortable presenting my work. I was at a store in Royal Oak once, I had made up some bags to try and get them in a shop. I was just walking around, trying to see if they fit in anywhere. A shopkeeper complimented me on the one I was carrying! Perfect opportunity, right! Yeah, know what I said?? Thanks. Goofball!

The ground was sloping forward, so that was a little bit annoying too. I loved my tablecloth, I'm not sure how well it shows up here.

I'd like to try again at another show, but I need to do more research first. I think a juried show would have definate benefits, or at least a show that made sure the vendors at their "craft" fair were selling handcrafted.

I'm planning on taking a ride to Royal Oak Farmers Market and seeing if maybe I could sell there a day or two. A friend suggested Eastern Market in Detroit might be a better fit. So in the meantime, I just picked up some more jeans at a Rummage sale and its time to make some more and post on Etsy.

Oh, and my cousin who came out to see the booth is the one who was also at the Novi show when I did the Contest there. We both have an interest in sewing, that's how she ended up there. I made a comment that she was my biggest fan, what I meant was she's my only fan :D


Mary said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel! Been there, done that.

I hope it works out for you in future outings!I haven't figured out a way around it myself, yet.

Do you find that ETSY is a better outlet for you, because it is not in person? I have been considering that as well.

Diane said...

Thanks:P I hope so too! I think I can do better, I have too... Etsy is good for avoiding the face to face confrontation, but harder because it is much more difficult for me to do my things justice with my lousy camera skills!! But I can think a little before I write back to someone and avoid sticking my foot anywhere near my mouth.

Zoe said...


I also wondered if you could think of adding another colour to make your bags ping. At the moment they disappear into a sea of blue.

I was thinking you could either decorate the background of the walls. Or you could add something which was removable (that you could also sell as an extra) like broaches. They can pin on the bags giving them each something different. Or maybe tie a few silk scarfs to a few. Just to make them ping and give them definition in their own right.

The most important thing is don’t beat yourself up. Instead of thinking goofball. Think : next time I will say I make them. (practice)

You will find if you got tongue tied when approached. Its often not to late to walk over with a script in your head to say. Conversation is never to late.

Your bags look good

Best of luck