Craft Show Adventures (or Fiascos)
I guess it depends on your point of view. I spent a good part of the summer preparing for my first multi-day craft show at a local harvest fair that shall remain unidentified. I made lots of new things, planned my booth display, and set everything up the evening before. All ready for lots of sales, right? Ummmm- not quite!
Craft Show Table Display
I was set up in the elementary school gymnasium, along with approximately 25 other vendors ranging from handmade jewelry, woodcraft, knitting, quilts, and leather goods to Tupperware and Pampered Chef products. Unfortunately, I was right next to the Pampered Chef lady, who was very nice, but…. I had to hear the sales pitch literally every minute or 2 for the entire 19 hours of the fair- ” Are you familiar with pampered Chef? Wonderful!” Don’t get me wrong, I love my Pampered Chef pizza stone, and think their products are top-notch. But by the time Monday afternoon rolled around, I was ready to bash her head in with the Dutch Oven thing she had on display!
There was a constant stream of people going through, looking, touching, looking, and moving on. My top sellers were $2.00 fabric tissue covers(with tissues), and I also sold a cosmetic bag and 2 or 3 zipper pouches. That was it- ALL WEEKEND.
Craft Show Display
Bottom line- I made a whopping $10.00 over the booth fee to enter the show, or 52 cents per hour. Pretty impressive, huh? One woman was admiring a $15 zipper pouch and when her husband got his wallet out to pay for it, she told him ” No, it’s too much.” I was a bit stunned- $15.00 for a pouch that cost around $12.00 in materials and labor to make is “too much”? Really?
it is discouraging to realize that the majority of people at the show could care less about handmade and just wanted a Wal-Mart-type deal. Maybe I am not doing the right types of shows, but I have seen similar things at supposedly juried, handmade-only shows.
On the plus side, I did get to meet some very talented artisans, and heard a lot of positive comments about my work. I am chalking it up to a learning experience, and moving on.
I have one more show in November and I know the people running it and it will definitely be handmade only. I cannot wait to see how things go there, and how a completely different atmosphere affects my sales and interest in doing future craft shows. Stay tuned!