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My first craft fair


#1

I have just unthawed from Saturday’s fair. It was my very first
attempt at selling my silver and copper works. The beaded works sold
like crazy and people oohed and ahhed over the metal stuff, but
didn’t buy. They blanched at the price, but apparently the other
jeweler had the same issue, so I am not discouraged.

Lessons Learned at My First Show

Don’t wear open-toed sandals to set up the tent on dewy morning
grass. Decrease expectations, increase serenity. Do not allow boredom
to make you chat nonstop with strangers. Dress in layers. Wind, cold,
and midafternoon heat are typical in Michigan. Bring mittens. Always.

Always work on improving your displays. Windproofing them is a good
idea. Accept portapotties as the only option (unless you a friends
with a nearby shopkeeper).

Take your own toilet paper.

Customers come in hordes or not at all.

Everyone is a potential customer. There are some who would rather
buy jewelry than deoderant or have regular dental care.

Select the people you enter into business with carefully. Be
prepared to deselect them. Better yet, do a brief trial run to see
if you mesh. If basic idealogy and methods do not mesh in the trial
run, do not expect time to improve the situation.

Try to avoid booths across from the kettle corn people. Set up an
account with the kettle corn.

In deselect mode,
Stacy Hosler


#2

Wow Stacy - You learned all that from your FIRST fair??? You are
sure to do well at future ones!

Since we are on the subject of how to have a successful event, here
are some of the things I’ve learned…

Ask visitors for their email address to send out updates about what
events you will be attending. Mine is now at over 600 names, and I
get regular customers year round.

Have a dish of individual wrapped sweets on your stand - women love
candy as much as jewellery, and it makes you seem approachable and
friendly.

Think positive. My boyfriend pointed out to me that my sales dry up
at the same rate as my positive energy and attitude, and that when I
start to flag and get disappointed, people avoid my stand entirely. I
think it has something to do with projecting an image of self-belief
in your products.

Warm Regards,

Angel Neal
www.chimerique.co.uk


#3

Hey Stacy - Sounds like you were at a fair in our neck of the woods.
In addition to deodorant & dental care, add many, many tatoos and
then complain of the high price of kids school clothes at GoodWill
after purchasing some really nice gemstone pieces. I could almost
feel guilty selling to them, but, we all have to make choices. Your
choice of “mittens, always” is so very, very apropriate. Glad your
bead works went well.

Good luck on your next fair/show.

Signing off from our little bit of woods near Morley, Sue


#4

The lesson I learned at my last craft show was not to spend more
money on champagne then you took in at the show. Of course that was
25 years ago.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#5

Dear Stacy,

You brought a much needed smile to my face as I read your first show
post. You covered so many of the typical issues at a show with such
post. You covered so many of the typical issues at a show with such
grace and humor. My last show was really somewhat unpleasant, and I
have another show this weekend. I’m going to keep your good humor
close in mind.

Brenda Nesheim-Fuller
http://www.sunrisejewelryoriginals.com

still somewhat incredulous about our last show, where the promoter
wanted us to set our tent in the middle of the street, with no way
for other vendors to move vehicles past us, with the idea that we
could just “scoot everything out of the way when we need to get other
vehicles through.”!!! Good gracious!


#6

We have a little saying about shows:

When you’re not selling, BUY!

If you can’t buy, EAT!

When you’re sick of eating, tell jokes! (And make fun of the
customers, discreetly)

Peggy on the OBX


#7
Think positive. My boyfriend pointed out to me that my sales dry
up at the same rate as my positive energy and attitude, and that
when I start to flag and get disappointed, people avoid my stand
entirely. I think it has something to do with projecting an image
of self-belief in your products. 

Angel, I liked that point best. I don’t understand the artists who
look like they don’t want to be there, aren’t warm to the potential
customers coming into their booth, looking like they aren’t an active
part of the show. That sort of attitude just feeds on itself- you
look sad, people stop going into your booth, then you look even
sadder! Look happy and inviting, and people will want to come see
what you have to offer. Simple! :slight_smile:

Lisa
Designs by Lisa Gallagher
www.lisagallagher.com


#8
Look happy and inviting, and people will want to come see what you
have to offer. 

If I may expand a bit on this point–

It took me a long time to learn another thing-- when people (other
artists as well as visitors/customers) ask if it is a good show, say
yes. When you are asked how it’s going, say “Great!”-- like you
mean it, even if you haven’t sold a thing.

I find it very hard to be untruthful, so sometimes I’ll say “This is
a really beautiful show” or “We couldn’t ask for a nicer day-- the
energy is so great today!” if I’m not selling well. But never, never
admit you’re having a bad show.

First, it’s harder to have the right attitude to project to
customers if you grouse. Second, it isn’t a bad show until it’s all
over and you didn’t sell well, so in a sense you’re not lying.
Somehow, I feel as though saying bad things about the show while it
is going on causes it to be true.

So, if you do ever admit to negative things during a show, try not
doing it and see if it makes a difference. Works for me!

Noel


#9

I think you’re right Noel, negativity goes a long way towards
producing a negative result.