Monday, March 23, 2009

The State of Craft Fairs

So, my friend Tronsgirl and I had a craft fair on March 14. It was our biggest one to date (our SECOND one together... ha ha!). It was supposed to be quite well attended, it had a good reputation. PLUS we got a corner spot, so we each got our own table!!

We had a lot of fun planning our set-up. We put our business cards in plastic Easter eggs with some candy.

That's me, at my table

WOW, was it a big disappointment! After subtracting my entry fee, I made a grand total of....

get ready for it.....


$21 stinking dollars!!!!

I chose NOT to subtract out the display items I purchased for the event, craft supplies, etc etc. That would have just been TOO depressing.

I know some craft fairs are just LIKE that (and truth be told, a lot of people are making jewelry these days!! The past two craft fairs have boasted too many jewelry booths! We even heard mumblings from the crowd about it this time!)--but I think it has more to do with the economy than anything. The good old trickle-down. And I GET it. With my low sales, I certainly didn't run around to other booths. I couldn't afford to, either.
And I think it supports me putting away the resin for a while. I can't put money into this when not much money is coming out. It is a bad time to try to start a "business" out of this. So I think I will really just try to go with the ebb, and wait for the flow. Focus on other things for a while. I have actually pulled out my first love, beadweaving, again. Those projects are more time consuming and felt like I didn't have the time to take for them--but with the low sales, I don't have to rush any product out! So in a way, that is a blessing in disguise, perhaps.

Tronsgirl and I have one more craft fair at the end of May. This one is TWO days (makes me tired to think about!!) and our first outdoor one. At a CHOCOLATE fest. I hope the air smells like chocolate (and the porta-potties, too. Urg.). If history proves, I have plenty in stock for a two-day fair. Most of my stuff is priced and ready to go from the time I put in before the last craft fair, so I shouldn't have to do too much to prepare.
Although it is juried--perhaps I am being hasty when we haven't even been accepted, yet...

Then I think it is a bit prudent to take a break from the fairs and let the economy catch up a bit.

Anybody else on the craft fair circuit with some insights?


Christy said...

We've been having intermittent luck, too. Surprisingly enough, we did well in January & February at the craft shows, but virtually nothing online at all. Seems it's just plain hit-or-miss.

We couldn't get into the March show that we normally do, but we went as guests and walked around to see which booths were doing well and what they were doing. Seemed the people who were either standing out front of their booths talking to people and the people who were actually making their crafts at their booths were the ones attracting attention. Don't know how they did monetarily, but they had action.

Wish I knew what to tell you!

loveofbeads said...

Very interesting--thanks for your insights.

We did notice that when we had visitors, we seemed to get more people over--kind of like people wondered what the deal was that people were hanging around. We joked with our families that we'd have to hire them to just stand there are look interested. ha ha ha!!!

Olitopia said...

I've never tried the craft show thing, there are some pretty neat ones around this area in the summer that are outside, which would be worth it even with only $21 dollars of sales just to be outside in some great weather! But I have heard other stories of grumbling crowds and not-so-great sales :( Bummer! At least you had a friend to share time with!