Monday, October 29, 2007

Craft Fair

Well, the craft fair did NOT go like I expected. First off, it started with a car accident. You can read more about that here, but basically, it was a bad way to start off the morning. The accident happened about 8 miles from the craft show and rendered my car inoperable. My FIL drove out to get us and we transferred almost all of the craft items to his car and went the rest of the way to the show.

I debated about even going, since the two things I had to leave behind in the Prius were my 6 foot table and my 6 foot hinged screen display (that I'd spent so much time plotting and building and arranging for the show!). That left me with a 4 foot table and a card table, which I had been planning on using as workspace for things that needed to be personalized on the spot. But I decided that we were so close, I might as well head over and see if I could still make it work.

Now, I had talked to a couple people who have attended this craft fair in previous years and they led me to believe that this was a decent sized craft fair. It was described to me as "a really good one." So that's what I was prepared for. I had a 10x10 canopy (like a tent with no sides), and the set up for 12 feet of table space, plus a hinged display screen (at least before the accident). I had it all planned out for a table on two sides of the tent with the screen at the joining corner and a small round table in front of the screen for a (hopefully) seamless display that would rival those I'd seen at Sweet Pea or other outdoor craft fairs I'd attended. Everything was color coordinated maroon and black, from the screen to the table cloths to the baskets and display easels. And we'd planned to arrive early so I could stake out a good spot and have time to set up.

As you can imagine, we spent a good deal of time at the crash site, so we arrived at the craft fair just about 15 minutes before it started. Imagine my surprise, then, when we pulled up and I didn't see anything that really looked craft fair-ish. In fact, all I saw were two card tables with vinyl table cloths on them - one held candles, and the other was empty. I was shocked, and sort of speechless, to say the least. Apparently, there were supposed to be a few other vendors, but they were all driving in together and one of them went into premature labor, so none of them showed up. But still - a craft fair with less than 10 vendors? All told, there were 3 of us. I had paper crafts, another had soy candles and picture frames, and the third had beaded barrettes and Mary Kay. The others each had one card table with items, so I felt crazy for being prepared with as much as I brought! I didn't feel too badly about not having my 6 foot table, though, and I used the card table, round table, and 4 foot table to hold things. I didn't put up the tent, though, since it was nice in the sun, but a chilly in the shade.

Embarrassed though I was to have made such a big deal out of this, only to find it tiny, I still took pictures for you guys. And I set up my stuff by a bunch of hay bales so I could use them for a little display space, too. So... Here's what my set up ended up being:

There are a few things about my display that I do like, and if I ever do a craft show again (which is unlikely, at least for an out of town craft show) I would like to remember. I like the case I used to display my paper bag albums. It's storage and display all in one. It was an old cassette tape holder that my grandpa had - I swiped it from the garbage pile last time I was in Texas. =D

I also liked displaying some irregularly shaped things (tags and smaller cards) in this 2-drawer unit. I picked it up for $1 at the Holiday Festival (another craft / antique show) last year. It usually holds my paints in my craft room, but I like it for this purpose, too.

I'm also a big fan of these baskets I got at the Target $pot. They're in the back, raised up. They aren't as clear in this picture, but they worked really well and looked really good, I thought.

Here's a close up of the card table display. I used some easels ($ store finds!) to hold up cards and an album. The scrapbook pages (in the ziplock bags) on the table were supposed to be hanging from the display screen that got left behind, so I just stacked them on the table for lack of display space.

So... it didn't turn out like I expected on the display front. And it certainly didn't turn out like I expected on the craft fair front! However, I DID sell enough to recoup my costs (except for the crunched car...) and even make some money. And I DID get a lot of compliments on things, even if a lot of people didn't buy stuff. It always feels good to be complimented. All in all, though, I think I'm done with out of town craft fairs. I might look into a booth at the farmer's market next summer, but we'll see. Right now I'm in the process of listing everything on etsy in hopes of still selling some of it. I personally like the stuff, so maybe someone else will, too.


Susan Beth Breuner said...

your booth looked great, even with the alterations in plans. I'm sorry it was such a small little gathering - I was surprised too! You did very well under the circumstances. I hope your soreness is fading! See you Thursday!
Susan Beth

Jaime said...

Your pictures of your booth look great! I'm so glad you took pictures!

I'm sorry it ended up being such a measly craft fair. Out of town can be good! I've made more out of town than in Longview, so far! But, I totally understand your frustration and I would be frustrated, too. Especially with the car crunch.

I hope that all gets cleared up quickly and easily.