I tried something new this past weekend. But, before I get into that, let me explain what brought me to try this new thing.
A few months ago, I applied to a winter craft show that sounded right up my alley: a marketplace with hand-selected vendors that would showcase the best of small, local, handmade businesses. I applied right away, and waited to hear back.
In the month or so that I was waiting, I was contacted by a very nice woman who really wanted me to be a part of an upcoming school sponsored craft show. All I would have to do is mail in a form with a (very reasonable) booth fee, and I’d be in! Easy peasy. Now, if you remember, I wrote about how I usually avoid these types of shows. But, I got to thinking. If I didn’t get into the show that I wanted to be in, I would have no holiday/winter show, and I wouldn’t get the extra $$$. I started to panic. My sales were not where they were last year at this time. I needed a craft fair!
I’m sure at this point in the story, you can probably guess what happened. I didn’t get into the “cool” show I wanted to be in. So I talked myself into sending in the form for that school show. I told myself that I didn’t want to be someone who thinks they're above doing these school type shows, aka a Craft Show Snob. Honestly, I wasn’t too excited about being a part of this event. But I thought, hey, you don’t know until you try. Right?
In the weeks leading up to the show, I tried to hype myself up.
“I bet I’m going to sell the heck out of these towels”.
“I bet I’m going to do the best I’ve ever done in a show,” I would say.
Oh how I wish that would have happened.
As soon as I entered the gymnasium on Saturday morning, I could instantly feel the difference. As I glanced around at all of the Christmas wreaths and crocheted pot holders, I noticed that I was probably one of the younger vendors there. And I could hear talk amongst the vendors of all the other high school craft shows they were in this Fall. I definitely felt like an outsider.
The show began and I sold a few items right away.
“Yes! This is going to be great!” I thought.
But then as the day went on, I watched the crowd just blow right past my booth and head over to the pillows and pot holders and signs that say “HOME”. I even had a great spot right across from the entrance. These shoppers were clearly on a mission and knew what they wanted, and my stuff wasn’t it. The next day was even worse. There were plenty of shoppers around, but no one buying. I mean, I even had snowflake towels! And sold zero of those! The seller next to me said this was her slowest show too, but I saw her getting sales.
So what gives? Was I in a bad place in the school? Did I not talk up my products enough? Or was this just not my market, as I had originally thought. Who knows. But will I try a school show again? Right now, I’m thinking no. Craft Show Snob I will be. And now I get to go to the “cool” show and shop!
**To be fair, I did get some sales and had some people interested in my stuff and take cards. And I’m sure there was some really great stuff for sale, I just didn’t get to look around the entire show. These shows are hard work no matter what, so props to everyone that participated!**