Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My first craft show... was a disaster

My first, and probably last, craft show was last weekend, and it was an epic fail.

My friend and I decided to share a booth at a local craft show, and we began preparations for it a couple of months ago.  Sewing, sewing, sewing.  Sometimes I sewed for 8 to 10 hours a day. I didn't finish as much as I had planned, but I had more than enough totes and pouches to please any eco-friendly fanatics in the neighboring five counties.

works-in-progress. . . .

new vacay bags, eco-friendly, of course!
(pictured sans handles)

After scouring Pinterest for an obscene number of hours, I formulated in my mind what I wanted my booth to look like.  I set about rummaging through thrift stores and wood piles for just the right materials.  The week before the show was a blur of paint and sawdust and chicken wire, but I was ready.  And I was pretty happy with the results. . . .

100% reclaimed wood and scavenged hardware
I already had chicken wire on-hand.  of course.

I even read articles for introverts on how to survive small talk, specifically at craft fairs.  Make eye contact and smile and say a happy (but not too eager) hello?  GOT IT.  I was ready!

My friend and I set up our booth on Saturday morning, proudly displaying our colorful wares for the throngs of eager shoppers to descend upon.

Except there were no shoppers.

Well, maybe 2, 3 or 4 per hour walked through the doors.
That's it.
And they didn't buy my colorful wares.

I had tried to prepare myself beforehand that this could be a possible outcome, so I had consoled myself with the idea that I'd have plenty of inventory to stock my Etsy shop.
Trying to be all positive and stuff.
Well, it still sucked.
And I felt really. . . deflated.

Sunday, the day after the show, I moped and napped all day.

On Monday, I decided that that was enough negativity, and I needed to focus on all the things I had neglected in my last rush to finish everything before the show.  So I made lists, did some laundry, bought some groceries.

Tuesday morning, I had a call-back diagnostic mammogram (all clear / no issues, thank you God!) so all that positivity and busy-ness on Monday also kept me from going completely nuts with useless what-ifs and worry.

ANYWAY. . . back to the craft show. . . .

I probably won't do another one.  I knooooowwww they're all different, and that was just a bad one, etc.  I also know that I made some mistakes with this booth (way too crowded, too busy, the flow / layout was awkward.)  But if I can sit at home, with my kids and chickens, and you lovely folks can browse my shop from your home, in your jammies, then isn't that easier?  I mean, I'll even sip some coffee and you can sip some coffee and we can have coffee time together.  :)

Sooooo my shop will be overrun with sparkling new items soon.  I'm writing product descriptions, and my photographer-daughter will be snapping new product pics for me (for the paltry price of 3 homemade apple pies) very shortly.  So be on the lookout for my new eco-friendly totes, bags, and pouches (just in time for back-to-school!) and I will keep on sewing, sewing, sewing.

Talk to you soon!


  1. Silly shoppers! I want one of everything! ;) I will have tea while you have coffee, and I look forward to seeing new stuff in your etsy shop!!

  2. Oh, my sweet friend! It's a date! :) And thank you for your kind words.

  3. I had a similar experience with my first craft show. I understand how disheartening it is. *hugs*

    However, I am known to prowl through your etsy so you'll be hearing from me soon. ;)

    1. Hello, my friend! Long time, no see! Thank you for your words of encouragement. I truly appreciate that! And I always look forward to hearing from you. :)

  4. I don't usually comment on random sites, but came across your blog through Pinterest. Just wanted to say I completely understand your frustrations, but want to encourage you to persevere as I have experienced the same thing. Yes, it's a lot of hardwork, making and creating things you may or may not sell (in my case, it took several months of preparation, working on my own), but it could also be a good place for networking. In London UK, designer-makers have been commissioned to work with independent boutiques and department stores through chance meetings at craft fairs, so you never know. What I have learnt is the importance of choosing the right market that's right for your products and craft fairs is something I would do on a pop-up basis. Have a look at the following markets in London, hopefully you may find a similar market in your country. See below for details. Best of luck if do try again.

    1. Hello, Kemi! I'm so glad you did stop by and comment; your advice is right-on. I didn't choose the right venue for my wares for sure! A pop-up basis sounds like a lot of fun... I may have to check that out! Thank you for your encouragement, and thanks again for stopping by. :) Hope to see you again around here!

  5. Thank you for sharing your experience. Your crafts are wonderful and will certainly fill up your shelves at Etsy. I've had similar experiences but I didn't get sad, I got mad. I mean "What the hell? This is good stuff. What's the matter with you all?" :) yeah, but I didn't set up anymore. I hate rejection.

    1. LOL, Louise! I can understand that, and I probably would have gotten mad, too, if there had been any customers to reject me. ;) Rejection is really hard. Thank you for your kind words!


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