Tuesday, December 29, 2015

First Official Craft Fair Booth!!

I know this is loooooooooooooooooooong overdue, and I apologize but I have just been so incredibly busy these, has it been 10 months?!?!

Anywho, I wanted to share with you all how my first ever official craft booth went back on 11/1/14!!

I had gone to bed late the night before, it was Halloween after all and we had our yearly party with friends over till well after midnight, so when the alarm went off at 6:30am, I did NOT want to get up! But I still needed to make sure I had all the things I would need as well as, **sigh**, make a last trip to Wal-mart to get things I hadn't bought before. By the time my mom got to my house, the car was packed, I was back from my errand to Wal-mart, I was sans coffee but I was ready for my first ever craft booth at the Cedar Park Recreation Center!! Whoo!!

My boyfriend followed us on his motorcycle so that he could help setup the canopy I was to use, and we got there around 8:45am with a crisp breeze and the sun just barely making its way up over the horizon. We got the canopy raised and positioned between the 2 vendor tents on my sides and got the car unloaded with my tables and stock. Boyfriend said his farewells and went to hang out with his brothers, and my mom and I got started setting up!

The full-ish setup...the Xmas tree is front right and you can barely see it....
We opened up the tables, set the tablecloths/pretty curtains on top and I started putting out my merchandise to sell. The wind however had different plans... I couldn't use the 2 cardboard based displays I'd nabbed from my 2nd job working retail because, well, they were light-weight cardboard and the wind was too much. I also couldn't use my little easels to hold up my jewelry boards (from my Easely Amused display) nor the wood necklace/earring displays as the latter were being knocked over by the breeze and the easels just...slid...on the tablecloth/curtains I'd put on the tables (the curtains were sheers so verrrryy slippery...whoops!!) That's ok, I can work with this, everything just has to be laid out on the tables instead, that's not *too* bad...right?

The tree with a few of the perler ornaments on it....and a brass picture easel attempting to hold it down against the weather.
I also, in my non-preparedness, hadn't yet decided which mini canvases would be ornaments, sooo.... yes, I was also attempting to glue ribbon to some of them in order to hang them on the tree along with the perlers that needed only an ornament hanger pierced through a bead and they were ready to hang.

My front table display was a 2' fake desktop Christmas tree however, as I was going to be putting my perler sprites and mini art canvases on and around the tree/table, setup as ornaments. As I wasn't prepared for the wind, I had no weights to hold the tree down, so the tree ended up falling over about 3 or 4 times, but we just kept picking it back up, putting the ornaments that had fallen off back on, and it was fine!

The early morning sun by this time was peaking through the canopies so a better picture was not to be had. :(
One of the biggest problems I had however, was that I hadn't had time to price everything before we got there that day. I will NEVER do this again!! Why? One, it shows you're unprepared, so the shoppers that walk by while you're still pricing may be confused and/or feel that you're unprepared, and so may just walk on... Two, it makes it impossible to really catch anyone's attention and be friendly or have a discussion if you're distracted trying to make sure everything is priced after the fact! Also, I was unable to price all the individual pieces of jewelry so instead, I ended up putting price tag stickers on the TABLE within groups of items that I felt were similar enough to be priced the same. This entire way of doing things not only added extra stress to the morning, but made even myself confused on prices here and there later on!! It's better to price things when you're calm, at home, and can really assess how much you feel is acceptable for selling your hard work.

Some of my single perler pieces and tic-tac-toe sets, mini canvases off to the side, and a nifty little container for my cards!!

Mom, don't take it now, I'm not ready!!! Also, we moved the scarves over the perler/art table since they weren't visible off to the side where they were before.
There's also the added fun of trying to get people interested in your wares when you have so much going on, and yet, so little, all at the same time. I'm glad my mom went with me as there were a number of older shoppers there and she was able to start conversations very easily with them, so that helps a great deal of getting people in the booth to at least look. I feel as though I was ill  prepared in ways of marketing and getting people's visual interest seeing as how there was a variety of things and no real "specialty", there wasn't a good advertising type banner or display (perhaps behind the perler/art table would have been good), but with my lack of weather watching, all of my items were flat on the table with the exception of the Xmas tree in front, so there wasn't really much to draw people in!
Ha! Got her back..... lol Also, the whole setup, minus some of the business name flying in the wind...I *really* wasn't prepared for the winds.

I'm still not 100% exactly what the guy in the booth next to us was "selling".
You can see how I had the jewelry in the middle, but also had my clutches and tablet cases on the outside edges. Both to try and have a visual variety, but also....they were heavier and helped somewhat keep the curtains down through the wind.
Another item I realized after a while.... I had absolutely NO idea what kind of crowd there would be at this event. I had been warned to research the venue and the shoppers that might attend, to not even have a booth this year in lieu of this proper research, but I wanted to dive in and try my luck! It was only a $50 booth fee after a while, no biggie, right? I didn't research well enough who would be there, what a good price range of gifts would be, much less take into account the season!! People were preparing for Thanksgiving, but they were also SHOPPING FOR XMAS PRESENTS!! Duhhh......

This means I should have had more general gift items, things that you could purchase for a mere $5-$15 and could give as a gift whether as a stocking stuffer or an actual gift.

At some point after we'd gotten everything priced, and displays were staying put (the wind started dying down thank goodness), I decided I'd follow one of the pieces of advice I'd seen online while preparing for the show! I would... LOOK BUSY!! Yes!! So....I started gluing magnets on the back of some of the perler sprites to give them...added appeal? Yeahh.... I'm not sure what I was thinking on that one myself. Really, I should have been working on an in-progress scarf on a loom, or perhaps brought some paints and canvases to make some fresh that day.... **shrug** Ya live, ya learn, yeah?

For those of you curious, below are the two cardboard displays that I nabbed from work and was REALLY super excited to use, of course, until the wind.

Double decker display for smaller/mid-size stuffs (was planning on making more tablet cases if I could in the future to really utilize these guys.

That "shelf" looking piece isn't nailed down so it can move back and forth, or just come out. Excuse the picture quality, I only got to take quick pics while they were in the back of my car. :)
All in all, I paid $50 for the booth for the event, and I took home about $150 for the day, which makes $100 profit for my first ever craft booth! I figured it was an exciting accomplishment and worth celebration, so I took my mom to a local pub down the street from my house and introduced her to Hard Cider ;). She's not much of a drinker, so just one of these made her smile, and the second started making her giggle...ahh, it's the little things, isn't it? :)

I learned a LOT of valuable lessons from this event, and there may be too many to share, but I wanted to share with you some of the biggest things. 

In my next post, I will go over a simple list of the biggest things I learned from my first official craft booth!

Craft ya laters!!

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