Fair Expectations

I did a few little craft shows last year with some friends for fun. The picture is from the Pattonville show I did with my friend Leslie. We hung out, I sold a few scarves, and it was all pretty low key. This year I'm doing 3 different fairs and it is causing me a fair share of stress. I know everyone blogs with tips and lists for preparing for shows. I'm going to talk about my worries and get them out there so I don't have to dwell on them.

The first is next weekend, http://www.strangefolkfestival.com/. It was my first juried process which was the first round of stress. When I got in I was totally excited but as it has gotten closer and closer the worry has gotten more realized. The process of having other people look at the fruits of my labor and creative process always intimidates me. What if I'm not good enough, cool enough, or just don't sell anything. I know I'm not the only one who goes through these emotions. It doesn't matter how prepared you are and how well you set up your booth if they don't like what you're peddling than you're not going to sell.

I don't have incredibly high expectations but I do want to make enough to make it worth my while. My goal for this years show season is to make enough to pay for my trip to France next year to visit my brother. He just moved there for work and it will be the perfect opportunity to see some of Europe, which I've never experienced before. Last year my goal was to make enough to cover what I spent on other people's crafts that day. So there is a bit more pressure this time around. It is certainly not as though my mortgage or dinner depends on how much I sell, thank goodness. I think that would take the fun entirely out of it.

I don't know why I'm so worried. I have plenty of inventory and I'm taking 3 days off work this week to make sure I'm plenty prepared. I will post some pictures when I do my sample booth on Wednesday. I want to get a feel for which of my display racks I will use for which items. I've been picking up spice racks, quilt racks, and boxes throughout the last year for displays. I spray painted most of them a nice glossy tan color for consistency and I'm going to use a white sheet over the table with a tan and brown table cloth over that.

I signed up with Propay to take credit cards and bought a knucklebuster to use with a name plate. I'm a little worried about that process but I might do a practice purchase with my husband's credit card this week to see how it works.

I'm going to use my Moo cards that I was not very happy with as price tags. I bought them on sale and they just didn't turn out how I was expecting. The pics are all cut off awkwardly and the quality wasn't what I thought it would be. I know other sellers are ga-ga over them but not me. So I will have very expensive price tags this year. My info is all printed on them and I will have to hand write the price, yarn content, and washing instructions on the back. I have pretty terrible hand writing so it will take me a long time to get all of them written legibly I'm afraid. I'm just going to price the scarves not all the smaller items. I will make up some signs for the smaller items.

I'm really concerned about how to price things for the fairs as well. I think I'm going to make all of my small items $7. This is less than I charge on Etsy but I just don't think I will be able to get $9 for a barrette or wrist cuff there. I want this to be a success so I'm going to charge what I think I can get not what it is absolutely worth. I don't think I'm going to do a deal for buying in multiples. I've given a lot of thought to this and I don't think the few extra sales it might garnish is worth getting $5 or $6 for something I put time into. I may still change my mind between know and them however.

I also have my standard worries about interacting with people. I'm an introvert and having to spend 2 days sitting next to someone I don't know is intimidating to me. I will bring knitting to work on and I'm sure I will be fine but it is a worry. Then there is the fear of getting lost on the way. I'm helplessly direction dyslexic and despite having directions already printed I'm afraid I will get hopelessly lost in East St. Louis on the way there.

I think that is it. It feels better to get it out there.


The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

How exciting - and scary - to be doing craft fairs. Maybe I'll get the nerve next year.

About the credit card machine - be careful. I once snapped a customer's card in half with one of those machines when I worked as a cashier (am I showing my age? hahaha!)...

Good luck at the fairs!

zana said...

From one introver to another -
Ask a lot of questions. People LOVE to talk about themselves...so if you can't think of anything to say, just ask something...anything, they might just talk your ear off!

GrayEyedScorpio said...

I hope you end up enjoying Strange Folk!

P and J Crafts said...

That's great that you're doing a craft fair! I used to do them years ago, but now I'm a shopper. I understand about being an introvert. I had to learn to stand up at my table as much as possible and interact with the people who were looking. It became easier as the day went on and then I wouldn't want to leave! :-) I know you'll be fine and can't wait to hear how it went! I wish I could go this weekend and meet you! Julie :-)


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