9/29/2009

Strange Folk Wrap up: The Not-So Good

As I've said I had I was happy with how the weekend went for the most part but there were a few things I would have changed looking back. One thing that I had no control over was where I was located. When I first found out I was going to be in the Big Tent rather than the Pavilion I was disappointed. You roll with the punches and make the best out of what you are given, and honestly I'm really just glad that I made it into Strange Folk again with all of the entries that they are getting.

If I had been under the Pavilion as last year I would not have had to deal with all of the mud and I wouldn't have taken such a hit on Saturday with the rain. All the shoppers ran to the Pavilion when it started and a lot of business was going on under there while we were all huddled under our tents. The positive side was that I think I had more room to spread out where I was and I didn't get claustrophobic like I did last year when all the crowds were coming through the narrow lanes in the Pavilion.

I was never really happy with how my table looked all weekend long either. I went ahead and used both of the shelving displays and I think it looked too busy and crowded. I didn't sell that much off of the larger display and I wonder if it was because people were overwhelmed by all of the colors and prints going on. I'm going to have to do some experimenting before the next show and figure out what I'm going to use and what is not going to cut it. Mike thinks I need to shelve the shelving units entirely. He says I should get some sort of rack or wall bracket system to hang things from. The booth really is always a work in progress so we shall see.

The other negative came at the very end of the second day. I was absolutely exhausted and somewhat vulnerable. I was hoping for one last good sale to get me to last year's numbers when a women ran up and started working me over. She asked if I would take $30 for 3 scarves, which are normally priced $15 a piece. I said how about $35 and she hands me $30 and a few singles and says that's all I have. I tentatively said okay and she started grabbing. She ended up walking away with 3 very nice scarves and I felt like I'd been taken. I really wasn't prepared despite the stories I've been told about how people can be at shows. I'm used to people going on about how reasonable my scarves are and was not ready for someone to try to completely low ball me. I should have said "I'm sorry but the prices are as marked and I do take credit cards if you are interested." As I said I was in a weakened state.

To be fair if handled properly it's not a terrible thing to ask for a discount. Earlier in the day a women had waited until my booth was completely clear and approached me about taking a few dollars off a scarf. I had only spent $1 or so on the yarn in this item so I was OK with it and we were both perfectly happy with the transaction.

So I've shared the good, now the bad, and here's a little ugly. These are my poor, swollen, achy feet after day 1 with the lovely backdrop of the cheap hotel bedspread.

12 comments:

Prayers4Theresa said...

Thank you for sharing both the good and the bad of your experience. As someone who is looking forward to her first BIG show in a couple months I really appreciate hearing how others cope with booth set-ups, customers, organizers, and the like.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

It can be frustrating when people are always wanting a deal. Most of us who are making handmade goods are undercharging as it is. But from the customers point of view, it does feel good when we've gotten something for a great price. Maybe we should put the prices higher then put them on sale. Then everyone feels they got a deal! LOL

Lynne said...

I'm enjoying reading about your perspective and experience. I probably would have done the same as you with that last woman and then I also would have felt like she got the better of me. Don't feel bad, you still had a successful show and you did what any of us would have done!

Lin said...

It's a shame that there are people out there to take advantage and push their luck--and then they brag about it later to those who admire your work. Ugh. Hate those people. At least you can have a plan now for future shows and you know how to handle it. It was an expensive lesson.

Shannon said...

It sounds like you were able to make a learning experience out of it and not taking the negative parts too badly. It's awful when we feel like we've made a bad deal with a customer. At least it only happened once! :)

esque said...

I've participated in a couple of craft shows too, and I'm never really happy how my set up is either. I really believe a good set up makes more sales, so that ais definitely one of my weak points. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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Almost Precious said...

Craft shows can be exhausting (no make that definately exhausting) and they are always a learning process. I've no idea how many times I've designed and redesigned my displays and booth...and always thought it could be better. But I think as long as we continue to try new things and come up with ideas to make it better, it becomes better.
Sorry about the woman that gave you the short end of the stick, think all us crafters have experience someone like her before. The one good thing that comes from that encounter is experience. As they say; "Once burned, twice shy".
Hope your poor tired feet feel better, arts and crafts shows call for soooo much standing.

Nancy said...

OK first, MUD!?! Why didn't my brain go there when you said rain before. How horrid! None of your wares got destroyed right?

Second, What a crappy lady. I mean, I can see how you would just bow your head and take it considering how you were feeling. BUT that's totally rude and I don't even understand why people with attitudes like that would even be at a craft show since you'd think they had at least some respect for artisan work by being there. UGH.

Third, I see what you mean about the table chaos. I do like the shelves, but what if you used only one of them on the table, the other one on the ground or scrap it for height variation. Then organize the scarfs by color. That might make some visual relief and sort of give your colors blocks so that it doesn't look so scattered. If need be, knit to create those color blocks.

At least you're out there and doing it. That's WAY more than I can say;)

Hot Rocks said...

I don't think that people should ask for deals from artists or crafters! This is not a flea market!! A lot of work goes into creating something unique by hand, and I think it is an insult to bargain with an artist. I never have done this and never will, I have too much respect for the artist to try to get them down a few bucks. I think if an artist wishes to offer a deal to the customer that is fine, or say have a sign posted that reads "Scarves- $15.00 each or 3 for $$40.00". That way, customers know ahead of time that they get a price break when buying larger quantities. That lady just burns me up, and I feel bad for you that you were taken advantage of, by her rudeness and disrespect for your craft!!

LittlePeopleWealth said...

I hate it when people bargain that low. It just isn't fair - a lot of work goes into handicrafts :( If that is all she had then she could have bought two...

Thanks for being one of my top 10 Entrecard droppers this month. I posted a thank you link on my blog today :)

Karen said...

Oh my! I think that woman had a lot of nerve. She definitely took advantage of you. Put it behind you though and remember all the great customers you had. At least next time, if it happens again, you will stand strong. It sounds like a wonderful show. Your poor tootsies!

selahestelle said...

your feet may be swollen, but they're cute!

 

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