Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Craft Show Report

Saturday marked my second craft show experience, at the Holy Cross Spring Craft Fair in Springfield, Pennsylvania, just ten minutes from my home.
My husband helped me set up my table the night before, and then took me out for dinner.  Now, that's what I call a supportive partner!  He also brought my little girls by to visit my table (you can see my daughter Katy in her purple rain jacket in the photo above).
For this show, I created a sign with my business name, Studio 791, using paint splattered stencils on a bulletin board.  One of my products is embellished clothespins with a length of hemp twine for creating inspiration boards like the one I have hanging above my work table in my craft room.  I found it very helpful to be able to point to this sign as an example of what the clothespin display looks like.  I didn't sell any sets at my November sale when I had nothing to demonstrate what they look like, but I did sell some of the sets this time around.  Some of my products require a little bit of explanation!
The Scrabble tile magnets were a big hit again this time around.  One of the women at the table next to me explained that there is an iPhone app called Words With Friends that is bringing back the popularity of Scrabble.  I had several people tell me that they play Words With Friends, and they thought the magnets made great gifts for the people they play with.  I just kind of smiled and nodded, figuring maybe "Words" was some new shorthand way of referring to Scrabble, but not really knowing what they were talking about.  I'm a little out of the iPhone loop!

The highlight of my day was a boy around the age of ten, who came by with his mother in the last couple hours of the show.  He looked at everything on my table with such close attention, and then waved his arm over one section of the display, telling his mom, "I love ALL of this!"  Then awhile later he came back by, and his mother told me that he had especially requested to return to my table.  He picked out items that were a little more expensive than his mother allowed, so we all worked together to put together a more reasonable purchase.  He had such enthusiasm and appreciation for the kinds of things I make!  I told him, "I appreciate your appreciation!" and I most certainly meant it; he gives me a memory to smile about for quite awhile!
I sent many emails to church friends and others, and was gratified to have so many of them stop by my table, and even make some purchases.  It's a lot of fun to look up and see a familiar face coming by!  Many, many people sweep by with barely a glance; they can just tell with peripheral vision that what I have to offer is not of interest to them.  It's not disheartening, exactly, because I understand that everyone has different taste, and some people come with very specific items in mind to buy.  But it makes those who take the time to stop by the table, and to look me right in the eye and say "hello" that much more valued!
A general view of the room as a whole
By far the most enjoyable part of the day was chatting with the women whose tables were around mine.  I first met Sharon, selling jewelry and purses behind me.  We were in very close quarters between our two tables, and I found her to be super-friendly and generous.
The two women next to me were a mother-daughter knitting team, Lois and Patty, selling adorable baby socks, hats, and sweaters, under the name Clerico Creations.  I really enjoyed chatting with them throughout the day, and they even gave me a "lead" about another potential craft show to look into for next month.
There were plenty of complaints that the foot traffic and sales were slow, and there have been some emails exchanged in the wake of the sale, with vendors suggesting that the depresssed economy might mean that craft sales will soon become a thing of the past.  I am just getting warmed up here, so I am hoping that is not the case!  I enjoyed myself and feel emboldened to continue on this craft show road I've started down. 

Many thanks to those of you who have supported me through this crafting adventure!  I hope that wherever you are, you will support the folks you see who are trying to add a little touch of homemade to our world.

10 comments:

Melissa said...

Love your bulletin board sign! :)

Anne said...

Great job of display -- things really show well. Glad you had a good time doing it!

scrapwordsmom said...

Beautiful work, Andria!! Truly I love your table:)

I am with you...I hope craft shows aren't a thing of the past!!

Cheryl said...

I just got back from a seminar on marketing my art. Craft fairs are NOT a thing of the past. People just have less money to spend due to the economy so it's important to have low prices and high prices. It's the middle class that is gone, not people in general. Demonstrating your bulletin board and clothes pins was smart. I'm sure there are all kinds of things that can be hung from the clothes pins. How about ATC's or paper birds?

donna!ee said...

awesome, congratulations! :)

laurie said...

my sister and i did lots of craft fairs before her daughter was born and i always enjoyed visiting with the other crafters the best! your table looks very enticing to me - i would have been a good customer of yours, had i been there. :-)

Joyfulploys said...

Hi Andria...your sign is great! I hope the clothespins were a big hit! Sounds like you saw a lot of people and had a great time :)

Patty@Clerico Creations said...

I love your post, and not just because you put a picture of us and were so complimentary! If we hadn't taken a bath on that day, I would love to inspire myself with a set of letters that remind me to NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!
You are sooo sweet! Hope to see you at the next one and that you stay in touch!

Patty@Clerico Creations said...

I love your post, and not just because you put a picture of us and were so complimentary! If we hadn't taken a bath on that day, I would love to inspire myself with a set of letters that remind me to NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!
You are sooo sweet! Hope to see you at the next one and that you stay in touch!

Patty@Clerico Creations said...

I love your post, and not just because you put a picture of us and were so complimentary! If we hadn't taken a bath on that day, I would love to inspire myself with a set of letters that remind me to NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!
You are sooo sweet! Hope to see you at the next one and that you stay in touch!