Three days ago I participated in my very first craft show. I was just about as anxious as a fish getting caught in a net going into the show…Set up my table the night before, got to the location three hours before it was opened to the public, it was a really big deal to me. My goal was to break even. So, with the $60.00 that the table space cost, and the other $20.00 that I spent on the supplies to create my display and all of my products, my goal was to make $80.00. I had 6 hours to make $80.00, I didn’t think that was too unreasonable. Within the first two hours I had not only broke even, but had about $2.00 more! So, all of that to tell you that my first show was much more successful than I had anticipated. As a bonus, I was invited to do ANOTHER show first of December (two months away), which I jumped on!
In all of the prep-work that I had done, there were several places where I read that it wasn’t a good idea to bring your children if you are selling. As my situation unraveled, I realized that it was going to be impossible for me to work my booth without at least one of my children with me. So, I brought along my almost 10 month old Ladybug. If you don’t mind the possible tmi, she’s still exclusively breastfed, and I knew that she would be perfectly content as long as I was carrying her (wherein my handy dandy ring sling came in handy). Another vendor gave me the brilliant idea to use Ladybug as a living model of my products…PERFECT! She actually ended up helping me sell quite a few of my hats. And, it sure was a boost for my parental ego to be told how adorable and well-behaved and tiny she is 😀 (I have small kids…there isn’t anything wrong with them, they are all perfectly healthy and brilliant, they are just small).
It was an amazing show, I had a TON of fun, and I am definitely looking forward to doing it again in December. I was able to get my name out there as a local seller, and it was pretty good to have so many compliments on how cute my products were! Going into the show I was nervous because I am an extreme introvert, but somehow being out on the floor just felt natural and good. It was easy for me to talk to other vendors, and to talk to potential customers about what I do and my product (and my kid of course). I was also pretty anxious to be showcasing my personal creativity in such a public manner. There are always thoughts of: “If my products are rejected then I am rejected, and I’ve worked so hard to just be shot down now”. But, being confident in what you are selling is all part of the show. There is also the opposite possibly, what I experienced, where everyone LOVES what you are selling.
There was one person, a little old woman (I’m pretty sure that she is senile or has some mental disease), my very first customer of the day. She came up to me and was asking about a possible custom order. Then, she noticed my animal earflap hats (which were the big sellers this time), and said “Oh my, but those are ugly! They have to be halloween costumes”. I busted out laughing! So hilarious! Her daughter that was with her said “no, Mom, those are really cute. It’s what the kids are all wearing these days”. And she leaned in to tell me again, “I am sorry, I’m sure you spent a lot of time on those, but they are really ugly”. Cracked me up!
Overall, it was a good show, not what I expected, exhausting (I didn’t get to sit down except to eat my lunch of a green bell pepper and a cup of yogurt), and a wonderful opportunity and learning experience.
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