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Sunday, November 9, 2008
Craft Fair Report- My first show!
I did my first craft show yesterday at a Secondary School in North Vancouver. Here is my set-up before the fair started. I tweaked it a bit, but this is basically what I went with.
It was an interesting experience and I learned a few things:
1) Be more selective: In future, I think I'll do ONLY shows with other handcrafters. I actually never thought to ask this when signing up for shows. There were so many re-sellers there. I was surrounded by them, and so naturally most customers assumed I was a re-seller too. One of the most frequent questions I had all day was "did you make these?"
This was something I never expected from a CRAFT FAIR. It makes me think that many people who didn't stop at my table may have thought my items were mass-produced:-( That's kind of disheartening.
I should have paid attention that it was advertised as a "craft fair and market"
2) Make better signs: I needed bigger, full-colour signs with my store name. My little signs were okay, but I think I needed a large, main sign. I might actually make a sign saying 'www.juicybags.ca' instead of just the name.
Also think I will add a sign about recycling. I thought it was obvious, but several folks didn't realise the materials were recycled.
3) Offer an incentive to visit my store: I am going to add stickers to the back of my business cards with an incentive discount for my Etsy store to help bring hits there after the show.
4) Tweak my set-up: I will make a better riser for the back of the table that can be easily set-up. I was kind of winging it yesterday and nearly wasn't ready in time. I'm not sure that I need both of the grid-walls behind the table. I found that most shoppers were focused down at the table and didn't notice the stuff behind as much.
Perhaps use some props to show the bags in use, what they can be used for, etc.
5) Pack better: I need to get a few plastic crates with lids to pack everything into for the shows. I had stuff in bags and it took me 5 or 6 trips back and forth from the car for set-up and take-down. Better yet- bring hubby along for someone to help and some friendly company when things are slow.
The day started a bit slow with only a trickle of traffic. Since it was my first time, I took a long time for set-up and was still tweaking things during the morning. The tables were set very close together and the 2 sellers on my sides also set things up beside their tables. Unfortunately, this meant customers couldn't come around to see the bags I had hanging on the grids. I hung them as high as I could to try to show them off.
As I expected, my smaller items did much better than the bags. I sold quite a few little wallets.
I was surprised to see that the potato chip-bag and candy-bag pouches were very popular. I only had a few to sell because I was having some trouble sewing on the vinyl surface. I got a custom order for 2 as well, so I'll have to make more of them for the fairs next weekend. I would say it was a pretty positive experience. I borrowed my friend's van (thanks Yvette!) and I'm not used to driving something so big. I felt like a delivery driver:-)
I'm sure each show is going to be different, depending on the area and the demographic. Should be fun to see how next weekend goes.
Friday Nov 14th, 5-9 pm I'll be at Annieville Elementary School
for their Christmas Craft Fair.
Saturday and Sunday, Nov 15 + 16th, 10 am to 4 pm I'll be at
Arbourside Court in the Piano Lounge- Home for the Holidays Craft Show