Monday, April 15, 2013

when we're asked how the craft show went....

Well. It was a learning experience! Combining the cost of the booth and lunch.. I think we broke even. Moral of the story, is we barely sold anything and it was a little depressing. The people in the booth next to us had been to a few more craft shows and said that they definitely have their ups and downs. (They barely sold anything either, so it made us feel a little bit better).

Overall, we had quite a few speedbumps along the way.

First of all, we didn't have a vehicle. We managed to find a truck to borrow, and then at the last minute Leah's dad ended up bringing their old truck down to Newton and trading out with the sad, sad van that Leah had before. So that problem was solved!


We loaded up everything with some very questionable rope tying and went on our merry way. Once we got onto the highway though, we noticed the back of the truck had popped open so we pulled off quick to close it again. Apparently, it doesn't latch all the way and when it's closed you can just yank it open if you pull hard enough. This happened a few times through our 30 minute drive, but we eventually made it all the way there without losing any of our belongings.


We got there with about 45 minutes to set up, and after some minor confusion as to where we were supposed to set up (we were suspicious that someone stole our original spot) we were putting the finishing touches on right as 10am hit and people started arriving.


People were friendly, and seemed to like our stuff, but we deduced that most people come to craft shows to just look at all the cool stuff, and not really buy much. Oh well. It was a long day, but having both of us there made it so much more fun. We were hoping to sell enough by lunch time to go buy some food, but eventually we gave up on that dream and Leah went off to buy some sandwiches. Turns out, her leaving was all it took, and people bought enough to cover our lunch cost. That was exciting.


Later in the afternoon our friend Caleb (winner of the best RD and most supportive friend award in our eyes) came to see us. He hung out for a while and put us in a much better mood, and even bought two of Leah's tea bowls, and then because he is so great he helped us tear everything down and even let us put some things in his car to take back home so we wouldn't have to worry about them flying out of our truck bed.


This is how we felt when we finally made a sale:


Basically, the craft show was a bit of a financial bummer and we'll probably be opening an e plus l etsy shop pretty soon, so keep your eyes out for that!


We did appreciate all the support and encouragement we received via Facebook, and all the people who asked about it when we got back that evening.

At this point, neither of us are too keen on doing another one any time soon, but I think we would have both regretted it if we had passed up the opportunity. You have to learn somehow!

Have you had any craft show experiences? How did they go for you?

-e plus l


Lisa said...

You win some you lose some, I guess. Sorry to hear it went a little sour for you two. :( I'd love to see some of your things on etsy though. I really like those tea bowls. :)

xo Lisa
Making Life's Lemons

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! Maybe you guys could start a YouTube channel too! Get the word out that way and even show your "How-To's" as videos too! You guys rock :)

Susan H said...

Don't worry, girls! Selling arts and crafts is fickle. I didn't sell many of my paintings at my first real, big-girl gallery show, and the ones I did were at a discounted rate. :) It is ALWAYS beneficial to get experience, good or bad. You find out more about what kinds of things you want to sell, and what kinds of things people want to buy. Turns out they don't always match up, which is such a pity. Keep at it!

The Photogramps said...

Bummer guys. Starting a business is a bumpy road. So much to learn. Me and my hubs are kinda in the same spot right now. I am a BIG fan of the idea of an Etsy shop. Keep your chins up, you girls are badasses! Don't forget it.

Kate said...

looks like an amazing weekend!
xx Kate

The Style Department

danielle and dinosaur toes said...

I know I'm kind of late to the party here, but I'm really behind on blog reading! I did want to say that you definitely shouldn't let one show discourage you. The first two times I tried selling at a handmade/craft show I kind of wanted to cry; I thought everyone hated me and everything I made because I sold three things the first time and one thing the second time. As it turns out, the city I live in just doesn't appreciate handmade, so if I drive about an hour north, I can pretty much sell out of everything I make because the crowd is completely different. So maybe it's worth trying another show, but in a different and more artsy town.

Also, having just completed Renegade Brooklyn, I learned A LOT about what people are willing to spend. For example, a necklace that I have no trouble selling online for $45 barely even gets passing glances at Renegade even though the price is marked at $35. But, the $10, $15 and $20 items fly off my table as if I were giving them away. I don't know what your price points were, but from my own experiences, and in talking to others, it seems like people will look if it's over $20, but they often don't buy; under $20 and they can't get enough of it!

Anyway, after writing a novel, all I'm really getting at is this: don't let that one event get you down because there are people that appreciate handmade and are willing to buy it, you just have to go through some trial and error to find out where!

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