Well I survived my first little show. I signed up for a whole bunch of them in January, with the expectation that they would be part of my learning process. Getting ready meant figuring out packaging and display, doing a table mock-up, having my show kit ready with all my supplies, and of course, having inventory.
I’m thankful that my family supports all of this and gives me the time here and there to fit my things in around school drop offs, Girl Guides, work schedules, Parent Council and church activities. We are a busy house, but not too busy. This took me away from my family for an entire weekend day. Mr Two Carrots works long hours, 6 days a week and I really appreciate that he took this day to spend with our girls while I was at the show.
This show was small, not a lot of traffic or sales for myself (or my table neighbours for that matter). I’m ok with that, because I learned a lot.
I know now to ask the organizer (who was amazing!) which of her shows would be more suited to crafters and handmade. I was so excited to find space to sell that I didn’t ask enough questions. This weekend the same organizer has a show with many more handmade and craft vendors, that would have been a better fit for me. I was offered a space there, but it didn’t work for my family this week. Next time!
Going in, I thought that an hour and a half was too much time to set up my table. Nope. I forgot I asked for an 8 foot table, not a 6. I set up at home on a 6 foot table, so I had to move things around a bit. I learned that I need to pack my totes better so that when I do set up, everything comes out in sequence to save time as I set up. The wheels literally fell off at one point – one of my trolley cart wheels wasn’t secure and fell off in the parking lot as I left. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers, and for the nice man that carried my totes to the van! I have a lot of notes to go over for the next time, and I’m sure things will be much easier.
I learned that sometimes people assume you don’t make your own wares. Weird but true. A lot of people thought my copper cuffs were machine cut, until I explained the process. I think for the next show, I might display a photo collage of how they are made, and have some pieces in progress. One of the things I love to do is share the process of how pieces are made, so having that right at my table would be fun to do. It’s neat to see the progression from raw materials to finished work.
I also know that I should bring a small project to work on while I’m there, for the slow times. It would have been a great time to practice wire wrapping beads for earrings or other components. Not too messy, and easy to pick up and put down. I have some great friends that will be working shows with me in April and May; luckily they accept payment in lunches and jewelry!
My next show in April might be similar to this one, but I will be better prepared. The two after that are primarily handmade so I think I will be set.