Thursday, July 24, 2014

Craft Fairs

With so many sewing machines I find it harder and harder to actually sit down to sew. I could spend all of my time tinkering with and selling those I already have but the whole point of it was to find a better sewing machine for the sewing I already loved to do. Since I've always enjoyed sewing as a creative activity, it doesn't stop just because your kids grow up and no longer need you to provide clothing or if your closet is full of perfectly good clothing. There are only so many pillows your home needs and friends and family do get tired of your home-made gifts after awhile. So what's a body to do? Enter craft fairs and shows! This has been a great outlet for the wide variety of crafts I do so my sale list includes:

Rag dolls
Quilted hot-mitts pot holders
Quilted tea cozies
Knitted baby back-zip sweaters
Knitted sock-monkey cup cozy
As you can imagine, there's a learning curve to this business, too. Marketing, marketing, marketing! How things are displayed is of the highest importance. If they can't see it, or it doesn't catch the attention of a passerby, it might as well be under the table. My sister's advise rings true: vary height, suggest reasons for buying, have reorder cards. After a we-didn't-break-even event this spring, we decided if we are going to continue in this part of the business I need to get down to business.
  • Lighting: spotlight, rope lights, lights, lights, lights!
  • Uniform table covers that are a backdrop, not competing with the product
  • Gift displays: Teacher gifts: jar sewing kits, teabag holders, hot mitts or New Moms: baby sweater, jar sewing kit, rag dolls (for child at home) or Grandmothers: tea cozy, hot mitts
  • Talk to customers: compliment something they have, purchase they made, ask what kind of an item they are interested in, suggest items (could be from another booth) to be genuinely helpful
  • Charge capability: open a Square account or PayPal so they can pay another way & postthier ability to charge it
I'm very please to get into one of the biggest craft shows in November but I had to be at one of their smaller ones in March to get my foot in the door. Here is my daughter, Kelly, and I at Salem Covenant Church last November where we did fantastic:
Hard to believe we did so well with this set-up!

Loved the gridwall for extra vertical space

Kelly with some of her jewelry
So I'm still learning and didn't always appreciate the helpful comments by my husband but he is right: we need to market this better if we expect better end results. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

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