Small church craft shows are rarely exceptional, but I have to say, St. Vital EMC’s craft show this year was superb.
With all that I’d had going on these past couple of months (particularly Comic Con), I hadn’t given the show much thought (which is why there wasn’t a pre-show post about it). Initially, I’d only agreed because it’s my church, it was convenient, and I had gone three times before.
So I wasn’t thinking much about it, and didn’t even do my usual test run set up at home.
But despite that lack of thought, it was amazing.
It’s a small show – thirty-something tables, but it’s very community based. They set up some tables and chairs in one corner for shoppers to chat around, and sell hotdogs and homemade soup. There’s a lot of people I know, so the atmosphere is a lot of fun.
Set up was surprisingly quick, even with my lack of planning, so I was actually presentable before the doors opened (which I hadn’t been sure would happen). Sales were great, and a friend hung out at my table and figured out how to make European 4 in 1 by copying one of my bracelets. And I made a trade for fudge with someone I met last year.
The next day at church, I was given these pocket watches by a member of the church. He had got them for free a while back, and having seen my chain maille watches, thought this would be a great home for them. They’re fairly basic pocket watches – nothing fancy – but they don’t have batteries! They’re watches you have to wind, which I find so cool. They sound different from battery operated watches, and it’s cool seeing the little gears spin through the clear panels.
So look forward to some new watch chains for them – as soon as I get rings that match. I’m thinking Byzantine for one of them, but I haven’t decided which other weave to use.
I don’t have any more shows left for this year, so it’s great to end on such a high note.
If you were hoping to get something from me yet before Christmas, shoot me an email. While I don’t have any weekends free for shows, I still have time for commissions.
The Ultimate Craft Show was over three days ago, and I still feel like I haven’t really processed/sorted through it. And there isn’t much incentive. I didn’t do too well on this craft show – I made my costs back, but not much more. And that’s always a little disappointing. However, I did learn a few things:
- Crafters are interesting people. Of course, I’ve always known this, but because the show was very slow at times (almost no people on our floor), I did a lot of visiting, especially with the booths right around me. It was really cool to talk to people who make constantly – I don’t necessarily get to hang out with that crowd a lot.
And of course, I got to see more of what others are making as well. Niswa General Store has some really gorgeous throws and pillows that I was rather in love with, as well as some very cute baby things. Betty’s Garden Soaps has some of the most amazing soap scents I’ve smelled – ranging from Licorice to Manchurian Dragon to Lychee Red Tea.
- I need to dress to compliment my display. Sylvia (of Niswa General Store) inspired me by dressing in outfits that looked like an extension of her brand. Her whole booth, including outfit choices, was very cohesive, and looked like it belonged in a magazine.
- I need to be more selective when choosing craft shows. Rather than picking ones that are inexpensive, convenient, or look good, I need to choose ones that have the right market. I’ve always been a bit wary of Scattered Seeds and Signatures, because I’ve heard they’re expensive, but according to the venders at this show, they also do very well.
- I need to create a network of craft show friends who can help me learn more about selling my creations. Learning from other isn’t something I’ve done much of in this, mostly because I don’t really know anyone, but I’m slowly connecting with people. A friend who sells epicure recently put me onto the idea of Swords and Sabres, a show I tried a couple of years ago and forgot about (and which I’m now booked for). And at Ultimate, I was encouraged to try etsy.
- Standing is a good thing. I tend to sit down for most of my shows, as I’m often making something as I’m there, but in my awkward sized booth, people had to look down to talk to me. Standing makes it easier to hold a comfortable conversation, and if I make room on a higher part of my display, I can make jewelry as I stand as well.
And, for the jewelry contest winner. There was an opportunity to guess how many rings were in a micromaille bracelet, in order to win some free jewelry. The guesses ranged from 495-1,200,000 rings, with the closest guess being 1500. In fact, there are 1887 rings, in about 7 square inches of maille. Congratulations to Ev P., who wins $15 worth of free jewelry.
Even though this craft show wasn’t very successful, I am excited for the next one. As one of the other crafter was saying – craft shows are addictive. Being able to submerse yourself in that much creativity, and sharing your craft with others is an amazing experience. The next show I plan to be at is Swords and Sabres, in early June, although I may end up attending another show in early May as well.
And this is the first time I’ve been to a show where you need to set up the day before. Although it’s a little annoying to do that extra drive out, I have to say, it’s very relaxing to take time setting up. Not to mention wandering around and making friends with the neighbors. I’m getting excited for tomorrow!
I did have a surprise though, when I showed up. I had booked a 5’x10′ and planned for it, not realizing that it was 5′ wide, and 10′ deep! It took a bit of restructuring, but eventually I got something figured out. The lighting isn’t the greatest, although I’m still far better off than some. I’ve added a bulletin board to my display, at least for this time. But at the moment, my bedroom wall looks rather empty. I can’t wait till tomorrow, and hope to see you there! Come swing by, and don’t forget to enter my contest!
Location: Assiniboia Downs
Date: April 11&12Time: 10-5 (sat), 11-5 (sun)
April 11 & 12th is the Ultimate Craft Show. I’ve never been before, but this year I’m presenting there. It’s located at the Assiniboa Downs, from 10-5 on Saturday, and 11-5 on Sunday. The Ultimate Craft Show runs in conjunction with the Ultimate Women’s Show.
I’m super excited to set up there, not only because it’s a large show (two floors), but because they’ll have a different set up for vendors than I’m used to. Instead of just having a table, I’ll have a 5’x10′ space I can set up however I want.
Admission is $5, but the show has kindly provided a 2-for-1 admission coupon. Just print out the picture and bring it with you.
Check out the Ultimate Craft Show website here.
Last Saturday I was at the Reaching Across Border’s Tenth Annual Craft Show, and it’s definetly one I’d like to return to. Not only was it a lot of fun, and the customers were buying, I thought the organizers put a special effort in to make the crafters feel welcomed. This included – and this is the first time I’ve been to a show that does this – assisting the crafters in bringing in their supplies.
I also had lovely neighbors, and I ended up selling all the remaining pieces of steampunk jewelry. It was a lovely show, and I ended up picking up a Christmas gift as well, so it was successful in every way.
I definetly recommend you attend next year. If you’re interested in finding out more about Reaching Across Borders and the work that they do, you can find their page here.
I’m going back to one of my very first craft shows again this year: at St. Vital EMC on St. Mary’s. There will be a lot of artists – they’re bringing in extra tables cause they’ve maxed out theirs. It’s a perfect time for Christmas shopping, and there will be a canteen serving delicious home-made soup.
It’s from 9:30-3:00, on Saturday the 15th. Take a look at the event here.
Hope to see you there!
On Saturday I had the privilege of selling my jewelry at the last ever Morris MCC Auction. The auction hasn’t been doing so well in the past few years, so they decided to close it down after this past one. This year the money raised is going to the troubled areas in Syria.
I was in a large hall along with the other crafts (mostly knitting), baking, book sale, quilt auction, and Ten Thousand Villages (a fair trade store run by MCC).
There weren’t a huge amount of books, but the selection was pretty good. I managed to pick up a couple of good books.
Some of the quilts that were up for auction. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of my favorite quilt, which went for $1150 on auction. I really enjoyed the event, and I think it’s a shame that it’s dying out.
I have been absent from this website for a very long time, unfortunately, and I have decided that it is time for a change. I’m hoping to make this website a much more interesting place to be, including new and better pictures, more jewelry designs, and lots more posts about the random interesting things that come with owning and operating a business.
I am going to Comic Con! It’s the one in Winnipeg, so it isn’t the hugest, but it will be the first Comic Con I’ve ever been to, and the largest event that I’ve had a table at. And I’m super excited for it! It’s pretty cool that I got a table at all: I had called to see if they had any tables left, and at a month and a half away, I was told they didn’t. But they’d put me on a waiting list. THAT SAME DAY I came back from the city to find an email telling me they had a table for me.
Next weekend, September 13th, I will be at the Morris MCC Auction. For those of you who don’t know, MCC stands for Mennonite Central Committee, and is a relief/humanitarian aid organization run by Anabaptist churches. All the money I make will go straight to MCC.
The Morris Auction (apparently) hasn’t been doing that great these past few years, so they’re trying to bring in a few different things to attract people, including storytellers and buskers (one of which is my little brother) and well, me, and other interesting things like that.
I’m moving! It’s a huge change for me, from small town to city life, as well as in many other ways. I’m excited for it, but really nervous too.
Do I have a thing #5? That’s probably it for now, although I should mention I got a really epic birthday present from my Uncle and Aunt that I will post pictures of, as soon as I get some pictures. My mom had mentioned to them that I was looking to update my jewelry display, so they HAND-MADE me some really nice necklace busts.
Both Craft shows I’ve previously posted about were a success. Interestingly the Interlake show sold more than the St. Vital show.
The St. Vital show was slow, since half the city was putting on craft shows at the same time. I was introduced to several people whom I’m supposed to have met in the past, and I had a great time. It’s an annual event, and I definitely want to go next year.
The Interlake craft show was fun, very much a social event. Lots of people from my church came, and I knew almost everyone.
I also was at the Fellowship Circle Church’s craft show during Riverton’s Midnight Madness, but it wasn’t busy at all. The location wasn’t the best, and I think that Riverton’s Midnight Madness is running out of steam.
All in all, the shows were good, I made some new friends, and enough money for it to be worth it. I’m probably not going to do any more shows this season unless I can find some good ones in the area.
I’m doing another craft show of sorts. This is more of a private affair at the home of Alvina Reimer. This is an opportunity to purchase or order: Books from Living Books by Susan Plett, Baking by Alvina Reimer and Jewelry by myself.
Susan has over 150 books in stock selling at 50% off & many more to order for pre-Christmas deliver.
Susan Plett – 364-3030
Pre-order your butter tarts, cheese cakes and baklava, Dinner rolls and flax bread, slices and much more for Nov 27 or Dec 21. Pre-ordering is strongly encouraged.
Alvina Reimer – 364-3008
And jewelry by me, of course.
Saturday, Nov 27, 3pm-6pm.
Location: 1 1/4 miles west of jt. #329 & Vidir Hwy.