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.
Every time I do a craft show, I re-remember why I love the business part of this hobby – it’s just so much fun. I love talking to vendors and customers, and building a bit of a connection with them.
This show in particular is so much fun, because it’s a geek community. And if you share a common interest with whoever you’re talking to, it’s almost like a shortcut to a deeper level of connection. Now rather than talking about the weather, you can talk about story lines and plot devices, which shows are worth watching, and which actor is your favorite Doctor. And as I don’t have many friends who are into the same shows as me, it’s cool to meet people who are into Doctor Who, Sherlock, Anime and things like that.
Anyways, the show itself seemed a bit slow – the Viscount Gort was doing some construction on their parking lots, which may have scared some people off. The show wasn’t a loss, but it wasn’t amazing either. However, someone commissioned a piece that will require me to make a Ring Lord order, so I’m pretty excited to do some online shopping this week.
I ended up trading some jewelry for art with Kemik Ly. She going to be at Comic Con in October, and plans to have the rest of the Avengers then.
Another person to look out for is Brenda of Stellar Evolution Designs. I didn’t catch whether she’ll be at Comic Con or not, but she has some pretty cool stuff, including plush weaponry.
The Comic and Toy Expo was a lot of fun, and Comic Con is going to be even better! I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of the same people again, and hope to have some new geeky designs ready!
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.
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.
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.
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.