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.