Lessons Learned and I score Raging Bitch Soap
First of all, here’s the picture that made it into the Westword’s article on Art by Craft:
1. You can’t control the weather, but it can affect your sales. Who wants to leave their house on the first cold rainy/snowy day of the year? Not me! And not a lot of potential shoppers who may have otherwise come to the Overland craft fair.
2. The other types of vendors at a fair can affect your sales. It’s hard to compete against people who don’t handcraft their items but buy them in bulk from a cheap foreign market.
3. Related to the last lesson – the type of people who attend a fair need to be a good match for your product. The Art by Craft crowd was much more suited to my goods than the Overland crowd. Even though less people came to the AbC, more stopped to look at my table and expressed interest in what I had made.
4. If you need to buy a cashbox, go for the old fashioned kind with the latch on the outside – not the new fangled push button type with the opening mechanism inside and unreachable when it get’s jammed!
5. Having a friend at a craft fair makes low sales much less painful.
6. Kids seem to like my tee shirt designs – at least the cool kids do : )
7. You can sometimes find someone to trade with at a craft fair, like I did. I traded a Feisty Penguin kids tee shirt with Naughty Nicki at Believe Skin Care for some AWESOME soap. My favorite is called ‘Raging Bitch’. I have to admit I was skeptical when she offered it to me and I saw it was honey tobacco scented. Not because I have an aversion to tobacco, but because I love it. As a former smoker, I told her I was afraid of relapse, but she assured me that her soap would not provoke me to go out and buy a pack of marlboros. And she was right, it smells so good. It also keeps its scent really well and I can smell it each time I walk past the shower. Delicious! Oh yeah, and it’s made with beer. How cool!
8. Getting ready for a craft fair (or two) is a lot of work!
9. Some people just won’t get your work. Or like it. And that’s a good thing. I had one woman at the AbC who looked at my tee shirts with a grimace and then shook her head in apparent disgust and walked away. At first I was like, ‘wow, that was rude!’, but then I realized that I was happy that my stuff even provoked a reaction. This reminds me of a quote that I really like and I think it sums up this lesson nicely. “Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.” ~Libbie Fudim
10. Sales, like life, have their ups and downs. So, just when you think that no one wants to buy what you have made – someone will come along with a super fantastic order – renewing your hope and enthusiasm!