Sunday, March 24, 2013

Show's Over

So I just got done with a two day craft show at a neighboring high school after another show last weekend.

I. Am. Spent.

Early rising. Unpacking. Packing. Standing. Walking. Sitting. Chatting. Selling. :) The mood shifts from moment to moment as waves of people circulate, pause at the table, and then move on to the next booth. The people are fun. The other vendors (and customers) can be colorful and entertaining.

I was hit on by a vendor of homemade dog biscuits, fairly relentlessly until my husband and kids showed up at the craft show. Awkward, but harmless.

My vending neighbor was a wonderful lady named Kim who sells handmade body butters and soaps. Her story and experience with body products was so interesting and her company enjoyable. And I walked away with an armful of yummy smelling products! Be sure to check out her shop on Etsy... Butter Duck Farms.

Butter Duck Farms Conditioning Natural Detangler
I bought this for my daughter's long hair, and we love it!
Get the Monkey Farts Scent - smells like bananas and other fruit :)

We were surrounded by all sorts of handmade whats-its and stuff you didn't realize you needed until you saw it. Fluffy tulle wreaths with painted wooden ladybugs and flowers. Crocheted kitchen towels and clothes for the goose on your porch. (I want one of those!) Candles. Yard ornaments with your favorite sports team logo. Ceramic Easter bunnies, 'cuz you know, it's Easter and all! Duct tape wallets and lunch bags...really? Hasn't that fad run its course? Hairbows. I mean rows upon rows upon rows of hairbows! Too many soap and lotion vendors for one show. And certainly too many jewelry vendors. OMG. You couldn't walk 20 steps before running into another jewelry vendor.

Every show and sale teaches you something new. Should you go back to that show next year? Should you bother with craft shows at all? Is your product suited to the show environment and market? Is your display appealing and inviting? Does it make your customer want to linger? Is your price point suitable for the show?

As I learned from the last show, my product was not suitable for that particular show, and I won't be going back. BUT, I made several incredibly valuable contacts, and learned many valuable lessons, most of which I won't bore you with. The experience was not a loss.

However, I highly recommend that if you are considering entering the craft show scene, visit the show before you pay money to vend at it. Otherwise it's a craps shoot. The show I attended last weekend at one of my local high schools was so different than the show I attended this weekend. It would have been better if I had visited the shows before buying a spot. Lesson learned. :)

So no more shows for a bit. Not sure when I'll do another one. Maybe none until Christmas. There's a little show that our Catholic church does each Christmas that has become near and dear to my heart. The people are nice, the sales aren't great but the interaction is priceless. And it's cheap fun :) I'll keep you posted if I decide to show up elsewhere in the Chicago area this summer.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

And....we're back!

It's a little embarrassing to know it's been something like 6 months since my last blog post. I have had every intention of maintaining my blog and it simply got away from me! Christmas came and went. Wow, what a busy season! And now I'm back to blog again.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the West Fest Craft Show in New Lenox, IL. Met several new folks and got to see lots of interesting crafts. This weekend I'm heading to A. A. Stagg High School in Palos Hills for their craft show. The show runs Saturday from 9 to 4 and Sunday from 10 to 3. Stop by and check out the goods!

I added lots of Beach and Sea-inspired jewelry to the shop as well as more garden tea party themed items. I have felt tea pot brooches made from my own pattern. I hope to add one with a Union Jack on it as a nod to the tea-kings, the British.

Tea Pot Felt Brooches
I've added a few felt plushies, too. I haven't been able to devote any more time to them than the few I have in the shop, but they are a compliment to the angel ornaments that I started making in November. The patterns are from Gingermelon on Etsy - she is an amazing pattern- and doll-maker. I love this new medium of felt and polyfil because it lets me exercise my other crafting skills. I used to sew regularly, making clothes, curtains...I've even upholstered a few chairs in my time. But I love smaller projects with hand-sewing. And felt is so comforting - soft and warm. And it comes in so many yummy colors!

So, I will report back after my craft show this weekend. I'm glad to be back in the blogosphere again.