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Craft Show Share your experience, help each other and good luck.

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Old 12-06-2011, 01:49
DaisyDee's Avatar
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Default Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

This weekend I did my first really big show. It was 220+ vendors, three days, and is the largest event of the season in my area. I was pretty worried to start with, because I wasn't happy with my location. I applied late, and when I called to see if I had gotten in (it was juried) the director told me she had given me a nice corner booth since one had opened up. Because the fee was higher than that of a line booth, I told her I appreciated it, but that I was only planning to afford the less expensive one. So, since she had already sent out the invoice, she had to send me another one for the line booth. When I got both of the booth assignments in the mail, it turned out that the corner booth was really close to the front, and in a prime location. The booth I ended up with was way in the back corner, farthest from the doors. Yuck!

Friday turned out to be really slow, and even though we were open from 12-8, I only sold $52 worth. All the other vendors I met (so many nice people!) told me not to worry, and that Saturday would be really busy, but it was hard not to, because there were so many other booths with hair accessories. Most of them weren't really much competition in the quality category though. Cheap ribbons, sloppy workmanship, ends not heat sealed, just plain ugly, etc. But, they were also cheap in the price department; one person had all her stuff for only $2 each. (Hers fell into the ugly category.)

There was really only one other seller who was dedicated to hair things solely, and her stuff, though very pretty, was almost completely ordered from wholesalers and she had just slapped a clip on it. It was mainly flowers and fabric puffs, but she did have a few bows. They were simple designs though, and she had very few; I'm not entirely convinced she didn't just order them too. A little annoying when it was supposed to be an entirely hand-crafted event. (I order some flowers from HH for my booth too, but they are only a very small part of my inventory that is made up the rest of the way completely by hand.) As it turned out, if I had gotten that corner booth, she would have been directly behind me. It kind of stung a little every time someone filtered back to my booth carrying one of her zebra print bags and just kept walking because they had already bought hair accessories, and though I would have liked to be closer to the doors, I think it would have been more stressful to be right on top of each other. (And yes, if I'm totally honest, there is also a tiny part of me that's just a bit jealous, because I don't have the capital to order quantities of nice things from wholesalers.)

Then Saturday came, and boy were they right! It was a madhouse in there! I was so busy, the day seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye. By the end of day two I had made nearly five times as much as Fri. Sunday was the day that surprised me the most though, because I thought it would be like Friday, but I actually sold $111 in six hours.

In the end, I sold $414, and had a $75 booth fee, making my profit for three days $339! I am SOOOO happy! It turned out to be a really a great show, and I got so many compliments on my booth and products. I handed out a bazillion business cards too. Now I can buy Christmas presents!

Sorry picture quality isn't the best (cell phone camera,) Also, the drapes behind the booth are askew because I took the photos just before everything was ready for business. My sign isn't up either, and I forgot to take another pic after it was!
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File Type: jpg 2011-12-02 12.48.14.jpg (41.1 KB, 530 views)
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:51
DaisyDee's Avatar
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

More pics:
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:17
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

Congrats on a good show. your booth looks clean and organized, I love that! I love how you have all your tables completely covered.

thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:42
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

Love your mirror with the santa hat, cute! Are you using Target wire grid cubes? If so, mind me asking where you bought your hooks? Your booth looks great! Glad it turned out to be worth your time. 3 days can be along time making no money.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:10
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyDee View Post
This weekend I did my first really big show. It was 220+ vendors, three days, and is the largest event of the season in my area. I was pretty worried to start with, because I wasn't happy with my location. I applied late, and when I called to see if I had gotten in (it was juried) the director told me she had given me a nice corner booth since one had opened up. Because the fee was higher than that of a line booth, I told her I appreciated it, but that I was only planning to afford the less expensive one. So, since she had already sent out the invoice, she had to send me another one for the line booth. When I got both of the booth assignments in the mail, it turned out that the corner booth was really close to the front, and in a prime location. The booth I ended up with was way in the back corner, farthest from the doors. Yuck!

Friday turned out to be really slow, and even though we were open from 12-8, I only sold $52 worth. All the other vendors I met (so many nice people!) told me not to worry, and that Saturday would be really busy, but it was hard not to, because there were so many other booths with hair accessories. Most of them weren't really much competition in the quality category though. Cheap ribbons, sloppy workmanship, ends not heat sealed, just plain ugly, etc. But, they were also cheap in the price department; one person had all her stuff for only $2 each. (Hers fell into the ugly category.)

There was really only one other seller who was dedicated to hair things solely, and her stuff, though very pretty, was almost completely ordered from wholesalers and she had just slapped a clip on it. It was mainly flowers and fabric puffs, but she did have a few bows. They were simple designs though, and she had very few; I'm not entirely convinced she didn't just order them too. A little annoying when it was supposed to be an entirely hand-crafted event. (I order some flowers from HH for my booth too, but they are only a very small part of my inventory that is made up the rest of the way completely by hand.) As it turned out, if I had gotten that corner booth, she would have been directly behind me. It kind of stung a little every time someone filtered back to my booth carrying one of her zebra print bags and just kept walking because they had already bought hair accessories, and though I would have liked to be closer to the doors, I think it would have been more stressful to be right on top of each other. (And yes, if I'm totally honest, there is also a tiny part of me that's just a bit jealous, because I don't have the capital to order quantities of nice things from wholesalers.)

Then Saturday came, and boy were they right! It was a madhouse in there! I was so busy, the day seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye. By the end of day two I had made nearly five times as much as Fri. Sunday was the day that surprised me the most though, because I thought it would be like Friday, but I actually sold $111 in six hours.

In the end, I sold $414, and had a $75 booth fee, making my profit for three days $339! I am SOOOO happy! It turned out to be a really a great show, and I got so many compliments on my booth and products. I handed out a bazillion business cards too. Now I can buy Christmas presents!

Sorry picture quality isn't the best (cell phone camera,) Also, the drapes behind the booth are askew because I took the photos just before everything was ready for business. My sign isn't up either, and I forgot to take another pic after it was!

CONGRATS!!!

I'm glad you did well. And don't get too down about the other booths. It will always be like that. Every time I go to a craft fair I feel like I am searching out other bow booths just to get a glimps of what is going to be there. I just did my first inside school craft fair and there was a bow lady right in front of me and some of her bows sold more than some of mine and the lady next to me said her bows were a little cheap (in price) and when one of her customers came to my booth and took out her bow to find something to match it with I saw it was just a piece of ribbon folder in half long wise and then just spikes in the back with a bottle cap on top. No wonder they were priced different, but I didn't let it get me down. I just took deep breathes and enjoyed the people who did come to purchase

P.S- Where in the world did you get that BIG HUGE bow on the stand?!?!!! Oh I would love to get one of those!!!
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:46
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

How much of you sales ended up going on credit card? Just trying to decide how important it is!Great job!
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:26
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

Congrats on a great show. You're booth looks great. Very organized and well displayed. I too have done shows where there are other booths of really crappy hair accessories and I know that feeling of seeing that they've already bought from the other person but this is where I just remind myself that they got what they paid for. When the other persons stuff doesn't hold up well or last then they won't return to that vendor. Which has always been the case in my experience.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:11
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlhardison1 View Post
Love your mirror with the santa hat, cute! Are you using Target wire grid cubes? If so, mind me asking where you bought your hooks? Your booth looks great! Glad it turned out to be worth your time. 3 days can be along time making no money.
Thanks, I was thinking about wearing that Santa hat, but decided it looked so cute on the mirror I just left it! As for the grid cubes, (like most of my display pieces) they were a garage sale special. I know I've measured them, and I think they are 14" square if that helps.

The hooks though turned out to be the best thing about the entire show! During set-up I was chatting with my neighbors about my envy of their grid wall, and it turned out the lady had a huge box of extra 2" hooks. She sold me 64 of them for .25 each! I was over the MOON with glee about that! Before I had been using drapery hooks that I had discovered fit snugly onto the grids, but the new hooks are just amazing. I love how professional they make the inexpensive cube panels look. Someday maybe I'll be able to afford the real grid, but for now these will do nicely!
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:20
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

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Originally Posted by nikmeister View Post
CONGRATS!!!

I'm glad you did well. And don't get too down about the other booths. It will always be like that. Every time I go to a craft fair I feel like I am searching out other bow booths just to get a glimps of what is going to be there. I just did my first inside school craft fair and there was a bow lady right in front of me and some of her bows sold more than some of mine and the lady next to me said her bows were a little cheap (in price) and when one of her customers came to my booth and took out her bow to find something to match it with I saw it was just a piece of ribbon folder in half long wise and then just spikes in the back with a bottle cap on top. No wonder they were priced different, but I didn't let it get me down. I just took deep breathes and enjoyed the people who did come to purchase

P.S- Where in the world did you get that BIG HUGE bow on the stand?!?!!! Oh I would love to get one of those!!!
Thank you, I actually made the "Big Bow" as I call it myself. The stand is just a wreath/stocking holder with a hook on top. I had been getting so many little girls coming up to me at my previous shows asking of the Big Bow was for sale that I made up smaller ones (Mini Big Bows) to sell at this bazaar. It turned out to be a good move too. I made nine, and sold five of them. Then I had a girl from one of the other booths that sold hair bows come over and special ordered another one in a different size from me. I made $18 in sales on them for only $1.75 worth of fabric!
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:28
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Default Re: Back from my first HUGE show with PICS! (long)

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How much of you sales ended up going on credit card? Just trying to decide how important it is!Great job!
Nearly a quarter of my sales were paid for through Square. If you don't have one yet, I can't recommend it enough! One thing I think helps with it, is to buy a stylus. That way when they have to sign their name on your phone, it feels more natural to hold something pen-like instead of using their finger. Just make sure you buy it off eBay and not in a store. They are about $1-$3 each on eBay and $10-$20 in the store. You also have to make sure you get the kind that are made for your phone's screen. Some screens are still pressure sensitive, but most of the newer ones react to the electromagnetic energy from your fingertip. They are the same type of screen that iPads and iPhones use. If have this type of screen you need to look for one that is "capacitive."
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