Thanks for all your kind words in comments to yesterday's post. I ended up going to bed really early Saturday night because I was so tired after the show, but I woke up to three orders, got two more on Sunday, and shipped three more packages this morning. So, I know it isn't a matter of people not liking my things. They just seem to live in places like California and Texas!

The area where I live is tough. The malls are packed every weekend but small independent stores, not so much. And that's why, as much as I'd love to open my own shop, I hesitate to do it. It would look great—sort of an extended version of my craft booth—and I have so many craft-making friends with businesses that I know I could pack it full with cool things to buy. But would anyone here buy it? I just don't know how to get people to appreciate handmade things, and the effort that goes into making them. With the continued economic problems that's a harder sell than usual.

Didn't mean to ramble on about that but what I wanted to say was that I did meet some great people at the show. The booth next to me was a jewelry designer from a local bead store and she said I should stop by to talk about consigning some of my small accessories. I heard about some of the local shows that will be good for next year. For example, the library I go to is having an Artisans Market this Friday night and all day Saturday. I'm too late for this year but they tell me they're planning to do it again. And I talked to another local woman with a shop and I'm meeting with her on Friday and probably doing a local show sponsored by her shop in December.

So, even if you don't make a lot of sales at a show, you just might make some valuable contacts along the way. And I think it's good to get out and become part of the local craft community. Maybe together we can spread the word about how great handmade crafts are!


Megan said...

My aunt is an amazing hands on kind of super crafty person. She had a old walk-in freezer that was left over from her food business and she turned it into a little store jam packed with one of a kind crafty sort of treasure(that she and others have made,some vintage things, it has kind of a turned into a family effort). She is only open about 12 times per year and word has traveled about the great stuff she has. Some ladies ask her to open it just for them. It has worked really well being open only a few days because
A) people need to buy what they like because it might not be there next time and sometimes there is quite a time gap between open days
B) she doesn't have to be there all the time and she doesn't have to hire someone to be there
People are coming back to homemade slowly but surely, I think it is all in the timing.

Leslie Todd said...

Don't be discouraged by your first show. Your items are very attractive.

I've been selling jewelry mostly at higher end art and craft shows and at art shows. All my shows but one are way down. It's just the economy.

Getting into a show with the right customers is the key. You items have vintage appeal so you might also look at quilt shows, or shows that have antiques. I'd give flea markets a pass; people are just looking for bargains and don't appreciate hand-crafted items.

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Hey Janet! I sent an e-mail yesterday..hope ya got it. Your things alway look great. There is a fellow blogger..T-Cozy..she has her studio at home and opens her home on certain Saturday's...take a look at her site on my blog list. You might get an idea. The Lady with the quilt show idea is good. I might look into groups that would go with what we do. A lady from the Southwestern Ohio Quilt group stopped at my booth and was interested in doing things together. We both might benefit from checking into this in our areas. Think we gotta start thinking outside the box...er..sewing basket.

janet said...

I did get it Melody but haven't had a chance to reply. This is something that some antique sellers do as well - collect things to sell all year then have a large event on their property (barn, yard, etc.), heavily advertise, lots of people come, and buy everything. Then they start all over again. I know several people who do what Susan (T-Party) does, too. Especially around the holidays. So yes, it's worth trying to come together in small groups to host an event. If you have the space to do it and the customer base near where you live - a city probably helps a lot.