Is everyone in the Holiday spirit yet? I have a pine sachet nearby, so I am getting in the spirit, even if I haven't put up one single decoration yet! Oh well, I will eventually get time!
I wanted to share with everyone my recent craft show experience. Mainly because I put so much time and effort into preparation. See this entry: Craft Show Tips.
As I have probably mentioned before if you are a regular reader, I have done 3 previous craft shows about a year and a half ago. I had no idea what I was doing, no idea how I wanted to set up nor did I even know what I wanted to sell, to be honest. I packed up my call with all my products, threw some stuff on a table and hoped for the best.
The results were diasterous. The first one I sold a bunch of Eye Relaxation Pillows - but only to other vendors. I had set up bath and body products, but not jewelry, and it was exhausting and frustrating. The second craft show I did was back where I grew up. No one showed up, but I made a few bucks...selling to my family!! The third show, all bath and body only - I didn't sell 1 thing. NOT ONE THING!
Now, I am not sure if my anxiety gets in the way of sales or the lack of sales creates my anxiety, but I was signed up for another show in the Spring of this year and had anxiety attacks and just couldn't even do it.
Fast forward to a couple months ago. So, I have been doing alright online. I am happy with my sales considering I have a full time job. But, I don't want a full-time day job anymore. I am ready to ease a little more into working for myself and taking a part-time job. So I decided I really need to start looking into ways to get myself out there.... Craft Shows. Then, I get a myspace invitation about the Community Arts Market at Eastern Market where I live (Lancaster, PA). It was inexpensive and they still had openings. Plus, I really wanted to meet some of the like-minded people like myself in the area.
So, I signed up. And then I started souring the internet for information regarding craft shows. I read thread after thread in the Etsy Forum. I google the hell out of "Craft Shows." I read blogs, look at flicker photos and compiled my post about "Do's and Don'ts" and "Lists." I even did a complete set up in my workspace and kept it up for a while so I could keep looking at it on different days so I could readjust. I even took photos when I was finally happy and put them in a folder which I could refer to when I was setting up.
Then the day arrived.
I completely freaked. I got up and threw up. I was so anxious and I really did not think I could do it. My parents were visiting and my mom was going with me. That is the only thing that got me in the car. I didn't want to disappoint my mom.
So, we get there and the cutest and bubbliest, nicest and kindest woman greets me and shows me my spot. I mean, Debbie, the lady in charge, could not possibly be any more perfect for this type of thing!
We find my spot and I unload the car. Then the real "fun" begins. I had planned out a display that was sort of organic and free style, but I was also super anxious and nervous, so I was really referring to my photos to set up. I had exactly 3 hours to set up. It took me exactly 3 hours to set up! HA!
I knew that I would just have to do the set up by myself or I would freak out or possibly piss off my mom, so she relaxed and crocheted and kept track of the time for me.
I had set a couple goals, that had absolutely nothing to do with money.
1. Get over my anxiety and go through with the craft show.
2. Meet some people.
Partway through I was doing relatively well, and I made a financial goal as well, which I exceeded by $22!
1. I did the craft show. I had severe anxiety beforehand, but it went away once I was in the midst of setting up.
2. I met some people around me. I wish I would have met more, but I really kind of stuck to my stand.
3. I did well financially - definitely worth my time.
4. I am ready to do the next one.
5. I also have made a decision, which I am very happy about because it has lightened my load considerably - I will not be doing bath and body at craft shows. (In fact, I am considering eliminating it completely after Christmas)
It was definitely a great time and worth my effort. I am really excited to find the next craft show to do now! Although, it probably won't be until Spring....
Oh, PS, I was so disappointed but I did forget my camera so I didn't get any photos!!! Sorry!!!