First craft show is in the bag! It was such a great experience and was awesome to see so many talented people within the community. From gorgeous handmade jewellery to woodworking to baked goods. Just lovely people showing off their great talents. It was a very successful show, more so than I ever thought it would be. I was so nervous the first sale I had to make change I thought the loonies were going to fall out of my hands I was shaking so bad. But the day went on and I got more comfortable and it was really a lot of fun!
I still have lots of product left but now that can be used for Christmas gifts, so I guess my family knows what they’ll be, getting from me.
If you have been skeptical of doing a craft show, whether you’re like me and are too shy to do it or if you lack that confidence in your product, I encourage you to do one. Start in a smaller community, one where there is less pressure, less people, and it might be nice to be somewhere where people don’t know you if you are shy about putting yourself out there in your own community.
I didn’t know anything about being a vendor in a craft show, so I’m going to let you in on what it was like and what I wish I would have done and what I will have prepared for next time.
I had an 8ft table, 2 folding chairs and a pegboard behind me, that’s what I got for my table fee of $45. I didn’t realize that there would be that pegboard or else I would have brought pegs and decorations to decorate to make things a bit more interesting.
I had no idea how I was going to set up. I brought the wood stand that I had made that had 3 levels that would display 3 different kinds of soap on it. I went to the dollar store the day before and picked up some little dishes and jars and hoped I would just whip something up when I go there.
I took an empty tote and flipped it upside down and put it under the table cloth to add a bit of height in the middle of the table. (I thought about that after I had already set everything out)
After everything was arranged and people started coming and looking at everything, I quickly learned a few things.
Firstly, on business cards, be sure to include your name (not just your business name) and contact information other than just a website, and where you are located. I had to write on the backs of a bunch of cards when people asked, kind of embarrassing.
Second, not everyone is going to be excited about your product the way that you and your family is. They are not going to say, “Wow this is so good!” the way that your supporters do. Some people are not going to like your product or not be interested in your product and they may just tell you that. Don’t take offence.
Third, it’s not always going to be busy, it will get slow. I wish I had brought a ball of yarn and a hook so that I could at least do something. I didn’t like the thought of someone coming up to me and here I am playing on my phone, so it did get a little boring.
Fourth, and this is the most important. Get there early so that you can park closer to the door, and invest in a large tote that has wheels, even a suitcase would work now that I am thinking about it. I was stressing myself out worrying about being set up in time because it took so long to get everything to my table.
Sometimes, you’re going to have to work for that sale. If someone is kind of looking but not seeming too interested, ask if they would like to try/smell/feel the product, get it in their hands.
The people around you, probably have done lots of craft shows before, so use that to your advantage. Ask questions and take note of what they are doing to sell their product. The most valuable thing I heard was from the table across the aisle from me and when someone asked how much she would say, “It’s just 10 dollars.” Or “It’s just 20 dollars.” That ‘it’s just’ part really took hold on me because she’s right, it’s only 10 dollars! You are selling your awesome product, for just $10. And that really seemed to help her make a sale.
I didn’t feel like I was making many sales and that I wasn’t doing well, but when I got home and counted my little till, it really added up and even after my expenses, I had a very successful day. And the best part, my product is out there. My business name and contact, is out there. That is a huge step.
Now that I have one show under my belt, I can’t wait for the next one. I have new ideas of how I will do the next one and I am very excited to share them with you and to learn again from the next one how I can do better for the one after that!
I hope that this will be a helpful resource for anyone who is thinking about doing a show or who is preparing for their first one.
Reach out to your handmade community!