Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Preparations For My First Craft Show

Mark your calendars for December 10, 2011.  If you live in Metro Detroit, why not venture out to Berkley's Candy Cane Lane Craft Show.  It is on a Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm at the Berkley Community Center (2400 Robina Drive).  And guess what...the show includes free admission and free parking.  There will be 26 vendors, including me!  There will be a raffle and food will be sold at the concession stand.  Sounds like a great afternoon:  have a snack, do a little Christmas shopping, and stop by to see a friend.

So, now that I have told you the important stuff, I am going to tell you what I am doing to prepare for this adventure!  First and foremost, I have been sewing, a lot of sewing.  Right now, I am sewing 16 x 16 pillows, 11 x 17 pillows, and a couple 18 x 18 pillows.  This Wednesday, I will be going out to buy fabric to make tooth fairy pillows and if time permits, some Christmas ornaments.  It is my goal to provide pillows/ornaments in all price points.  Also, I think it is important to have tooth fairy pillows for both boys and girls.  After all, the tooth fairy visits everyone!

But, preparing for a craft show is not just about the craft, it is also about the display and marketing of the craft.  When I signed on to do this, I never had any idea what it took to participate in a craft show.  Here is a list of things I need to figure out:

  1. I have have to figure out how to load all these pillows in the one of the world smallest {and most space efficient} cars.  Yes, I own a subcompact car.  At least it is a hatchback and the seats fold down.  Plus, it is red and the red is the color of Christmas so everything is going to be just fine!  So, logistics is on my list of things to figure out.  Do I buy all new bins, use the old bins in the basement, garbage bags???  Lots of options.
  2. How do I display my pillows?  I will have an 8 foot table and two chairs.  What I am thinking about doing, is displaying one of each pillows and storing the extras in bins under the table.  Then, I have clementine crates that I thought my work for displaying the tooth fairy pillows.  Lastly, if I time permits and I actually make the Christmas ornaments, I have a tiny little Christmas tree that I can use to display ornaments.  
  3. Marketing!  Kevin is hard at work making me brochures to put on the table with important information like my blog address, Etsy address, Facebook information, and contact information.  I also need to make tags for all my pillows with prices, create some kind of receipt.  People also need a bag of some kind for their purchases - got to work on that!  I am also thinking I need a bowl of candy on my table.  It is always nice to have something tasty to entice people to your table.  But the bowl of candy is important for one other reason:  if no one buys a pillow I can eat my way to happiness.     
  4. A QR code -- I don't even know what a QR code is, but Kevin assures me that it is a good thing, and that I should have one to make it easier for people with smart phones to connect with me.  So I'll probably give it a try.  
There is so much to think about as the craft show draws near.  I have high hopes for happy sales.  As one of Michigan's many unemployed, this is an experiment in how to make a little money by thinking outside of the box.  It is does not work out, I will be a little sad.  But, I am hoping to as the very least, sell enough to cover the cost of the table.  Like I have said before, it is important to try new things.  So, come out on December 10th and check out some locally made pillows.   

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