Saturday, December 10, 2011

Craft Show One: Success!

Well, I did it!!!!  I was an official vendor at the Candy Cane Lane Craft Show in Berkley.  Surprisingly, I was not at all worried on Friday night and slept like a baby.  When the alarm when off at 6am, I seriously laid there for a moment thinking, "Why is the alarm going off?"  Then reality hit and I jumped out of bed to pick out my outfit.  So many choices...  Do I wear my candy cane sweatshirt?  How about my snowman earrings?  Maybe my reindeer sweater?  Well, I am one of the least festive people you will ever meet.  I wore jeans, a beige long sleeve t-shirt, and a black sweater.  Upon entering the craft show, I realized my attire was bordering funeral attire rather than holiday craft show.  But hey, I have never been much of a conformer.  So, how did the craft show go, you ask?  Did I meet my goals?  Well, yes and no!

If you recall, on Friday I published my goal setting post in which I outlined what I wanted to achieve as a vendor.  After I published the post, many hours after I published my post, I decided to google the Candy Cane Lane Craft Fair.  Before setting goals, it is usually wise to research your show.  I learned last night that Candy Cane Lane is a small show.  The fact that I did not see it advertised in any local papers should have been a tip.  Then, I saw online that it was described as small.  I started to wonder, hmmm, will I actually sell thirty pillows.  When I arrived to set up, my neighbor said to me, "I heard this is a very slow show.  At least I have my iphone to keep me busy."  Hmmm... at least I have my "Paris Wife" book to keep me busy.  But, I was not going to let that squash me.  I was PUMPED!!!!  

Entrance to the Community Center!
Setting up was fun and exciting.  I had mocked up my display in my basement and then labeled bags of pillows according to display or extras.  I had to get on the floor a bit, do a little rearranging, but voila, a display was born!  No hiccups at all.  My only challenge was keeping Mimi's and Violet's sweet little hands out of the Hershey Kisses!  

Kevin, you are annoying me!

We are ready to sell some pillows!

View from my table!

My "desk" as Mimi called it.  Yes, I need a calculator
The clock strikes 10:00 a.m. and I realize people don't have the same excitement for this craft show as they do for Walmart Black Friday sales.  No one was pepper sprayed or maimed trying to get to my pillows.  It was more like a slow trickle.  I was feeling a little lonely.  But, I guess social media works a bit because eventually, friends and family made their way to the show to check out 715 Pillows!  My in-laws, some really good friends (I was wonderfully surprised to see a friend who does not even live near Berkley,) and some neighbors.  I got caught up on some local gossip, had more than a few laughs, and yes (!), I sold a few pillows.  I sold four 16 x 16 pillows and 8 tooth fairy pillows.  I got one new "like" on Facebook and some positive feedback for customers.  One woman told me I was an excellent seamstress and had "the sewing gene."  I had to fess up and tell her I was a beginner and she was a little shocked and told me I definitely have "the sewing gene."  That made me smile, real big!  I got a lot of questions about the name of my "company."  Many people thought 715 was my address.  Nope!  I kept telling people, it was the day I got laid off and started my new job -- sewing.  Need a refresher, check out "The Anti-Crafter Crafts?"  Then there were the folks who would stand right in front of me and not respond when I smiled and said, hello.  You know how at Jimmy John's smells are free.  Well, at 715 Pillows smiles are free.  Reciprocate people.  Would it kill you to smile???  That is my only complaint.  There it is out there and now I am done complaining.  

My little helpers popped in and out throughout the day.
A customer!!!!
Packing up!
My beloved car, "Red", and many beloved pillows heading home!
 I feel like had it been a larger show, I might have sold more pillows.  Therefore, I am going to do more shows.  But, I am going to try to get into some bigger show.  And, I am going to bring lots and lots of tooth fairy pillows.  They were pretty popular.  I learned what I can do better the next time.  Such as:
  1. Sell pillow covers and sell some inserts for those who want them.   
  2. Don't buy so many Hersey Kisses.  (I think I now need to make some of those cookies with the kisses in the middle.)
  3. Do more research on the actually show, demographics, etc.
  4. Make sure I have an awesome variety of tooth fairy pillows, and look into making other types of kids' pillows.  
Overall, it was fun!  I saw some really nice people that I already knew.  I met some really nice strangers, like Scrappy Sue who makes really nice flower pins.  There are more pillows, more designs, more buyers, and more fun to be had.  Plus, I have 44 fans on Facebook and I need to get to 715 (just click here), right?  Right!  Thanks to all of you who have believe it me.  

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