Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Charity Craft Show: Abysmal

The alarm went off this morning at 6 a.m.  It was dark and chilly outside.  I felt like I was going to barf.  I rolled over and Kevin says, "You excited?"  No, I wasn't excited.  I was apprehensive.  But, sometimes nerves can give one a healthy advantage, right?  Well, the morning went off without a hitch and I arrived at Troy High School at 7:45 a.m. on the dot for crafter check in.  Kevin was at home trying to convince Violet to wear clothes, any clothes, while I was at the high school wrestling with bins and bins of pillows.  We both had our own challenges.

Ready to go!!!
Set-up went smoothly as expected.  My neighbors, with the exception of one, were all very friendly.  There were forty crafters in attendance selling everything from housewares and jewelry to snacks.  I was feeling pretty good because I was the only one selling pillows.  I was also no longer feeling like I was going to barf.  At 10:00 a.m. the show started with lackluster fan fair.  People started trickling in.  The first tricklers bought two tooth fairy pillows for $12.  Yeah!!!  I was happy.  Very happy.  I thought this was a good sign.  But, shoppers were trickling in very, very slowly.  At 11:30, Kevin sent me a text inquiring about my sales.  Nada! Zero! Nothing since 10:05 a.m.  I was however getting quite a bit of reading done.  I am glad that at the last minute I ran upstairs to get Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.  The most popular crafter in the entire room was a nice old guy, who was selling foam visors that he hand decorated with Sharpie markers.  His overhead was low and people loved him.  And while maybe foam visors are corny, the guy does know how to draw.  

The girls arrived!

Violet is ready to sell.
My display
At about 1:00 in the afternoon, I noticed several familiar faces enter the show; Kevin, Mimi, Vi, my mom, and my dad arrived.  Yeah!!!!  I had company!!!  Still no sales.  At about 2:00 ish, I started watching other crafters taking down their displays and leaving.  I decided to do the same.  The consensus among the crafters was that this show was a dud - no one was making any money.  

The parents are always fun to have around.

Selling is fun!

Goofing around!
Good Points
  • I don't have to make any pillows for my Chippewa Valley Show.  
  • Most people were pretty darn friendly.
  • I got to do a lot of people watching. (Watching husbands and wives, mothers and daughters shop is hilarious.) 
  • I got more experience setting up shop.
  • I sold two tooth fairy pillows.
  • Most shoppers told me my pillows were pretty and soft.
Bad Points
  • I lost money.  $60 for the booth, $10 for the table.
  • Because I committed to the show, I had to miss out on a Mimi/Mommy day at the Shirley Temple Double Feature this afternoon.  It really kills me that I missed this event.
  • I did not go to the Easter Bunny Breakfast with Kevin and the girls because I was busy selling two tooth fairy pillows.
  • I am feeling depressed.  
My sad drive home - I am in the red car.  
So far, craft shows are not going my way.  Both have had very low turnouts.  I have one more in the works: Chippewa Valley High School on May 5th.  It will be interesting to see how it goes.  Am I picking the wrong shows?  Is it my product?  So many questions to consider.  As I was taking my last load out to my car, foam visor guy came over and said, "Hey guys.  I just want you to know you have a really classy product.  Your pillows are really nice.  I am seasoned at this and I barely broke even today.  I am a craft show carnie and still had a hard time bringing people in.  You need to take these pillows up north to Petosky and Charlevoix to those little shops.  People would love them up there.  These are really nice."  Thank you foam visor guy, you really made my day!  

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