I spent so much time preparing. I pretty much neglected everything else. The blog. The antique booth. Cleaning the house. Showering. Ok, I jest. I showered. But everything else was pushed to the back burner while I prepared.
Paint and varnish! Order business cards! Buy a receipt book! Get the Square set up to work on my phone! Figure out how to display everything! Put price tags on everything! Pack everything!
It took a lot more work than I expected to prepare, especially since it was a fairly small craft show.
And it went horribly.
Please excuse the horrible phone pictures!
Everyone around me was selling things left and right.
I sold 4 bowls. 4 of the smallest bowls I had too.
But that's not what bothered me.
What really bugged me was that this "craft" show had about 25-30 vendors, and probably 5 of them were selling things they had actually made.
I was literally surrounded by resellers. Mary Kay in front of me. 31 to my right. Manufactured oils and vinegars to my left. Scentsy, Avon, Advocare, Origami Owl, and so on. Not that there is anything wrong with those brands. I just don't think they belong at a craft show. A craft show.
How am I, a small maker of handmade goods, supposed to compete with these mass-produced products? Quick answer - I can't. Those other products are rolling off production lines at super speeds. I spend hours finishing one bowl. Everything they make is perfect and without flaws (read: machine-made). Mine are handmade, and yes, have an errant dot or two. When placed side-by-side like they were at this show, nobody wanted to even look at the handmade products.
It was really disheartening, but I learned a good lesson.
I should have done more research.
A friend of mine talked me into this show. She makes awesome scarves and they sell wonderfully wherever she goes. She was convinced I would do great too, so I took her advice and signed up without really reading the fine print.
I should have paid attention to the vendors who have participated at this show in the past. Had I seen all of the resellers, I would have run the other direction.
But I didn't.
I jumped in with really high expectations, only to be crushed in the end. Crying-on-the-ride-home crushed.
But I picked myself up. I reactivated everything in my Etsy shop right when I left the show and moved on, realizing that craft shows like that are not my target market. And when I heard a "cha-ching" from my phone that same afternoon indicating an Etsy sale, I knew I had found my place. Etsy's the way to go for me.
Thanks for reading through and listening to my little rant! I felt the need to explain why posts have been scarce lately, with all of the preparation and the catching up that followed. But now I'm back on track!
The New Year's coming and the posts are scheduled!
Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2014 is a wonderful year for all of you!