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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Did My Annual Craft Show

Apparently, after doing about one show per year for ten years, I'm still on the fence on whether or not to do shows.  Ha ha ha!  There is some financial and time commitment involved.  But I gotta tell ya, I did have fun yesterday.

Neither one of us got more than three hours of sleep the night before, me with last minute preparations and my friend with an unexpected incident on her hike earlier in the day.

We still managed to leave at 4:30 am, though.

That gave us a good long time to set-up, which was good because I suddenly couldn't remember how the tent went up.  Ha ha ha!  Oh, I guess it's not really a tent.  It's a Coleman dealie, not an Easy-Up like most other vendors have.

And this brings me to the first thing on my list of things I learned by doing this show.  Do not have a colored roof for you tent.  Everything in my booth had a yellow cast to it.

A couple of things I did this time for the first time that actually DID work out well were:
  1. I took my mom's hand weights with us and used them to tied down the corners of the canopy.  There was a good breeze every once in awhile.
  2. In the week before the show, I set up my displays inside the living room.  This gave me a good idea of all the tweaks I wanted to make so that I wouldn't be futzing around with things during the real set-up.
 Oh, also, the angled legs of my canopy make for a smaller space than the tents with vertical legs.

Here's something else I learned.  Not everyone's going to agree with me on this, so just accept we all have personal opinions (and who knows, I could change my mind somewhere down the road).

I don't like to make the customer ask the price on everything they're interested in.  I think it makes a lot of them lose interest and makes some of them not even bother to look.  So I went into this wanting to have my pricing visible.  And although it was accessible, I guess it wasn't really VISIBLE... or at least it wasn't obvious.

The prices on the earrings was in pencil on the back of each card, in a lower corner.  Some people didn't bother to look there... others had their finger right on top of the price and said, "There's no price on this one."

The necklaces all had hang tags with the prices, but the tags are draped in the back where the clasp is.  Never dawned on me people would think there are no prices.  D'oh!  I can be a real ditz some times.

And something else you can see from this photo... a tent with walls would have been good.  I adored our neighbors, but it just makes for a more visually appealing booth if there's separation.

And may I mention again how much I adored our neighbors?  Boy, did we get lucky.  They were awesome.

So were the event staff.  My only complaint about the whole show would have been that it didn't seem to be advertised as much as I thought it might be... not online anyway.  But based on the turn-out, maybe they didn't need it.  There was a steady stream of people all day long.

I really enjoyed talking with everyone.  Met some super cool individuals and got to say hi to so many  friends that stopped by (thank you all!).

I'm still singing the praised of my Square swiper.  I did pre-order the chip reader, but I guess we don't get them for another month or so.

Editing this post to add one more photo.  Someone commented on the stand I had in my booth.  Here's a better shot of it.  It completely comes apart and folds up so transport isn't a problem.  I totally, totally love this thing.  There are seven shelves total but here I'm only using four due to my displays being tall.  I used a cloth over the lattice so it wouldn't be see-thru and I used the two shelves beneath the drape (at the bottom) to store my receipt book, etc.

Anyway, super big thank you to Dawn for helping me out with the show and super big thank you to the promoters who let me in at the last minute and super big thank you to everyone who stopped by and said hi.

Also, every single person who came into my booth was awesome.  Everyone was so nice.  I have yet to hear a snarky comment.  Of course, that's probably easy when you only do one show a year.  ha ha ha!

But for all the vendors who have had someone say one of THOSE statements... you know the ones...


  1. So glad it went well for you. I agree about the price tags. People make assumptions if it isn't out there. The majority of my pieces are tagged ( I would say all, but yesterday 1 wasn't). My older pieces have the tags in the back but the newer pieces have a small tag on an earring finding. Makes for quick and easy removal and doesn't get tangled in the clasp. You were fortunate that you had a helper. I am almost always on my own.

    1. Thanks Kim! And yes, it's MUCH harder doing a craft show on your own. As to pricing, I've been given lots of great suggestions for next time. Yay!

  2. I put a little removeable sticker on the top right corner of my earring cards with the prices along with a larger removeable sticker on the back with my code and price. When they sell I take them off and put it on my coppy of the receipt. I also have tags that hang in the back of my necklaces, but now I also put a small foldable card in front of the necklace so that people can see the prices. I think it hurts when they can't see the price. And it drives me crazy personally when I can't see the price.

    1. Jen, I love the idea of removable stickers. I'll have to look into that (definitely want to make sure they're REALLY removable... ha ha ha!). I will also create small cards for the necklaces. Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. As a customer, I definitely want the price to be obvious. I hate asking the vendor. Sometimes, the price alone will cause me to take a second or third look at something. I usually have a "price range" in mind so it helps a lot.

    1. Zanna, thanks for taking the time to comment. I *love* hearing what customers think and want. I also hate asking vendors for the prices of everything. I realize some people can shop without a concern for pricing, but I'm not one of them. :-)

    2. I use Avery Multi-Use #5424 for the back, Avery, Multi-Use #5412 for the front corner. (I cut the small ones in half bc they weren't as small as I wanted). I get them from Staples. You can prob get them online as well. :)

  4. Ahh yes the colored room tents def leave a shadow. I'm glad all in all that you had a great time. I know you were nervous. I hope you had a fantastic day. Hmm you should do another show :)

    1. Thanks Betony! I did have a fantastic day. And I'd very much like to do another show. Just need to find one and get into it. Ha! Watch me procrastinate until 2016 now. Ugh!

  5. Like you, I only do one, or possibly two shows a year. I completely related to your note about forgetting how the tent goes up! I have a Caravan that I invested in years ago when they were at Costco and I've never regretted that purchase. Agree 100% on visible pricing - that drives me crazy.

    I'm not sure how heavy the hand weights were that you used, but a good gust can be super powerful. Before I got tent weights, when I was on hard surface vs grass (so I could stake), I used very long tie wraps attached through my tent legs and the handles of 2.5 gallon bottles of water, creating 20# per leg. I could use the water afterward for other things. They were a little big, but my tables were close enough to hide the bottles under the cloths.

    Doing so few shows, I find a checklist invaluable to help me remember. You've got this great blog to come back to!

    Your display on the left looks really interesting. Is it a bench with something on the top? Very clever looking, but looks like it might be awkward to transport.

    Really glad the show went well for you!

    1. Debbie, what a great idea about the water weights. AND... you can dump them out at the end of the show (or find a plant to water) and then less weight packing up.

      I've added a photo and more explanation to the blog post in regards to that display on the left.

    2. Love the close up of your shelf display - that is brilliant!

  6. One other thing. For my first show my tent was brown. And this was in August. It was my husbands work tent and it was hot and dark in there lol! When I researched tents I bought stuff on ecanopy.com and amazon. I don't remember which I bought the tent from though. They both had good prices at the time. I also bought a tall directors chair off of amazon that has a little table. I didn't like sitting down low.

  7. Laura,

    Thank you for posting. One day I will also do a craft show. Great tips here. Blessings to you.

  8. Great article Laura, thanks so much for sharing. I love the lattice shelf, very classy. So glad you did well. I have back issues and cannot lift anything so haven't been doing any shows and I must say in a way it's a relief. It's so much work to get everything together!!!!