Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Day at the Fair

"I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate."  George Burns

The big day has come and gone...the crafts fair. And was it a big day? Hate to keep you in suspense, but you'll have to read a little further.

I'll start with the positives. The weather was pretty good, considering the possibilities. My booth space was outside on a screened porch. Some spaces were inside, some in a screened porch, and some outside. I had asked for inside, but of course I didn't get that. We live in SC so I wasn't really worried about the temperature, but was worried about wind and rain. The morning started out quite chilly for us at this time of year, but it warmed up and was comfortable most of the day. Skies were partly sunny/partly cloudy, with no rain in sight.

I was told the space was going to be 4 ft. x 6 ft., which is much smaller than I've experienced at past fairs, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually bigger and I had room for a second table that I wasn't expecting to be able to use. Set-up was quick and easy as we didn't have to lug everything really far. I was very happy with my display...the way the card gallery worked out, and the racks my husband created for holding the wooden words I made.

My friends all came out to support me and I made some good sales to them. A big thank you to any of them who may be reading this.

Here are some photos of what my booth looked like.

Now for the not so good news. The crowds were not there. They came by in dribs and drabs. I blame it on the lack of publicity, as I saw very little advertising around town or in the local media. Other than my friends, I only made 3 sales. I sold, I think, a total of 49 cards, but more to friends than anyone else. Most people walked by the booth with barely a glance.

So the big question is...was it worth it? Would I do it again next year? I'm not sure yet. Based on sales alone, probably not. But a few people did show interest in taking a class. If I get at least a couple of new students because of the fair it will have been worthwhile. If not, I likely will not apply to do the fair again.

Now that it's done and over with, I've reopened my Etsy shop with my cards, and hope that maybe I'll get more business there than I did at the fair. In case anyone out there is interested, you can take a look at my shop here. Through November 24th you can use the coupon code BLOG5PCT to save 5% off any order of $20 or more.

If any of you have crafts fair experiences you'd like to share, I'd love to hear about them. For me, it's on to my next endeavor. Not sure exactly what that is yet, but probably planning some new classes to offer after the first of the year....for all those people from the fair who are going to be banging on my door!


  1. Your table looks great. The tangled words are excellent. I'm sorry you were disappointed. Perhaps something Christmasy might have drawn people in. You can't do anything about the poor advertising, though. Next time will be better. Good luck with your etsy shop.

  2. I love your display and your sale items! I laughed when I noticed that the R in "Relax" was lying down -- not sure if that was deliberate or not, but I loved that the bottom of the R feet were tangled! So sorry it didn't go as well as hoped. I did numerous craft fairs years ago, and I remember how draining it can be!

    Perhaps a GIANT zentangle drawing (or 2) displayed behind you would catch people's attention more (especially if you can display it up high) … being mostly black & white may not have had a chance to compete with colorful crafts typical at a craft fair. I think many tangle patterns are as bold as a color, but from a distance it sort of blends into gray.
    But, as Janet said, not much you can do if nobody knows about it.

  3. Hi there. I'm from the UK but live in Spain now and craft fairs are the only thing I really miss. I make chocolates and cards and always did really well. There are a few little 'crafty' markets (I use the word loosely) around mainly done by and for the expats, who, in my area, don't have a lot of spare I don't do too well. Unfortunately, I can't stop making! I'd go crazy if I didn't...wish I could turn out something that people needed especially in this period of economy and uncertainty. I do hope you get some class follow up. The world needs crafters who believe, love, hope, relax and (appreciate) friends! Axxx

  4. I love your tangled words. if the crowds weren't there, that's just too bad. I think a really HUGE tangled sign to hang above your display would grab some attention. Looks great though