Concluding the Craft Fair Season

*Whew!* I am glad I can finally allow myself to exhale. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been fun. But it’s also been a LOT OF WORK. I finished my final craft fair of the holiday season last Saturday. For the last time, at least for awhile, I packed up up my ten THOUSAND pound tables and shoved them into the small trunk of my little car. I bagged up my necklaces so they wouldn’t tangle with one another (as if they are made of nothing but magnets, I swear!) I couldn’t help but think, “Thank goodness no more of THIS for awhile!”

The craft fairs I have participated in this fall/winter season have been great learning experiences. I am pretty sure which ones I will be wanting to attend next year, and which ones I think I would rather skip. Some were better organized than others, and some better advertised than others. Some were, quite frankly, more worthy of their booth fee than others.

My final show, out at Opportunity Christian Fellowship in Spokane Valley, was a less-than-satisfactory show. If not for a couple of last minutes purchases just before closing time, I wouldn’t have even made back my 25 dollar booth fee. I reminded myself that the networking opportunities made it worth my while anyway, but I think I only passed out less than a half a dozen of my business cards. I hardly think that very much actual networking occurred.

Despite the recent disappointment, I haven’t given up on craft fairs altogether. The good ones have made them all more than worth it. I’ve been happy for the person-to-person interaction they provided. Hopefully more custom orders and online sales will result! (Crossing fingers, toes, legs, arms, etc.!)

I’m also hoping to look into some consignment deals and gallery showings. I had kind of given up on such arrangements for awhile. The last few locations I sold at went out of business when the recession hit. Fortunately I think I’m getting over the shell-shock. I think I could manage to gather the courage to approach some brick & mortar stores after the Christmas season; maybe a few of them would be willing to work out some deals. I’ll keep you posted if anything goes live!

In the meantime, I’m going to focus on selling online from my Etsy shops. New items will be eagerly added daily as I create away and post the things that didn’t sell at the craft fairs. Here’s a quick preview of some of the new headbands I’ve been adding, more will follow!

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9 thoughts on “Concluding the Craft Fair Season

  1. madamesaslow December 15, 2011 at 11:05 am Reply

    How do you go about finding craft fairs and deciding which ones to attend? Do you just do a Craft Fairs plus zip code google search? I really want to be in some fairs next year and am not sure how to go about finding them. When should I start looking and applying? Any tips, oh gloriously experienced in the ways of craft fairs One?

    • MegansBeadedDesigns December 15, 2011 at 11:22 am Reply

      Start with Craigslist, and then check local school event calendars. A lot of high schools and elementary schools will advertise on their websites. also, if you have a local classified newspaper, check there too. I’ve gotten at least one show in from that type of publication.

      Hope that helps! :-)

  2. Michele December 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm Reply

    Here’s a virtual toast to our last craft fair of the season. I’m glad your season went pretty well :)

    After my last show, I was incredibly grateful to be done for awhile, too. It was at a church as well. It was their first time hosting a craft fair, and it was poorly organized, which was to be expected, but I felt more than a little uncomfortable having my booth set up in the inner sanctuary of the church. It turns out that I was more fortunate than some of the vendors that had been crammed into every hallway, storage room and cranny they could find in which to set up a 6′ table, though. Whew! Don’t have to do that again for awhile!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns December 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm Reply

      Man, I would be pretty upset if they crammed me into a closet space! lol That’s crazy!

  3. Kayleen December 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm Reply

    This was my first season of craft fairs, and I have to say, I learned a lot by observing and talking to other crafters that will be helpful at future shows. I observed quite a few things on the negative side, for example; unprofessional attitude, too casual attire, lack of attention to detail in booth design and vendors constantly eating during the show. On the positive side, I found out by talking with other vendors that certain shows, like CV, which is heavily promoted, is one of the best. I did very well at CV, so Mead was quite a let down, even though I found out by talking to others that my sales were actually fairly good. I think it’s important to do a little research and find out how the different shows are promoted and what kind of attendance have they experienced in the past.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns December 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm Reply

      I just might have to look into doing CV next year! I was doing one at SCC when they were having their. The one i was at was very slowwwww…. so it could have been that CV was taking most of the traffic.

  4. terri0729 December 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm Reply

    Love your work, Megan!!! I do beaded jewelry, mostly for friends and family so far but working on getting stuff ready for spring garage sales, yard sales, flea markets, etc. Thanks for stopping by my blog! A most Merry Christmas to you and yours, Terri

  5. imagemistress2020 December 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm Reply

    WOW!!! Your designs are exquisite Megan, you have such incredible talent!!! I’m honestly completely in awe of your work! These headbands – I’m totally addicted to hair accessories – are so unique, I haven’t found anything like these anywhere else online or in the shops!

    Particularly love the all of the blue beaded headbands, but they are all stunning! Sorry your craft-fair experience was a bit hit-and-miss this year, but hopefully there will be some lasting benefits from more people having seen your gorgeous designs & some contacts you may have made!

    Wishing you really good luck for the New Year with your business, I’m looking forward to seeing more designs from you! Stay stylish :)

    The Image Mistress, xoxo

    • MegansBeadedDesigns December 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm Reply

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out my work! :-)

      I have some new designs I’ll be adding next week. I try to keep things fresh, plus I have an abundance of ideas I never seem to run out of. lol

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