4/30/2010

My VERY FIRST CRAFT FAIR!

I saw the Craft Fair promotional posters in the town and I thought: why not?! The Craft fair will be in my town, I have to use the chance and try! I was excited!
It was like a big mess in my head. I had just few days before the fair and the travel to Barcelona in the middle. My son was sick and didn't go to the kindergarden one day, I was just collapsed.
I made a list of things to do. And tryed to imagine how my stand will look like.
I want to say a huge thank to Mitsy from Artmind . She helped me a ton with her articles related with craft fairs!
She shared this with me:
If you need any help or want to read some research I did when I went on my first fair:
http://artmind-etcetera.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-to-prepare-for-craft-fair.html

And Nanouke told me how to make fab eco bags for the fair.
http://artmind-etcetera.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-to-make-recycled-bags.html

And some more tuto's on packaging and displaying:
http://artmind-etcetera.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-to-make-memo-clip-holder.html
http://artmind-etcetera.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-to-make-and-use-template.html

I felt I'm not alone and It was very important for me!
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I made more staff. I made business cards. I thought about packaging and presentation. I made photoholders and I printed big photos of my jewels. I thought that people walk and do not set with nothing, I have to help them to discover my product! I made a mistake: photos were too big or photoholders were too small - with a lil bit of wind all the pictures were down. It was the first lesson. But I used photoholders as a businesscard holders and they looked very cool.
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It was a sunny day, wonderful weather. People began to come. And I had my first sale. It was so easy. She just came, just saw my staff, and just bought a ring! It was so strange! You know, in internet: you have to take pictures, than edit pictures, than list the item, invent the description and may be translate it in few languages, and than - promote your work.... and here she just came and just bought it! I felt myself really strange and I was encouraged at the same time! I thought: Now people will come and will buy ALL my staff! :D
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But things went by another way. It began to rain. Just a silly grey cloud situated over our heads and began to rain!!!! Rain in this splendid sunny day?! I was NOT ready for that! I took thousand things with me, but I WAS NOT READY FOR THE RAIN!!!
Oh NO!
I had a very good luck to have my guardian angels to the left and to the right hand side - my neighbours!
They HELPED me. They gave me a plastic to cover my stand and metallic clothespins to subject it.
My stand was a little bit wet, but covered with plastic and saved from the rain!
I felt myself anguished. I was ready to take everythig and go home. Bad weather, everything wet, no clients, no craft fair...But hope inside me whispered to wait untill this silly cloud go away. And it went away!
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I removed the plastic and rebuilt my stand. It was not like in the morning, photos were wet and I removed them from the stand. People began to come slowly. You know, Mallorca is a quiet island, I live in relatively small town and nobody is harry up. ;)
My daughter Rita helped me a lot as well. She also spoked with people, explaned them about my collections and gave them my business cards. She was so pretty :) She is My "PR manager" :D
It was very exciting to see women trying my jewels and to see how they are wonderful in it. I liked very much to have direct contact with the client.
I noticed that my stand maybe was not organized in the best way. I think people were looking and were seeing nothing. The table was full but it was difficult to SEE my jewels. I understood I have to reconsider my stand. It's easy to show a big photo in internet and it is not easy to make your potential client and your small creation find each other on the craft fair stand. There is a way to do and a lot of things to learn.

But as a first experience it was nice and I sold few pieces, I learned a lot of things. I felt myself satisfied.
I had some occasional clients, I had 1 client who saw my photos in facebook, and some friends came to give me support. I drawed a conclusion: you can meet your buyers in any place, so don't resist they find you! :)

P.S: I encourage crafters to participate in craft fairs. It is a great experience and It is the best oportunity for sales, to advertise you, to find your clients and to have a direct contact with them!

14 comments:

  1. I'm so glad it went well & even though there were some downs, you are seeing all the 'ups' and that is the most important. You'll see that next time, things will go smoother. You go girl! :)

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  2. Congratulations! I love your work and I hope to see you again and, very soon, in the next craft fair!
    And, if you need a little help, I'm only too glad to be there.

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  3. Mitsy, thank you for encouraging and for your help!!!!:)

    Joana Maria, thank you to drop a peek and to offer your help!!!!:)

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  4. Thank you so very much for sharing this detailed report!

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  5. What a day! Thank you for sharing!

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  6. I think you did well for the first time :)

    I've participated in some fairs, but this summer I'll attend international hanseatic days which will take 3 days!
    I'm worried about big event with around 100 000 visitors... Not enough to sell, not enough bags, business cards, inventory and so on... So I'm almost where you are: in the beginning :)

    But even if the preparation is crazy, I would do it again and again, because people are friendly and you'll always get so good emotions from craft events.

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  7. ohh this is so great to read. I am so happy that you liked it ! It's a big step, but you already learned a lot. That's exactly how I did last year...

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  8. What a great article! I think you did a good job with your stand. But I can totally understand too when you said you need to organize it better so that people can easily find the item in their mind. I make small items too so that would be something that I should remember. Thanks for sharing this on your blog. Just like most other events it never go as planned but you survived it and you did well! congratulations!

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  9. You are right, girls: only trying we can learn something new and go forward.
    Thanks for your time!

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  10. Yes, YOU CAN!:))))
    Congratulations, Nastya!

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  11. Lovely post! Thank you for sharing your experience! Makes me want to try with craft fairs too :)!

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  12. Jaboning, spasibo!!! :D

    Annuk, if you didn't try to go to craft fair, you have to do it, definitively! ;)

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  13. you really inspire me with your positive outlook and great sense of creativity and style. i gave you the sunshine blog award.

    http://littlecitizensoftheworld.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-little-ray-of-sunshine.html

    sarah

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