Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My 1st REAL Craft Show Experience

Okay, okay, so there was that one little Show back in March, but does t count if there was 0 sales? No, this show was a biggie! It is the annual Indian River High School Christmas Craft Show. It is well advertised, well known...and $100 for a table! Now $100 may seem cheap to some, but for me, and amateur, with an average price point of $ was daunting. I did all the research, made a ton of inventory, got propay, so I could accept cards. By the time, propay, props, and table costs were spent, we were up to $150. A lot of investment!
The show had a lot of traffic, and I made nearly as much sales on Sunday as Saturday, which was great. I would've been ashamed if I didn't make at least that $150, and I made $221 to be exact....but what did I really make, and what did I find out, and was it worth it?

Here are the good things.
1. There were customers who bought my items. This is not to say that I don't have confidance, but still it is a huge flattery point for me, that things I made with my hands and creativity, someone feels willing to spend their money on.
2. My best month ever on Etsy was $200, so to do that in a weekend is something.
3. I gave out a lot of business cards, and really got to market myself.
4. It was fun.
5. It was experience.

Some of the not so great things.
1. Craft shows are not for me. This show actually made, money, versus the first show that had no sales. The first show was $35 vs this $100. That being said, I didn't make a 'profit' on either when you take into consideration cost of goods, time spent to prepare, time spent there selling (assume min wage for a sales person, and I would've had to pay myself $80, for working this weekend).
2. Of my $221 in sales, $143 was from people I knew, and already knew about my etsy site. People that I invited to this show. So only $78 was new business.
3. For the $150 I invested into presentation, booth fees, and ability to take credit cards, I could've listed or renewed 750 times on Etsy....I can't imagine that that many listings or renewals wouldn't have produced an output of business.

So in conclusion, likely the only fairs I will be at from now on are the ones with my local Etsy group "Hampton Roads Artisans Street Team" (seen at And even that is to participate with the group, and promote Etsy than it is to achieve higher sales in my shop.

P.S. My mom helped at the show, she is the one in the photos. Love you MOM!


SleightGirl said...

Thanks for posting that...I've never done a craft show before so I like reading about other's experiences!

Cyber_Hippie said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Jen M. said...

Congrats Deb, I'm glad it was such a positive experience....
Have a great Thansksgiving..

Mary said...

Now you've inspired me to blog about the event. Way to go, Deb!

Teri's Treasures said...

Great Post! I am always jealous of everyone that does craft shows, I always want to do them... hearing your story makes me realise how much there really is putting time and such into a craft show... maybe its not for me! haha Glad to hear you did well, I would call it a success!

umlauf said...

Glad you had some good sales that day! I'll have to look into Propay. I'm selling at my first craft show tomorrow : nervous and excited!