I did it!

I can now say I have shown and SOLD my creations in a craft show! My little business is real and there is no stopping now.

The last two weeks have been CRAZY! The craft show is over and was successful, happy day! Let me tell you, that last week before “the” show… nothing can prepare you for that craziness. The last minute creating, the tagging (oye I will always do that as I go from now on!), the pricing, the lists, the stress of the unknown, the weather (I didn’t know a raining few days could stress me out) and not to mention the “normal” life routines, making dinner (I admit, there where quite a few evenings of “oh yea- dinner, well how about frozen veggies and rice?”), cleaning up- this did NOT happen… my poor June Cleaver want to be self was not around and I payed for it yesterday (it took me 5 hours to clean our less than 1000 sq ft. place) and the mommy guilty, “I need to sew, why don’t you watch another show” was said by me WAY too much!

That being said, it was well worth it! Here is what I learned during “the” show:

1. A three day show is very, very, very long! Oh boy, it’s a long time to be working a booth space, a long time to be standing, and a long time to be away from my family.

2. Make sure you can sit down, you don’t want to stand for three days like I did! I admit, many people warned me about this, but I though no big deal…ha wrong! It wasn’t that my feet and lower back started to ach during the show, it’s when you get home, hubby hands you a cocktail and you sit down to relax- that’s when the feet start to ach a bit, then you stand up…boy howdy…no not comfortable, make sure there is at least a stool.

3. Having a friend help you out is awesome! My good friend Ashley, from Magazine Mom, helped me out Saturday and Sunday.  It was great, very helpful and made the days go by faster.  I lost track of how many times we rearranged the inventory, but that’s what we do. (by the way, I need help in kiddo’s room Ash) Have someone help you out, it’s a must!

4. No matter what, do not set mental expectations.  I did this, I didn’t want to, and I know I should not have done so, but I did.  I was a bit bummed at the end of the show, with the outcome of what I sold and what I have left over.  Reality, the next day, I did pretty awesome for my first time!

5. People watching is fascinating!  Really.  There are some interesting people out there in the world.  Many, many nice and kind people.  People you don’t want your children around (blue dots). People that make you go “huh?”  Here’s an example of this, Day three, a very nice older lady was in my booth, we where chatting, she was holding one of the dresses I made, saying “how cute her grand daughter was going to look wearing it this coming summer.”  “How her daughter would love it because it’s vintage.” and “How well made it is, and the price is perfect” I was thinking sold, woohoo…. nope, she turned around, hung it up and walked away, not even a thank you or bye.  What can I say people are weird (and I include myself in that weirdness)

5. Having a pro, like my mom, is a must! She helped me out so much, I can not say Thank you enough.  With having everything I needed for my booth space, helping me tag and many many (MANY) other things, she is awesome! Oh and she can pack a mini van like NO other!

That being said, I am sure you want to see the final booth space, those of you who follow me might remember back in October the posts of sketches and a trial run of my booth; so drum roll please………

Booth Space day one, facing left
Booth Space day one, facing left
Booth Space, day one, looking right
Booth Space, day one, looking right
Day two, we took down the "Vintage Princess by ME" banner, I didn't like it
Day two, we took down the “Vintage Princess by ME” banner.  I didn’t like it, it was too “something”

All in all, this was an amazing experience.  I can say “I finally did it” and I survived.  I have made some great contacts, learned quite a few things and have confirmation (even more than before) that people do like what I make. I will be posting the remaining inventory on my etsy page soon too!

What next…well some how it’s already December 4th! 20 days until Christmas- wowzers! I know I will be sharing with you a few ornament projects, a few recipes, our experience with an Elf visiting, a few of my Swedish traditions and maybe even a fascinator or two.  Until then, cheers!

day 29: inventory check in

Okay, so in the past 29 days this is what I have made:

  • 10 fleece jackets
  • 18 vintage handkerchief skirts
  • 23 bandana bibs (plus I sold one)
  • 9 crayon portfolios
  • 3 crafting aprons
  • 50 hang tags
  • 1 halloween costume (although I was “told” I forgot the wand)
“dark pink rose fairy princess”

Overall, along with being a mommy, wifey, june clever want-to-be, and on the school board, I think this is pretty good.  Is it enough?  HELL NO! Do I have a ton to do in the next month and 2 days? YES! Is it all good? YEP!

you should really click here and read all 31 days and you should click over there on the upper right and follow my blog

day 28: 9 tips

I am getting so close to “the day” and we are getting close to the end of our 31 days, so I thought I should share some information about selling.  That is, how you “should act” and what you “should” have in your booth, which may help with sales.

Tip One: SMILE- seems like a no brainer, buy no matter what, you need to smile and be happy.  Remember you need to get people into your booth, to get close enough to see your work, if you look miserable, that will not happen.

Tip Two: STAND- as much as possible.  When you stand you are at a better advantage point to talk with customers.  Sitting down can send the wrong message like, “Don’t disturb me, I’m taking a break.”  We don’t want that to happen!  So wear comfy shoes and stand as much as you can.

Tip Three: ENGAGE NOT PUSHY!  Make sure you greet people who come into your booth, but make sure you pay attention to there body language, they might not want to chat.  Remember you are trying to make a good impression and keep people in your booth.

Tip Four: CREDIT CARDS- we have chatted about this before, make sure you accept them and show off those credit card stickers!

Tip Five: NO GOSSIPING- about other customers, other vendors, your annoying neighbors or that person at last weekend’s birthday party.  It gives a negative image. (We all gossip, if you don’t WOW, but this is not the place.)

Tip Six: SHARE- if a customer is looking at a piece, share a store about it, if they seem likely to listen and be interested.  Remember tip three- don’t be pushy!

Tip Seven: PRICE- Make sure you have all items priced and signs to show your prices.  Your customers will appreciate being able to figure out a price by themselves.

Tip Eight: BUSINESS- remember you are a business, have your signs and business cards visible.  Be organized and professional.

Tip Nine: BE YOURSELF- be genuine.  You are selling yourself here (not literally) but your art, your crafts, this is apart of who you are.  Be real.

Makes sense right.  It’s really not rocket science, just basics that are easy to forget.

you should really click here and read all 31 days and you should click over there on the upper right and follow my blog

31 days: Preparing for my first craft show

I have wonderful friends, and two of them are also starting their adventures in blogging.  Magazine Mom & Beautiful Objects are both taking on the challenge by The Nester, 31 days of blogs in October.  I thought why not, I could do that too.

After reading the challenge I immediately knew what my blogging theme would be.  I am working on getting ready for my first craft show, it’s in 8 weeks. So I am going to blog about all the craziness of preparing of my first craft show while being a mom, wife, June Clever want-to-be, school board member, and free-lance designer. (why not add one more thing into my to do list)

Follow me along on my adventures of sewing, cutting, creating, figuring out the business end, mishaps, melt downs, and pure stress of getting ready for a craft show.  It will be interesting!

Links to all “31 day” posts: