Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Post-Show Analysis

We did our second craft fair last weekend, and it wasn't what anyone would call a financial success.

The sole success was simply the experience of having a mediocre show. And now that we have that out of the way, we don't ever have to have another one, right? :)

But the highlight of the show was meeting some truly fabulous artists and actually having time to get to know them a bit!

Apologies for the mediocre photography; despite plenty of opportunities, we somehow neglected to get any table photos without someone in the frame! And the photos of other booths were taken on an iPod and therefore didn't have the best photo quality.

We had two 6-foot-long tables placed in an L shape, with Scott's woodworking in the more visible section.

Ooh, and you can see part of our banner, a new addition!

Ellie's art cards were located in the junction between my work and Scott's work:

Ellie also fingerknitted some long chains that she hoped to sell as bookmarks. I think they need some additional finishing to make them saleable, but we'll see.
What I didn't think out well was that putting my work on the last part is that people who stood looking at Scott's work would only see the backs of my framed brooch displays. And not everyone made it around the corner to see what else we had on that part of the table.

Like my little signs? I was kind of proud of them, if only because it took three or four tries (including running upstairs to the printer, bringing them downstairs where I was using a papercutter and then deciding the font size or spacing wasn't good enough and doing it all over again!). :)

So why wasn't the show a big success? Primarily because traffic was very, very low.

Weather was certainly a factor since most Portlanders were eager to take advantage of the 90-degree sunshine, which is a rare event so early in May. Research I've done suggests that spring shows are an iffy proposition and more prone to looky-loos than the potentially highly profitable holiday shows, and that seemed accurate based on what we saw on Sunday. Those people who did buy items from us made small purchases. The largest sale was $15.

On the upside, since there were so few customers, there were plenty of opportunities to chat with other vendors.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Shawn's display was fabulous, including black riser boxes that her woodworking husband made and antique scales she had collected. Lovely! You can find her work in her Etsy shop.

Debbie of Melting Pot Studios does the most amazing beadwork, much of it incorporating work from other artists.

Debbie showcasing a gorgeous piece she made on a spalted maple bowl by a local woodworker. (I need to get her working with Scott!) The bottom of the bowl is signed by both the woodworker and Debbie!
Somehow, I missed getting a photo of Cheshire Whimsey's glassware booth as a whole, but owner artist Karen shared her source for some inexpensive cardboard risers that flatten for storage but are very sturdy and strong. I plan to order some for Scott's woodworking. Draped in fabric, you'd never know the risers were made of cardboard!

(I ordered a trio of martini glasses similar to the ones on the bottom right, but in blue and with different stems. :)

The other main benefit to come from the craft show was that we successfully used a Square to swipe two credit cards for sales! I had one available for our show last December, but nobody asked to use a credit card then. It's nice to have used it and have a little more confidence in our ability to take credit cards.

My conclusion? I think we'll stick to our original plan of aiming for four to six shows between September and Christmas when everyone is in more of a buying frame of mind.

Meanwhile, the holiday season will be here before we know it, so it's time to make product!

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