Friday, November 30, 2012

Craft fairs - so hit and miss

A few years ago I stopped doing craft fairs - mainly due to health issues but also as I'd found they'd become too much effort for too little return.

But being unwaged, skint and quite frankly desperate to earn a few quid. I've spent the last few months making some fresh items, Repackaging the old ones as we moved house last year and all the labels had my old details on. By the time it came round to booking some Christmas events in my new home town I found I'd missed the boat with quite a few, apparently they get booked up in June or July!

Anyway I managed to book 3 and the first one was yesterday. I WISH I could tell you it was a success but it was a real damp squib. Lovely venue, a five star hotel in the centre of town which has recently been refurbished beautifully, but the event had been poorly promoted and there was no parking nearby. I paid more for the stall than I sold, ended up £12 out of pocket and that's before petrol (and time and effort). I wasn't the only one everyone was complaining bitterly which didn't make for a nice atmosphere, some had travelled 50 miles or more at least I was only 3 miles up the road. All I sold was 2 bookmarks, one pair of earrings and a cheap wool brooch all priced at under £5 each.

I'm very exhausted - after I do these events it takes me 2 or 3 days to recover - and I have another this Sunday, I'm praying its better atttended and the poeple who come are in a buying frame of mind. 

I thought my stall looked lovely and was very excited before it began then when we had all sat there from 12 noon until 5 pm with hardly a sale between us, I'd lost the will to live. When there was a brief flurry around 6 pm it was crowded for half an hour but people weren't in a spending mood at all, they'd come down to see the Christmas lights turned on, watch the firework display and have a free glass of mulled wine and not to buy handmade items its such a niche market, you really need to target people who are specifically looking to buy handmade, not people who are looking for a cheap bargain. Its so hurtful when the few people who do look turn stuff over and say things like "£30 for a necklace you can get one for £5 in Primark". My skins just not thick enough.

Coupled with the fact that my mobile phone went on the blink so I couldn't contact anyone, and when I finally managed to borrow someones mobile I found out Brian had been rushed into hospital in an ambulance with a suspected heart attack (it wasn't - it was indigestion) it was overall a flipping nightmare. 

Here is my display (done on a tight budget) but I think it looks pretty good - though I may as well have just thrown everything in a heap on the floor for all the good it did.


Chris said...

Hi Jan, I think that your display is great. I too have done the Craft Shows over the years and I also gave them up for health reasons and now I, along with two other friends, rent a space in a warehouse where we have our "creations" up for sale on Saturdays. It's not making us a fortune, but it does bring us in more than we put out in rent. Keep trying, something will work out. I tried the Etsy scene and I only sold one item. Gave that up after four months. Please stop by my blog for a visit. Hugs, Chris

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