Building up the Craft Vendor Muscles

Yesterday was our first craft fair of the season. It was a good one to get back in the groove of what to bring, how to display, and the endurance of booth sitting. It wasn’t an expensive booth, it was just a few blocks from our houses, and it didn’t run all day. All good things for the first one of the season. We were close enough to send back stuff we decided not to use, call for stuff we needed. Another good thing is with the very affordable booth fee we didn’t have to sell bunches to pay for the booth. Tho’ honestly I’d love to just break even and support my beading habit by selling my work.

Oh who is ‘we’? No I didn’t slip into the royal pronoun there are two wonderful ladies with which I often share a booth. One is Paula who also does beading but in a style different from mine. The other is Mi who makes the cutest aprons you’ve ever seen! Not gonna post their pictures without their ok. But photos of their stuff SURE!

necklaces I make with seed beads and single left overs

$5 Treasure Chest

First off I use my leftover beads to make treasure chest necklaces. When I have just one of a bead left I toss into a zip lock bag when it gets full I’ll make unique necklaces with color themes. Thus the $5 Treasure chest was born. So fairs these sell like hot cakes other fairs like this one no one even touches them. Go figure.

Here’s the Treasure Chest at the sale along with Paula’s great selling barrettes. I also made some $2 bracelets and $3 necklaces for little girls. They are there in front of the treasure box. I’m trying to think of how to display them. They are new this year. I don’t want to take up too much table room but I do want to have them marked. Maybe a two sided basket?

my treasure chest and Paula's barrettes

Sales!

For me at this particular fair the big seller was earrings. Last sale of the season last year I purchased this turntable earring tree. Since I’ve used it my sales have increased (well in 2 out of 2 fairs can’t say it’s a trend until it’s 3). Which is excellent as I have 100s of pairs to sell.

Display of earrings I've made

Earring Tree display and some of my necklaces on the table

My beading hobby is how I pass the winter and enjoy TV. I have bad habit of falling asleep if I sit still. So I bead while we watch evening TV. It gives me something to do that’s not a repetitive motion like my crochet was. In the end of the evening my hands don’t ache and swell as they did with hours of crochet. Originally I started making jewelry that would match my clothes but soon that was done. I continued playing with colors and making pretty sparkly things that satisfied my magpie eye. Eventually it grew from a shoe box to a file box to several boxes of my jewelry. That led to craft fairs hoping to sell enough to support me buying more and doing fairs. I don’t think I could give up beading now I enjoy it too much.

Here’s some of Paula’s work. She does such beautiful organic work with leaves, flowers, and bird designs. Me I’m all over the board with my magpie “OHHH it’s sparkles! Ooh it’s colorful!” approach. I love her work!

Display table with bead necklaces

Beautiful necklaces on white crushed velvet

Paula’s Necklaces

Larger view of Paula's display

Paula’s Beautiful Work

I am sorry and ashamed to say I didn’t get any photos of Mi’s lovely aprons without her in the photo! So next fair I’ll be sure to get shots of her aprons for you. Let me tell you her Elvis apron is to DIE FOR! Oh and there’s a hand towel to go with it!

I’ll end with a few shots of my work on display at this fair.

Bead necklaces and bracelets on display

Some of my necklaces on display

beaded jewelry on display

Another shot of my display

Now I wish I’d gotten some more shots of the booth. Like I said back to developing those long unused craft vendor muscles. Not only is it preparing, packing, unloading, displaying, packing again quickly, loading, unloading, reorganizing, and packing again for the next one – it’s also remembering what shot I want to make sure I get at the booth. Each booth is unique (like our jewelry we never repeat a design) give size shape and what we have to work with. I’ll do better next time and have this down to a science by November.

As always I love to hear from you. I get a thrill when I have comments, stars, and likes! Follows leave me breathless with glee after I do a little jig and think just like Sally Field “You like me! You really really like me!” So don’t be shy in contacting me.

Until next time.

6 thoughts on “Building up the Craft Vendor Muscles

  1. Have you considered an etsy shop. Would allow sales to extend beyond fair season as well as expand your reach?

    I like the idea of the double sided basket but how about a mini treasure chest (or junior treasure chest)?

  2. Your jewelrynis beautiful. If I were near you I certainly would have brought some. I love craft fairs and yes they are a lot of work for the vendors but I love to shop at them just for some of the one of a kind things. Wishing you much success.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. I intend to open an online store some day. It’s on my long range to do list.

      I enjoy doing craft fairs, meeting people, and all of that. I was just out of practice. Once we get going in the season it all becomes routine and easier to do. This one I felt I was stumbling through.

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