Saturday, May 12, 2012

first craft fair with the bead gallery

Last weekend I did my first craft fair, huzzah! Sorry there aren't more/better pictures; I was super busy during the fair, and I didn't remember to take pictures from the outset!!!  So the pictures I have were taken on my sister's phone about 2 hours into it.  I was invited to be a part of the 2012 "A Gift of the Heart" Charity Fair by Michelle and Jamie, who work at The Bead Gallery; they (and everyone else!) were so nice.  Oahu peeps, you should definitely check them out for all of your beading needs!  It was cash and check only, but I was actually all set to take credit cards (with my Square reader!)

I was really lucky to have quite a bit of stock ready, so I didn't have to make much.  I did make some fruit amigurumi, keychains, and buttons.  But what really sold were my amigurumi!

Even though I had my products pretty much ready, I didn't have my display ready! I actually did all my display stuff on Saturday, and the craft fair was on Sunday... talk about a time crunch!)  I decided that I wanted a cloud/house theme, so I bought 4 yards of blue polka-dotted fabric and sewed a table cover (I recommend making or getting a fitted table cover so that your display starts with a nice, smooth foundation! Mine worked/looked much better than a regular old tablecloth and made me seem professional!)  I made the houses for my display out of cardboard boxes, a huge glue gun and  spray paint. They turned out to be super cute, although I didn't get to totally finish them (I was going to add painted trim, but I ran out of time).  In the future, I think I'll make them out of colored posterboard.   I also sewed a huge cloud with "berrysprite" on it, which I really liked.

My sales were very very good, so I was able to donate a little more than $100 in proceeds to the Hawaii Foodbank, which made me feel really happy!  Here are some tips for those of you who are looking to do your first craft fair!

Tip: Monies
  • Have lots of change!  I had:  50-$1, 4-$5, 1-$10,1-$20. Maybe more $5, $10 and $20 would have been good for someone else but it worked out really well for me, since all of my items were under $20 anyway.  
  • You should consider having your prices in round numbers (so that you don't have to deal with coins)
  • Make sure you keep a handy list of all your items with their prices (alphabetized might help), in case you need to add up a lot of items for a transaction.

Tip: Display
  • Give a little thought to your display; have items at different heights!
  • Make sure its easy to look through (and also to put stuff back!)
  • Make sure your items have prices that are clearly displayed. 
  • Reorganize and replenish when your stuff gets bought and your display empties... that way it looks appealing all the way through!

 Tip: Customer Service
  • Smile and be friendly!
  • Don't be a pushy salesperson... other than greeting a person and letting them know you're available for questions/ information, try to resist the urge to nag your customer.
  • But don't be afraid to have a conversation with them and be a little excited... if you're excited and proud of your work let it show!  (I actually can't stress how important this was! People kept asking me "You made all of this?" and I was always like "Yes!  It's really fun!")  
  • Don't forget to make friends with the vendors and people around you!  I gave a few buttons (which are relatively inexpensive for me to make but are still really sweet!) to each of the vendors around me; they ended up being my customers too!  
 P.S.  I finally met my friend Candace from over at supergoodforyou!!! She's a total sweetie and stopped by to say hi!  My friend Keala also visited me at my table... it was great!

Friday, May 4, 2012

good news!

So much news!!! I guess that's what happens when you don't blog for a little bit!  I have a good reason though, I was busy working on my thesis, which I successfully defended on April 25th, huzzah!  That means just a few edits and I'll be able to graduate with my Master's Degree in History!!!!  I feel like I can live my life again :)

In other news, I'll be doing my first craft fair EVER this weekend!   I know, it's short notice, but Michelle over at the Bead Gallery kindly asked me if I'd like to participate in their annual Charity Gift Fair last night, and of course I had to do it; 25% of all my sales will go to a great local charity (We're also doing a drive at my work for the Hawai`i Foodbank, so win win!!!)  Quite honestly I haven't prepared at all (although I think  I have enough stock on hand, fingers crossed) and since this is my very first craft fair I'm not sure what to expect.

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