Keeping Busy


It’s been well over a week since my last post. I’ve been super busy with work, another cold and a small craft fair. Mostly busy making stuff for the art fair that was less than lucrative. Very, very little money was made, but I’ve learned a lot and met some great new people. I had a friend sit with me each day, and that was really fun too.

The first day my set up wasn’t so great. I had Corinne selling very pretty jewelry on one side, and another jewelry table on the other. Basically, people were whizzing by my table without even a slowing of pace or glance in my direction, but they were stopping at both jewelry tables at either side. Okay, I realize that jewelry sells, but c’mon folks!

I went home that night thinking hard about my set up and what I could do to get people to just glance in my direction and maybe slow down a bit to a slow idle. I had cards in a card stand with my pillowcase bags hanging on the same rack, clocks and plaque art hanging on a stand and brooches, tissue holders and little things on a table. I totally rearranged the next day making my table longer, spreading things out a bit. It seemed to help a little and people even stopped to look at my art plaques and clocks, but no buyers. It was extremely depressing. Maybe I need to learn more, rethink what I’m making or pick better venues. I think my prices are very fair. I just don’t know. You can sorta see my set up in my flickr set. Please shout out if you have any suggestions or tips.Everything will go in my Etsy shop this week.

The best part of this art fair, was by far, meeting other great Etsy shop owners! It’s pretty amazing how many there are in Tucson and how super talented they are. Here is who I met~please check out their shops if you can:

Beauties & Baubles
Gift Idea Works
Handmade by Diana
Joe Momma
Feral Empire
Dragon’s Spark
Chakra Pennywhistle

I’ve got a lot to share. I’ll be posting a lot more frequently from here on out.

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11 Responses to Keeping Busy

  1. I don’t know anything about craft shows & fairs, but from what I can see your set up looks really nice. I hope the next one goes better for you!

  2. Pasha Plum says:

    Craft shows are hard–I don’t have the time right now to do all the work to build up my stock and then do the show. I think people buy jewelry for themselves and gifts for other people–maybe if you had the stuff to giftwrap all fancy with little cards and tissue paper–and then a sign to suggest who might be grateful recipients of such gifts??

  3. Piecake says:

    The bags on a vertical hanger were a great idea. Did you advertise them as good bags for grocery shopping? I think if you advertise that the items were made from recycled materials, that would bring in some people. Someone might think the brooches were nice, but if they knew that they were made from recycled ties it makes them more interesting. People really want to do the recycle/reuse lifestyle, but most don’t know how. If they see your stuff and understand how it came about, it gives them ideas and it makes them feel good about buying it.

    Good Luck!

  4. Grayangi says:

    A friend and I did the craft fair thing this past year and had reasonable success – not great but we made a few $$ and had fun.

    Anyway… my suggestions would be like Piecake said – advertise that these are recycled. Make that a focal point.

    Also, pick 2 or 3 things to take. I noticed that the stands with 1 or 2 main things to sell (but in dif colors, sizes, etc) seemed to do better and sometimes sell out. The large grouping of similar items really got everyone’s attention.

    Best of luck! I love your things! They look like great quality and are very inspirational.

  5. flossy-p says:

    oh dear, my market experience was similar. The soap man next to me made a motza! Sorry I’m obviously no help, some good suggestions from the other commenters though. Better luck next time.

  6. Jan says:

    I totally agee with PieCake. Can you make a banner or lightweight sign with a descriptive name? “Recycled with Love” or something attention grabbing. Without knowing the process, a shopper might assume your’s was just another quilting table. Please don’t feel bad though, it’s not you. Craft sales are very hard. Keep at it! All your blog-friends support you!

  7. Alexis says:

    I only have a little experience with fairs. I did a couple fairs last year with some felt wallet kits that I had put together. My one item was not enough to grab people and I just don’t have the time to put a bigger show together. I liked your plaque display, card display and bags display best from your table. I agree with others’ suggestions to try to play up the recycled goods to get some initial interest. Best of luck.

  8. Michelle says:

    I agree that your stuff is *very* reasonably priced, and it’s high quality craftsmanship, so maybe you just need to work on the marketing and advertising. The hardest part, huh?

    Have you thought about some kind of a clothesline (two extension ladders connected with rope, perhaps? Then you could also display some thing on each step) to hang your totes so that each one can be seen on its own but still together in a group? And I think maybe sometimes people get overwhelmed with too much choice. Too many decisions on which fabric to pick, and they end up not picking anything. So maybe it’s not enough to just group all your tissue holders together, but also put them in color groupings – blues, reds, browns, whatever. You have such a fantastic variety of fabrics, colors, and patterns going on, it might be making some people whiz past because they just can’t focus. If you can just get them to stop, they’ll love what they see!

  9. Ellen says:

    I’ve never done a craft fair before so I have no suggestions for you, but I’m sorry it was disappointing. Sometimes it’s good to see ‘what’ sells but I think it’s more in ‘how’ the ‘what’ is presented. Hope it works next time for you.

  10. Cathie says:

    Hi Regina,

    I notice that there is a LOT to look at there at that craft fair, so much to look at that a person would have a hard time focusing…. I bet the jewelry booths had black backgrounds. That would make them stand out in the general visual clutter. And I bet you have some black fabric in your stash… maybe you could experiment by laying your items out on the black fabric to see if makes the colors pop and the items stand out? If it works, then next time you do a craft fair you could use black to both command attention and focus the eye.

    Another trick when you have to compete with so much visual information from the general background is to space your items widely; group them into mini-displays, all the brooches together, for instance, but leave lots of space around each grouping.

    I agree that you should play up the recycled aspect as well. That should be something to get people’s attention!

    I wish you the best of luck!

    Btw, I found your blog through Lisa at That Dorky Homemade Look; she posted a link to your pillowcase shopping-tote tutorial and I was absolutely thrilled to make myself a shabby chic purple tote from a thrifted pillowcase! Thank you!


  11. Regina says:

    I stumbled onto your blog from the painted pear & looked around to see what you’re about since we’re both Regina. 🙂
    You have a lot of nice items & I agree with what Cath posted about grouping like items & helping your customers focus. A tip I picked up is to not put out everything. For example, you have 10 bags, you put out half. Someone is showing interest, but not committing. Ask if they are looking for certain color… then you could bring out the item.
    Blessings to you.

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