That was one for the bucket list. The hours and work put in are longer than I could probably ever be repaid, but sometimes you can’t put a price tag on a life experience, a goal reached, a compliment received, or a vision carried out. You can’t put a price tag on being a part of a cool community of creative and passionate people.
Thank you so much for everyone that came out. It’s so hard to make an event like this a success nowadays, and it means a lot that people still come out to admire and sometimes bring home a handmade treasure or two.
I learned a lot from this, my second event, but my first actual craft show. First, have frogs next time! Second, bring a second body, mostly for hauling stuff out of the car, but also to foster relationships and friendships with neighboring crafters. Third, unfortunately Ben was right (I hate that!). You can practice setting up until everything is perfect, but once you get there you’ll probably have to change everything. The set-up was a bit more hectic than I’d even anticipated (and I’m a worrywart). Fourth, people responded to my table exactly as I’d hoped they would, with a delighted smile. The best compliment I received all day was from a little girl who turned the corner, saw my table and started giggling a happy giggle. That was exactly the response I was going for. No words necessary.
I was afraid I wouldn’t sell a thing and I actually sold many things! I was hopeful I would sell out…I didn’t. Giraffes, narwhals, and koalas were the favorites of the day. In fact, I had two customers duke it out over the last narwhal. We were trying to concoct an actual brawl which we thought might gain my booth some publicity and also solve the narwhal dilemma, but in the end, a very nice guy gave up his narwhal to a fun New Jersey woman with narwhal-loving twins at home.
I gave out a lot of cards, talked about a lot of custom order possibilities, and got a lot of great feedback and a general happy feeling about all of it! In some ways it’s great I didn’t sell out. Now I finally have a little inventory built up for future events and for a few stores in the area that might carry my things. I also desperately need to update my Etsy site. I can make so many different things that are not currently listed.
Speaking of other things…check out the adorable dresses and neckties my friend, Lisa, of Sweet Summer Baby made! We shared a booth and it was fun to see everyone going gaga over these adorable ties…I especially love the gray and yellow one! Find her things, and maybe my balloons soon(?), at Artistree Gifts, a beautiful store in College Park.
I even heard someone say my business had a great name. That was the best thing about this craft show. Making that booth made me feel like I had created a little brand for Happy Handmade. I felt like a kid playing house…my favorite thing to do as a kid.
I left Ben at the booth for a few minutes and, when I pictured him sitting behind that table I had to laugh…it was a funny picture. I went back to relieve him and he said he thought he was scaring off customers. That’s when I realized that this little project of mine is really….me….and that felt good.