Craft Show Success

My first craft show of the season is over, and I think I can call it a success. I didn’t sell everything, but I sold enough to make table and then some. My SIL, the one who got me into this awesome yarny hobby, shared the booth space with me, and we went up together Friday afternoon to set it all up. I really like how it turned out.

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It looked interesting and eye-catching. So many of the crochet booths focus on multitudes of the same item in different colors, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you don’t want any of that one item, you walk past that booth. I like to think we have variety to appeal to more customers. Or maybe it’s just not how we work. We get bored working the same thing over and over, so we make what we want and hope someone likes it enough to buy it.

It started at nine, and I was a little worried because by noon I had only sold one hat. My SIL was with me, and we’d both browsed the other booths. There were two other crochet booths. One was full of headbands and earwarmers, and the other focused on character hats for kids. Both were using the cheaper acrylics, and I hate to say it: I’m a yarn snob now. I have used, still use, acrylic. It’s affordable, it’s washable, it has its place in the yarn world. But once I started using natural fibers, feeling them against my skin, I’m so much more picky about what I use. Even now, when I use acrylic, I make sure to find soft acrylic for anything that will touch the skin. I couldn’t help but think that the alpaca and merino blends in our pieces would be more appealing, even if it meant our prices were higher.

A few people had come up and admired two of my best pieces, but then they’d look at the price and walk away. Most of my prices were very reasonable, but those two were made from expensive fibers and had taken a lot of time and I wasn’t willing to mark them lower. Instead, I moved things around and shifted the focus to middle-of-the-road pieces. Thankfully, by 12:30 the rush began, and over the next hour and a half I sold around ten items.

I sold the blue/green newsboy caps, a set for girl and doll. I sold my purple faux fur cowl (kinda sad about that one). I sold a $30 Brio cowl to a woman for her 5yo daughter (yikes. I cringed thinking about what would happen to my gorgeous cowl). I sold a gray slouchy hat and the gray crochet newsboy. At the very last minute I sold my purl ridge cowl, the one made with vintage Malabrigo in gorgeous shades of purple and blue. That one was hard. I kind of wish I’d kept it. But it went to my MIL, so at least I’ll get to see it sometimes.

I also passed out a lot of business cards and connected with some awesome people, and I hope those lead to good things. I had a good time, really. It made me want to do more shows. We have another one scheduled for mid-November, but I might look for some more. I’ve only done three shows but they’ve all been at least mildly profitable. And each one I do, I learn what to do next time (and what not to do).

I could have sold more slouchy hats in different colors. I could have sold owl hats if I’d had girl/doll sets in more colors. My most expensive pieces won’t go at the front. I know I’ll bring a mirror so people can see themselves when they try things on. I’d like to get purple tablecloths instead of red. I’m not sure what else I could/should do. What are your tips for craft show success?

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