Been lurking on the board for the last month or so, as I was getting prepared for my first big craft fair here in Atlanta. I make jewelry, and was a vendor at the Indie Craft Experience, an annual juried event, featuring nearly 100 vendors with handmade goods. The event was two days, 11am - 7pm. I arrived at the location about 9:30 to set up tent and display. I have to say that I was quite proud of my display. I even bought a 2 x 3 foot banner at the last minute with my company name, which turned out great. Anyway, I priced my items very reasonably ($12.50 and $15 earrings, $17 and $20 necklaces), and many of the vendors had much, much higher prices. My items are simple -- some sterling silver and others plated, silver and gold -- a mix of necklaces, bracelets and mostly earrings. Most of the necklaces consisted of a pendant on 2mm waxed cotton cord -- nice and light for summer, along with some beaded necklaces with and without pendants. Quite a good variety, it turns out. People bought a little of everything.
For the two-day event, I had sales of approx. $486 which I thought was good for a my first time out. I was so excited that people actually wanted to pay cold, hard cash for my stuff! LOL! Okay, I was set up to accept credit cards with Propay, but twice on Sat. I couldn't get a connection or my laptop died, as electricity was not provided. Luckily, the customer went and found some cash and still bought the items. Lucky me!!! And, I had a 20% off coupon in the "swag bags" that some people used. Not one person tried to haggle with me!
Sunday was a bit slower, but the advice I received here was very valuable. I clearly marked all of my items and greeted the customers and left it at that. They seemed to like not bothering them and being chatty. I even made a pair of black earrings for a woman who didn't see exactly what she wanted. I showed her some beads from my stash that she liked, and so I told her to come back in 15 minutes -- no obligation to buy. She was back in 15 and loved her earrings!
I met a lot of nice people. The crowd was very eclectic -- young, old, big, small, families, etc. The weather was perfect -- sunny in the high 80's and an occasional breeze.
I have to say that a two-day event is grueling, esp. if you have small kids like I do. I got a sitter for them and luckily, my booth location was close to the load-in area. In the future I will try to partner with another jewelry maker and we can share the booth and each do a day! I plan to participate in their Holiday Fair in November.
Thanks for reading and for all the tips and advice!