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Topic: First Craft Fair Results! Not too Shabby!  (Read 2741 times)
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« on: June 03, 2009 04:49:03 PM »

Hi All,
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!  Wink

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!  Smiley

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!
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009 04:02:33 PM »

I really like that idea of sharing the space... and congrats on your success!

Natural Shell & Stone Jewelry Fresh From the Beach!
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NorthBeachJewelry
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009 10:54:06 AM »

Thanks for sharing.  I have my first craft show in Sept, so any ideas are great!  I already feel completely overwhelmed with getting enough items ready.  I just learned of my acceptance last week, so I'm working hard to be ready.

How effective is a give-away ... candy, etc?

This show is on Sept 11 and 12, so I'm thinking of some sort of 9/11 remembrance.  I'm thinking of ribbons or some sort of something.  Any thoughts?

I may have some cancer awareness items, also.  I might have different colors of ribbons and let folks just pick and choose.

I"m also thinking of having a Christmas corner.

It has been suggested by a colleague to have a jewelry handout of some sort.  Good idea, but I don't know yet what it will be.  I have thought about birthstone colors or some historical facts about stones or maybe cancer awareness color chart.

I plan to have a form available for taking orders.  thanks.

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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009 08:04:27 AM »

Just a note on using Propay - you do NOT have to use a computer or phone at the point of purchase. In fact you don't even really need a 'knuckle-buster' as the machines are called. All you need are credit card slips, a hard, flat surface, and a pen. All you do is place the card under the slip and do a rubbing with the side of your pen. Make sure you can read the name, CC # and the expiration date. You get them to sign it and write down their Zip code (which you will need to process the card later at your convenience) and phone number (in case you need to call them).
Later at home you can go online and enter the info to process the cards. Having a hard-copy impression of the card and their signature is a more secure way of doing CC sales. It proves the card and the person were both physically there - less chance of a charge-back.
This is far faster than doing it all on the computer while they wait and you don't have to worry about power loss or poor connection.
Of course you can purchase a knuckle-buster and imprint plate with CC slips for under $15..........

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