Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Craft Show

I have sold my jewelry at a couple of church bazaars during the holiday season last year. That was a great experience and really prepared me to launch out and try an honest to goodness Art Fair.

So yesterday I took my dog and pony show to an Arts and Craft Fair in the Park in Fort Myers, Florida. There were approximately 20 vendors at this fair. I was a little disappointed as I thought it would be a little bit bigger. But the park was on a main street and they did have a large banner out so it did attract a fair amount of traffic.

Prior to the this event I did read as much as I could about selling at fairs and I posted inquires in forum on ArtFire and the forum on ArtFire Jewelry Artists and Supplies Shops Guild of which I am a member. I received a wealth of good advice and hints from my fellow artisans which really helped me out. And whoever told me to bring duct tape was a real lifesaver. It was a breezy day and without the duct tape I would not have been able to use a couple of my displays. But the duct tape on the bottom kept them secured to the table cloth. And the table cloth clamps kept them in place so I was good to go.

I had a steady stream of people milling around under my tent. I had read somewhere that it is good to put your table at the back of your tent to get people to come in and look around. That did seem to work out well for me. And then I had items on both side of the tent so there was plenty to see and if someone was in one area when another person walked up there was still items they could look at too. The only thing I forgot, and it wasn't on my list, was my camera. I really wanted to get pictures of my booth all set up. So I guess that means I just have to do it again.

I sold a few necklaces and bracelets so it was a good day. I was able to cover my entry fee and still make some bead money. As I told someone, I can't buy the house on the beach yet but now I can buy more beads. And for me that is a good thing.

For my fellow artisans, the necklaces that I sold all had pendants on them. And the bracelets were all woven bead patterns. I didn't sell any earrings which was kind of surprising to me. It could have been the way they were displayed. I had them hanging from different items. I think for my next show I will take the time to put them on cards and get something to hang them on. I think that way people can get a better idea of how they will look on. Or maybe it's just how they are used to seeing them displayed.

Lastly, I was able to network with fellow artisans and I did get some good leads on some shows for the fall. And I just loved talking and interacting with all the people who came to see my jewelry. It was a very positive experience and I look forward to doing it again.

The picture above is one of the necklaces I sold. The pendant is pink turquoise magnesite and the necklace is salmon agate and onyx. I also sold a similar one that I had not even photographed yet. It had a yellow rectangle pendant and the necklace was oval yellow turquoise beads with silver spacers and green bicones. The pendant had some green in it as well.

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