Monday, November 22, 2010

The Craft Show Came And Went...I SURVIVED!

I never got around last week to sharing my candy post, so I hope this picture heavy post will do! I spent almost every free moment tying up loose ends, changing displays, and filling space! The craft show was this past weekend and it turned out to be a wonderful experience. Even though I have crafted for years, I would have never had the courage to tackle a big craft show such as this one if it were not for my family and friends...I love ALL of you...even my cyber know who you are! I kept the set up rather simple and cozy. It almost felt a little like home. Finally made a banner for me! The design is very simple and I can count on all my fingers and toes the amount of people who asked, "are you trying to spell something?" Yes, why yes I! Because I said it many times over at the show, for those of you who many not know, JadeMingmei is a combination of both of my Daughter's middle names...Addison Jade and Catherine Grace-Mingmei (Ming-may). I have always said many moons ago, whatever my company name was, it would be a family affair ;). The card spinner. The cards were not my best seller, but it was interesting to see how they were purchased. I had several customers who only purchased 1 card, and then several who purchased 6 or more cards. And believe it or not, we live in a HUGE military town and I'll be darned if I didn't sell 1 single Marine Corps card!! I suppose they were looking for something different and non-military. I have a nice stash now. The altered mailboxes and box purse were sold. Candy loot and fruit stand. The candy was a HUGE hit and I sold out almost all of it. The nugget boxes sold out...sold the 3 nugget boxes for 2.00 each and 6 nugget for 3.00. The Christmas tags and floral tags were a sell out as well.I have to tell you something funny about these close pins. I had them posted 2 for 1.oo and they were not selling! My sweet friend Donnak ran the booth with me and she says, "Why don't you put a lunch sack in the basket with the close pins to close the sack and sell them for 1.00 a piece!" She was genius and they sold like hotcakes! People need visuals and the close pins alone were not getting the job done...have plenty of samples of what you can do with these. One customer purchased several of these and mentioned she would be using them on pies she'd be gifting over the holidays...CLEVER!These gift card holders were THE HIT! Who knew?! I sold out on Saturday, and then half the stock again on Sunday. These were sold for 2.oo each. A little liquid pearls to create my creme ;)
I'm pretty proud of this peg board! Took a little elbow grease on my part to put it together. The peg board is the smallest sized one at Lowe's for $4.92 and I also used 2, 2x4's ($1.77 each) for the back supports and feet. After I used the hand saw and screwed in the supports, I used 2 cans of black spray paint to cover the raw boards. This is by far the cheapest way to display your items. What kills the bargain price is all the pegs you have to buy. I originally had my post-it pads in baskets, but I think in the end, having them displayed as such, made them more appealing and you didn't have to flip thru the baskets. The Fall close pins were also a big hit along with the Fall tags. The only thing I failed at with the tags, was not having made Christmas tags in this size. Many requests, but none to offer :( Sunday Morning! Day 2 of the show. I took down my fruit stand since the mini tags had sold, and I moved the candy up top. I kept plenty of business cards on the table and I saw folks pick them up by the handfuls...hopefully the are getting passed around or maybe they wanted to be creative and build pyramids with them?! Let your imagination wander ;) I would like to share a few things I learned from my first show. When there was downtime (lots on the 2nd day!) I was doing A LOT of observing not only on the crowd, but the booths as well. You don't have to spend a lot of money to make your booth presentable, you see I just used fabric, an inexpensive banner and a smile! Also, get up and out of your booth! Be approachable, asks questions, and engage your customers. Even for myself, I've shopped at craft shows for many years and I was much less likely to shop at a booth where there was no interaction from the vendor. I even went around to the booths where I saw heavy traffic and asked for some friendly advice. Here is what I was offered and I think it is valuable information: have something for the kids at your booth (mine was the candy, unintentionally!), because who follows behind the kids? Their PARENTS! Have a HIT item! This was my first show, so I had no way of knowing it was going the be the gift cards. People will look for you every year in search of your HIT item and bring their friends and buy more etc. This particular lady made body scrubbies...she's made them for years and had 200 at the start of her show...she went home with only a small handful left over! Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Several customers were stampers as well and we'd chat about some of our favorite stamps, websites, and projects. Overall, this was a very good first experience and I would do it again! There is still quite a loot leftover and I will be posting some goodies for purchase on FB over at JadeMingmei Designs. Items will not be posted until after the holiday :)


created by ~donnaK said...

What an awesome post, my friend! Again...congratulations on all of your hard work. You really an amazing crafter (Artisan?) and a wonderful friend. Keep us posted on the next show!

Jen Carter said...

Congratulations to you! Your setup looks fantastic and your items are adorable!