Monday, January 14, 2013

that craft fair from a long time ago

While I was taking pictures off of my camera, I came across these from the Fall Festival I participated in three months ago. What you can't see in this picture is our kitchen that was being remodeled, the 20+ person dinner we were hosting three days later and Jack's first birthday party that was taking place the very next weekend. Now you do understand why I didn't ever show you the pictures?

But the time is here! Please, step into the Marvelous Prints booth.

I actually scored a really good spot. Once the festival started, all of the cars had to clear out of the lot behind my booth, but we were just one space down from the main entrance and en route to all of the food. You couldn't miss us!

I tried to work with what I had when it came to booth decor/set-up and these chalkboards came from a neighbor's yard sale over the summer. She set them aside for Jack and then gave them to us for free. I used a chalk marker to write out inventory and pricing.

A couple of things I learned:
  • People are influenced by how the booth looks. I grabbed a clearance rug from Kohl's at the last minute and laid the rug down on the grass. I covered the tables in table cloths. I brought chairs from our sun room to use in the display. So many people commented on how "homey" the booth felt and I think it lured them in more than if I'd just plopped everything down on a rickety folding table.
  • Have lots and lots of business cards. People may not be able to decide or have a reason to buy right there on the spot, but I had several orders around Christmastime from people who grabbed my card.
  • No one really knew what I was selling. I overheard several people read the Marvelous Prints sign and then try to figure out what was going to be inside. Art? Posters? Oh, stationery! So that got me thinking a lot about the importance of good branding. (Spoiler alert: makeover in progress!)
  • I'm a people person. I knew this already, but I realized that I'd 10x rather stand and talk to people about my work (or babies or where I'm from or funnel cakes) than sell everything I make online. I'm a very relational person and I needed to be reminded of that. It made me start thinking more intentionally about partnering with local shops or festivals to sell my stuff, rather than limit myself to Etsy.
And I can't go without saying that Andrew was a huge, gigantic help. He helped me assemble product, think through pricing, set up my booth, etc. But he also watched Jack all day, brought me lunch and was genuinely excited for me and proud of me. He's my biggest fan and I love that.

Overall, I'm really glad I went through with this. It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it and learned a lot. That's all that matters, right?

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