Sunday, May 20, 2012

Craft Fair Success!

Good news! Yesterday's event, the Lexington Craft Fair at the Lexington School For The Deaf, went really well -- better than I'd hoped for, actually.

I had plenty of people coming up to my stand and sold enough items to come home with a nice profit. There was a mother and daughter who purchased four things from me. The daughter was ready to buy out my entire store, but her mom had to put a stop to her. I even managed to negotiate a sale in very basic American Sign Languge!

What's interesting is that many more people at this fair seemed interested in my craftmanship. I got many questions about how I actually made the items and they seemed to really appreciate that my stuff was handmade. At some of the other fairs I've sold at, the people are more interested in the materials and whether an item will match ther outfits. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's nice to have my work and effort appreciated.

Later that night, I had my friends' drag queen fundraiser, but I only sold a few items there. I don't think it's because people disliked my jewelry; I think it just wasn't a good set-up for a vendor. I had my stuff on display in their kitchen and while some people came by to look, most people -- including myself -- just wanted to hang out and party. Most were outside on the deck, eating dinner and drinking, and then later, the guys put on a drag show. So people weren't really in a position to take the time to start trying on jewelry. That's okay, though, because I made some money for the AIDS walk, which is what the point of the fundraiser was for, anyway.

The Lexington Craft Fair didn't have much traffic -- maybe a few hundred people throughout the day, so I'm trying to figure out what it was about this fair that made so many people buy from me. I mean, there were several other jewelry stands there so I had plenty of competition. And, as usual, the food stalls got most of the traffic. Still, if I figure out what I did RIGHT, I can do it again at the next event.

I think that part of it had to do with my stand's appearance. Since we rented a table from the school, I got to use a much bigger table than I usually do. It ws 10X10, whereas the portable table I own is only about six feet long. This meant that I had more room to spread out my goods so the table looked more organized and less smushed. Also, more of my jewelry was visible. With the smaller table, I had to cram things behind one another to make room; here, everything was out front.

The simple solution would be, "Buy a bigger table," but it isn't that easy since we don't have a car and carry everything ourselves. But I've suggested to Jon that I purchase another little portable table. This will fit into our cart and I can then set up the tables adjacent to one another.

My husband also believes that the location made a difference. The Lexington School For The Deaf is in Jackson Heights, Queens, whereas my last fair was on Long Islsnd. He thinks that people from the city just have different taste and appreciate my jewelry more. He's encouraging me to participate in more craft fairs in Manhattan. I don't know if this is true; Great Neck is maybe a half hour from Jackson Heights, but I guess it can't hurt to experiment and do a craft fair that's actually in the city. I've avoided them because they tend to have high registration fees, but there are a few cheaper ones.

I'm happy with how things went, though, especially after my disastrous last metalsmithing class. Here are a few of the items that I sold yesterday:

Now that my two May fairs are offer, I need to get back to making some new jewelry! To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs.

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