Sunday, May 6, 2012
Tales From The Craft Fair
I just got home from the Great Neck Street Fair. Boy, was it a long day! I made a few sales, but I unfortunately didn't do as well as I'd hoped. Still, it was a nice day and I like to think of these events as learning experiences. When we arrived at Great Neck, we discovered that the actual fair was about a two-mile walk from the train station. So we walked all the way there, with me lugging the suitcase with my jewelry and Jon pushing the cart that contained our table and chair. We got a nice workout! Happily, it was a perfect spring day and Great Neck is a beautiful, upscale town so the walk was pleasant. Once at the fair, I tried to sit back and relax and enjoy the experience. We were right across from the food court, which was convenient and our booth neighbors were nice. On the left they were selling handmade wooden bowls, which were unique and beautiful and on the right, homemade paintings and a variety of other things like headbands and junk jewelry. A nice crowd came by today and many more people stopped by my booth than at the last fair. I also got many more teenagers checking in, especially to look at those wire wrapped coil rings. Unfortunately, few people were willing to dip into their pocketbooks. A lot tried on some jewelry pieces and asked questions, but only a handful actually bought. This was pretty discouraging since I was already charging rock bottom prices for my handmade stuff. The guy in the booth next to me said that they experienced the same thing with their jewelry -- that people seemed reluctant to pay $5 for stuff. It's kind of funny because Great Neck is a very wealthy neighborhood, but as Jon said, maybe that's why the people there are wealthy -- because they're also frugal. At one point, our friends Scott and Christopher came by to say hello. I was very glad to see them and was hoping that they'd help with sales, as both are very good-looking guys. But their handsomeness did nothing, LOL. I guess maybe if they'd removed their shirts and danced or offered to kiss the customers or something. But they were useful in that they invited me to sell my jewelry at their upcoming charity party. They're hosting a drag queen event to raise money for an AIDS walk and suggested that I sell pieces there and then donate a portion of the profits. I like this idea because it not only benefits me, but will help them with a great cause. There were some, well, interesting people at the fair. There was one woman who wasn't interested in any of the booths; she just wanted business cards for her business card collection. There was another who came back to my booth three times, but never looked me in the eye, grunted when I spoke to her and did everything with short, quick movements. I wonder if she was stoned? There was one woman who asked me how much things cost in the booth next to me. Then there was the inconsiderate woman who just casually rested her soda can on my display. I was like, "Um... excuse me?" You definitely meet all types at these things. I've decided that I'm no longer going to do these expensive fairs on Long Island. The registration is high enough that I'm losing money since I'm not getting many sales. The traffic is there, but I feel like my booth gets lost in the sea of goods. It also seems like many don't seem to appreciate the fact that my stuff is handmade and that my already very low prices include the cost of the labor I put into them. Maybe my jewelry just sucks and that's why it's not taking off, but I refuse to believe that. I've had enough people purchase my stuff who've really liked it. And I have to have faith in myself. My next fair is in two weeks and then that night, I'm doing the drag queen party. It's going to be a really looooong day, but hopefully something will come of my hard work. To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs. To read about my travel adventures, head to Naomi The Traveler.