Saturday, September 29, 2012

Craft Fair Disappointment

Today was the Autism Speaks charity event and the in-person debut of my kids' line, MayaGirl Creations. The fair was held in the basement of a nearby church and was set up to be a really nice event. There was a live reggae band, a fashion show, an arts and crafts table for the kids and a dozen vendors. Unfortunately, hardly anyone attended. There were about 50 people there, but almost all were somehow involved in the fair itself. They only got a handful of traffic.

Despite the low turnout and despite the fact that I made a nice donation to the cause, I still managed to turn a small profit. It was disappointing, though, to have so few people. Had my friend been able to hold the fair in the church yard instead of the basement, she probably would've had much more traffic, but she explained that she didn't have the insurance to run an event outdoors. Apparently, if a kid gets hurt outside, for example, there can be a suit and, I guess, the church isn't covered. That sounds ridiculous to me, but that's our country for you.

My friend, the organizer, was disappointed with the numbers for today, but she still did a great job in setting things up. This friend, by the way, is the same woman who helped me out when I broke my leg a couple of years ago. And it was my broken leg that led to me making jewelry (it was something to do while laid up in bed), so in a way doing this fair was like coming full circle. No, I didn't make a whole lot, but people did seem to like my pieces. I did sell a couple of precious metal clay and enamel pieces, so I was pleased to move those. As I've said before, my "unique" pieces sell better in fairs than they do online -- and this again proved to be the case.

There was one little girl who was obsessed with my stuff and kept coming over to try things on. Turns out, her name is Maya! So she was thrilled when I told her the name of my line. She was upset, though, when her mom wouldn't let her buy earrings due to allergies. Instead, she got a ring, but I know that she had her heart set on the earrings. Maybe when she's older, her ears won't get as irritated.

There were several women who admired stuff at my table, were like, "Ooh, it's between these two, I'll be back..." and then, of course, never returned. Have I mentioned how frustrating that is? I understand it to some degree when you're at a large fair and you want to check out the hundred or so tables before making a decision. But at this fair, there were only a handful of vendors! Basically, you just had to spin around to see everything. So it was annoying when they walked away and forgot about me. I mean, I spent all week working my butt off on these items, I was completely lowballing the price AND part of my profits went to the cause. Plus, these women kept going on about how they "loved" my work. Know what? For $10 or $15, just buy the damned thing! I'm not selling the Crown Jewels; I'm selling costume jewelry. I'm not saying to waste your money or to purchase something just for the heck of it. Not at all. Times are tough and many need to be frugal. But if you're PLANNING to buy something, just do it, especially if you're at a fair and it's a handmade item that an artist worked hard to complete. It's so discouraging for us to think that we've made a sale ... and then nada. So next time you go to a fair and are all set to buy some item that you "love" don't hem and haw, and get distracted and forget. Buy it and show some respect for the artist.

Anyway, time to get off my soap box. Like I said, I made a small profit and made some money for a great charity so all in all, it was a successful day. I'd definitely work with this friend again and will do what I can to help her get more of an audience.

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs. To purchase my children's jewellery, head to MayaGirl Creations.

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