Great news! The craft fair at Beth El Synagogue in Patchogue, NY went very well yesterday. It was a beautiful fall day and there was a decent amount of traffic. Not a huge number of people -- I'm guessing about 200 -- but with that crowd, I did pretty well with sales. I came away making a profit and my handmade wire jewelry received many compliments, which is always appreciated!
What's cool is that there were several kids who were genuinely interested in my jewelry. They didn't just admire it and say, "Oh, it's so pretty," but asked me all sorts of questions about what tools I use, how long it takes to make a piece and if making jewellery is hard. They seemed to really respect the fact that my pieces are handmade and that a lot of labor goes into them. One little girl loves gems and really knew her stuff. She was able to identify various stones and had many questions about which crystals I like to use. I suggested that she get her parents to take her to the gem exhibit at New York City's Museum Of Natural History. I know that I'm swimming in projects right now, but it might be fun to teach a kids' class on jewelry making in the future.
Meanwhile, I had a couple of unexpected reunions! I've mentioned before that I got this job through a high school friend whom I reconnected with on Facebook. Well, at the fair, I ran into an old college pal whom I haven't seen in person in about 16 years! He and I are FB friends, but have only spoken online. Turns out, he's part of this temple's congregation. I got to meet his lovely wife and adorable daughters, and they purchased one of my enamel necklaces. But even without the purchase, it was great to see him and it made my day.
I also ran into a woman who'd purchased one of my infinity rings on Etsy. I guess this was bound to happen eventually, but it was still surreal. We really live in a small world.
There were some people who didn't buy from me, but were still very complimentary about my work. The mother/daughter team who ran the booth next to mine became my buddies for the day and the mom kept admiring my bracelets. When I said good-bye to her at the end of the event, she said, "You're really talented and a nice person, too." That was so sweet. One of the other jewelry vendors also came over and complimented my stuff. That meant a lot to me since she understood the techniques that go into my pieces.
There was one lady who came to my table three times! The first two times she spent a long while going through my pieces and finally settled on a necklace that she really liked. But then she decided to walk around the fair before buying. When she returned, she again admired this necklace, but wanted to wait for her husband's approval. She finally actually bought the piece when she saw me packing up and I told her, "Last chance to buy it." Perhaps this should be my new sales technique, LOL?
I was pleasantly surprised by this fair, which felt warm and friendly and was extremely well organized. It was worth getting up at the crack of dawn and traveling all the way out onto Long Island. I'll definitely do it again next year.
On a very odd, random note, on the way to the train, I passed by two people who were playing the bongos and singing "Roxanne." Interesting...
Here are some of the pieces I sold: