Friday, October 30, 2009

The Joy of Being A Home-Based Business...

...or why I need a new kitchen floor....

This is a partial view of my kitchen this afternoon. We use the kitchen, dining room and living room as a staging area when it is time to do a show.

Boxes get set on the floor and dragged around and over the years the lino has gotten scuffed. :(
Unfortunately, we won't be able to deal with getting a new floor for a while. I'm hoping December, but we'll see. It may not happen until next year, if then. Doug is still on 'short' hours and money is tight. :((((

This is a partial view of the living room. The two grey things are the captain's chairs from the van. The white box is the electrical box with lamps, cords, light blubs and miscellaneous items for the booth. The box just to the left nearly out of view is the cash box. The white lump behind it is one of the packing blankets from the van. (I'm the only person I know with handwoven packing blankets - seconds have to be good for something!) Somewhere in that mess are the road emergency things that normally live in the van but had to be removed so that the van could be loaded up.

We've just finished loading everything except for one last plastic bucket waiting for me to tag the two collapse scarves and pack them into it. I'm hoping to borrow a cheval mirror for the booth.

I'm always amazed at how much less inventory I have now than when I used to do primarily placemats/table runners. Scarves take up about the same amount of space - or less - than a set of placemats, and I get twice as much money. :}

Over the years I've talked with other weavers and the consensus is that if you have a really excellent show you will sell 40% of what you bring. A good show you'll sell 30%.

Of course, you need to bring the correct inventory! The correct items in the correct colours with the correct public attending willing to spend what you're asking.

This weekend is a mid-range price points show so I don't expect to sell a lot of my higher priced items. But you just never know! There are somewhere in the neighbourhood of 180 exhibitors and I lucked into a good spot even though I'm a johnny-come-lately. I wanted two booth spaces and they had someone with a double booth cancel last year in the cafeteria area. Doug did this show all by himself last year, and he'll be doing it all by himself again next, but this year it worked out that the Seattle guild sale was last week instead of the same weekend as this one. This show also books returning artists in the same space each year, so I'm hoping the previous person who had this space doesn't come back and bump me out. I got the same space again this year, so I'm hoping that means it's mine now. :)


barbara said...

Laura, Best of luck with this craft fair; hopefully it is a great success! There is one heck of a lot of work getting the product to the fair, setting up, selling, tearing down. Those not involved wonder why the prices are high; some seem to think we should work for nothing. We know the difference!!!! Hang in there.
Weaverly yours ...... Barbara

Joybilee Farm said...

I've experienced that "joy" too, as you know since you have been to my house. But viewing your pictures relieves some of my guilt. Thanks for sharing. Hope the show was everything that you had wanted it to be.