Saturday, November 9, 2013

Old Codger

One of the things about getting old(er) while continuing to travel the craft fair circuit is that you have years more experience than some of the younger exhibitors.

Having done as many shows as we have, we have fine tuned our booth equipment, tools required to set it up and maintain it, and how the display goes together.

We have also experienced the vagaries of the marketplace, lived through the unadorned comments of the public and know how to pace ourselves in order to get through the, in many cases, killer hours.  I mean, how many people expect to work 11 hour days with no guarantee of income at the end of the day?

We have learned that there is no way to predict what will sell and what doesn't.  For example, for years I could not sell place mats.   For the last three years demand has been growing and I nearly sold out before I ever got to Vancouver.   Lesson is, next year I'd better make more.   And then possibly watch them sit, unsold...

Day one, everything but the new scarf line sold.  Eeps.

Day two, they were almost the only thing thing that did.

The biggest lesson is that you can't predict, nor is the show over until it's over.   In the meantime do your best to stay up on your feet, engage with the customers, and stay optimistic.  No one wants to talk to a grumpy puss.  


Peg Cherre said...

Ain't it the truth!

Actually, the 1 thing I can be reasonably sure of is if I fell in love with one of my pieces, it probably won't be sold quickly. LOL Strange but true.

Klara said...

Same thing here - the things I think turned out really well don't sell as quickly as I think they should - the "mistakes" sell quicker. Actually, best of all sell the real mistakes in the bargains basket.

But I really wanted to underwrite Laura's last sentence - somethimes I think that my mood on the day is the most important factor in whether the show is a success. And HOW do you stay upbeat and positive if you are sitting there for hours without even seeing a single visitor (due to non-existent publicity on the organizer's part - next year's show will be without me, obviously)?

Peg Cherre said...

Those are the days I'm glad I brought my little rigid heddle with me, Klara. I also make lists on those days - what I'd like to weave, how I could improve my display, etc., etc.

Klara said...

I had my spinning wheel with me (I normally do), but I could be spinning more comfortable (and with better music) at home...