Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Getting Crafty

So I meant to post an entry after the Fredericksburg Holiday Craft Fair back in December, but time and tide overcame my ambitions. We all now know I'm not the most frequent blogger!

All in all, I'm very glad I did the event. The margins were minimally in my favor (I actually made less than minimum wage by the end), but the intangible benefits really paid off.

This was my first big vendor event since returning to the States, not counting the one in Quantico which was fun but very small. And it was the largest one I've ever done as well. One lesson learned was to be next to peanut vendors. The ladies next to me made money hand over fist. There was a constant line of customers trying their samples and buying can after can of their delicious treats. All that attention spilled over to my table periodically, which was nice. Thanks, Plantation Peanuts!

There was also a huge learning curve when it comes to my presentation. I've read the blogs and tips, making several improvements from before, but this was an eye-opener. First thing I did after the fair was order a huge 8 x 3' banner from BuildASign.

BuildASign is the same company that provides FREE welcome-home banners to families of deployed troops. Brenda took advantage of their offer when I returned from deployment back in 2011. They're a great, patriotic company well-deserving of your patronage and mine. The banner they sent for Hope And Grace Pens is outstanding.

I also realized I've got to get my product UP off the table. The presentation was too flat, and passersby could only see my wares if they approached the table. So I've spent a little time and effort making some displays for my new wine bottle stoppers and have plans worked out for a pen display that will stand as well. Ikea had some nice, inexpensive shelves which we picked up to display some of the larger items. And I'll use S-hooks to hang up clocks and wall displays.

A few clients made custom orders during or after the event, which was nice. And my take-one pens were a big hit. So now I've got some improvements for the upcoming Spring Craft Fair and the Rites of Spring Wine Fest (if I'm sober enough afterwards to keep tally)!