Yesterday I participated in another Holiday Boutique event. It was one I had not done before and one that I was very excited to do because the organizer had reached out to me via my Etsy shop saying that she really liked my work and wanted to know if I wanted to have a table at their boutique. Of course I said yes. The entrance fee was a little steeper than the other craft shows I am doing but I figured it was worth it to get the additional exposure. Table fees is an item I can deduct on my business taxes so it is not really that bad. This was also a longer day than the other ones, extending from 9 AM to 6 PM. It was at St. Dunstan’s Catholic Church, so not too far away and I guessed that there would be people coming in after mass. I was hoping that the priest would give encouragement to the parishioners to support the vendors. You know how well the Catholics can play the guilt card, right? (I’m Catholic so I can say that). I am also fresh off the high of the last event and the contact with the art store owner so my expectations were great.
During the last week I’ve been trying my best to get more product made so I have something fresh to sell and I was able to add these gems:
|Gift card holders and more tags|
I got most everything ready to go the night before and got up early to get to the auditorium by 7:30 AM. It takes about an hour and a half to get completely unpacked and have my items out for display. It was a challenge this time because the table was only 6 feet long. Most of them are 8 feet and those extra 2 feet really help. I tried my best to get a lot of things on the table without making it look too cluttered. This is what I looked like all set up and waiting for the hoard of buyers I was sure were coming:
And I waited. People started filtering in because there was also a pancake breakfast and a visit from Santa.
A few people walked by my table and looked at things but there were no quick sales. I waited. After about two hours I got out some craft things I had brought along with me so I wouldn’t just be sitting there doing nothing. There was a steady stream of people coming through but I still hadn’t made a sale. The woman behind me was selling natural products like homemade soaps, reusable cups and drinking straws, herbal pain relief, etc. and she was doing a brisk business. Occasionally someone would stop and tell me how cute my things were or ask if I actually made everything myself but there definitely was no rush to buy anything. I was really starting to get discouraged.
My husband had called and asked me if I wanted him to bring me some lunch and I originally said no but when the time dragged on with no business, I sent him a message and asked if he would go to McDonald’s and bring me a salad. He said he would and then called from McDonald’s saying that they were not selling salads because of the e-coli outbreak. Great. The day was getting better every minute. I told him I’d just eat what I had brought (some ham and cheese, no bread and a couple of bites of a Quest bar – no carbs, remember?).
And then, just when I was starting to feel the day was going to be a total waste, I sold two of the sliding gift card holders.
Once that initial sale was made, even though that was nowhere near enough to make my table costs, I started to relax. Slowly but surely I sold a card here and there and then I got a custom order for two mini-albums! That made my day. I finished the show recouping not only my table fees but almost $50 on top of that. It may not seem like a lot but for me it is a good day. Every time I make a sale I pass my business card out which has my Etsy site on it and hopefully people will check there to see if I have anything new.
I still have two more shows to do this season so perhaps my good luck will continue. At least I have a week between shows to get some more items created. I think I know what Santa’s elves feel like – LOL.