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First Show

I had my first show yesterday. It was the Woodbury, NJ Fall Arts Fest. I know that most business people wouldn’t call yesterday a success, but in my eyes it was. I did not break even (just about $10 away from it), but I am okay with that. Because I gained a wealth of knowledge, some great contacts and lots of potential customers. You can’t put a price on that!!

I started off the day alone and setup went well. I was able to get my table covered, stuff displayed and my banner hung in less than half an hour. It went really fast. There’s always room for improvement on setup and this being the first show, I did what I thought looked best. My dad and aunt had some other ideas when they came to visit, my friend Amanda also had some great ideas and even customers were offering suggestions!  My setup evolved throughout the day and I think I learned a lot from it.

Before the show even started, I made two sales. This was shocking to me and I was so grateful to have started off the day in such a positive way! It really boosted my confidence and I felt like I could really do this. Traffic was steady though out the day and I heard a lot of positive comments from people, ranging from those are so cute to you are so talented. Great things to hear!

The funniest thing I heard all day was from this adorable little boy who was being held by his mom. After saying hello to me, he stared at one of my tag lollipops and looked like he wanted to say something. When he finally did he said, is that a real lollipop or just a pretend lollipop? I told him it was pretend and that it wouldn’t taste good if you tried to eat it. His response was, then why did you put a stick on it if you can’t eat it? So innocent and so funny. His mom explained to him that it was like the ones she made as invitations for his little sister’s birthday party and then she said to me, he didn’t understand why I would do that either! He must think grown ups are so silly to make lollipops that they can’t eat!

The one thing that I think I can really take the most from is that you never know what will sell. I made this adorable (or what I thought were) gift tags and no one bought them! They were 2/$1.00, the least expensive thing I offered and they all sat. The lollipops, which were a last-minute edition, sold wonderfully! I should have made more of the Christmas ones, as they were the first to sell out. I only made 8 Christmas ones in total. I did well with my cards, selling Christmas and Birthday the most. To my surprise, no baby cards sold.

However, the one thing that I wasn’t too sure of were the gift card holders. I really wish I had more of those made because those were probably my best seller and I got the most comments on them. If I would have known I would’ve invested way more time in those than in the baby cards. And I know each show is different, so they may not sell as well at another show.

Anyway, I am glad that I did the show. It was a great experience and I had so much fun. It was great to meet other artists, especially the ones that were newbies like myself. Can’t wait to do another show – hopefully there will be one around Christmas that I can participate in!

I want to thank all the people who came up to visit me (and buy things from me – soooo sweet!!) Amanda (her blog is Brian and Maddie,  Angela (her blog is Jen, Pat and Allie and my family, especially my mom and dad for coming not once but twice, helping to run my booth and helping with the packing and dragging stuff around! I appreciate it so much!! Can’t thank you all enough. (Hope I didn’t miss anyone. My brain was fried!!)

Here are some pictures of the booth. Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion on improvement. Thanks for stopping by!

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About scrapsecrets

Fairly new to scrapbooking and learning as I go. I wanted to share some of my tips with others who may be new to scrapbooking or card making. Feel free to comment or make suggestions on any of my work or ideas - I love feedback! Especially if it's about a new product I should try - I love getting new material! Check out my other blog for tips on party planning, ideas for party themes and how to stretch your party budget! *I do not get paid to endorse any of the products and/or retailers I talk about in my blog.*

4 responses »

  1. Congratulations on your first show! Your table and banner look wonderful! I love the lollipop cards! So cute and the packaging is excellent! I have never done a craft fair so kudos to you for taking your craft to the public! It must have been exciting and stressful all at the same time but I’m sure you learned a lot from the experience! I enjoyed reading your post and it brought to my mind reactions to some cards I’ve made that I was extra proud of but I didn’t get the response I thought I would get, and then I made some that I wasn’t happy about and they got a lot of praise! 🙂 I guess people have different tastes and that can change depending on the season, the year, the person’s age, etc. Your creations look wonderful and personally I like your tags and if I was there I would have snatched up quite a bit! The only thing I can think of as another person’s opinion (not that I would have known what to do at a craft fair and I would be a bundle of nerves and stress!:) ) is to display all your cards laying directly on the table closer to where the prospective buyer is so that they can see them up close and with the feeling they are a little away from the seller. Some people are intimidated to look at things with the seller so close by. Maybe double the width of the table by adding another one. Make it pop like eye candy by letting the colors of the cards attract the browser/buyer. I can understand your protecting them in the vinyl holders that hung on the decorative hooks (which does look nice), but people who are browsing might buy more if their eye is drawn to everything on the table in a cascading manner. This will also mean they will want to pick up the card and look at it up close, so maybe an individual clear plastic covering could keep them from getting smudged by all those fingers! 🙂 This is just a humble opinion from a person who hasn’t taken the leap to go public so I admire you for your passion and your business venture!!! I wish you much success and I know you are on your way! ~Vanessa

    • Thank you so much for your comments and your great suggestions Vanessa! Isn’t it funny that what you think will do well doesn’t and the ones that you aren’t all that crazy about are the ones that people love? There’s something for everyone!
      I rented the table from the fair so that I wouldn’t have to drag so much in and out for my first show (plus I didn’t know how well I’d do and I did setup alone!!) but I will keep that in mind. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to display my cards and when I saw these 8×8 scrapbook holders in Michael’s, I thought they were a good idea. And you’re right – I think some people are not as comfortable having to flip the pages. Some people asked, others just flipped them! My aunt made a similar suggestion, so maybe that’s the way to go. I think I learned a lot from this experience and I am glad that I did it. I figured that I would never know until I tried, so I might as well!

  2. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to stop by and meet a fellow EtsyNJ team member! I hung out in the Etsy tent all morning and then had to get my little guy home to bed:) My first show was on the 23rd, so I totally relate to your experience! I was surprised that some things didn’t sell (I though cupcake poms would go like wildfire, and I sold only 1 set) and happily surprised by others (chalkboard labels were the hit of the day). Now I know to be more prepared for those surprises next time, but I know even more will pop up! I’m glad you had such a great first show!

    • I know – I was disappointed I couldn’t meet everyone as well. It was crazy. Maybe next time I’ll have a helper who doesn’t flake at the last minute and I can walk around a little. : ) Congrats on your first show Joanna! I’m hoping I can find another local one for the holidays. I really enjoyed selling! Are you doing any more shows?


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