1. It was an emotional roller-coaster!
I got so excited when I made a sale and got so depressed when I had slow times. I think partly it was because I was exhausted. Waking up at 4am, setting up, selling all day, packing up and then repeating everything again was very stressful and taxing. I definitely felt strained and I am a very laid-back, go-with-the-flow type of person. I do not know how an anxious person could cope with the stress. Luckily, I had my sister there to help me through the failures and kick me out of the booth, to take a break when I was about to break down. I didn't expect it to be so emotional. I expected the long hours, fatigue, and hard work but the emotional aspect took me by surprise. I think it was also the fact that I worried that my dream of becoming a professional craft person was going down in flames every time a person walked away empty handed. This was totally irrational, and I realized after I had time to think about my interactions with people that even if people walked away empty handed I was still getting my name out there. So my advice to myself next craft show is to breathe and stay calm. Everything works out in the end, which it did! Also get away from the space throughout the day. This was easy for me because I had my sister there to take over the booth so I could walk around and clear my head.
2. Set up your canopy beforehand!
Since this was my first fair, I had never used my EZ up Canopy that I had purchased until the day of the event. I learned two things: IT IS NOT EASY TO SET UP and MORE THAN 2 PEOPLE ARE NEEDED. After my sister and I had been struggling for about 20 minutes trying to expand and pop up the canopy, a vendor next to us graciously offered to help and we managed to complete the task. There is no way the two of us could have managed the canopy by ourselves. Another vendor next to us also with an EZ Up had a hard time getting the canopy up as well. So if I did it again, I would have practiced beforehand to make sure I could get the canopy up. It's never great to start out your long days with the frustration of trying to assemble your canopy.
3. Selling is different than attending!
All the websites I looked at for advice suggested attending the craft fair before being a vendor. That is why I was so excited that my first craft fair was one that I go to annually. I thought I knew everything about the festival. Turns out that selling at a craft fair is a very different perspective than attending one. There were many people (which I thought was all that mattered). It was not. After a few hours of selling, I quickly noticed that the majority of people were not here to buy but to wander around drinking, talking, and listening to the band. At times it almost felt as if the craft booths were in the way instead of being the main event. I gained new insight into how to read a craft fair for selling and now I know to actually look at the people attending rather than the number. Are people buying, looking, walking around with bags? or are they huddled in groups, drinking, and listening to the music? It matters as a vendor.
My last piece of advice is more for myself and others when attending craft fairs. Please purchase something! Many vendors, myself included, do this as a part time adventure and work other jobs to pay the bills. Most vendors, me included, are just hoping to break even. So if you like attending fairs and want unique handcrafted items be available then please support the vendors that put in the time and effort to make this possible. Fair spaces are not cheap, it requires long hours, and the hopes of a person's dream could be riding on your decision to buy or not. So please buy. I know I am very grateful when you do!
As always remember you get 10% off my shop when you use the coupon code BLOGPOST. Thank you for making my dreams come true!