Monday, December 14, 2009

it was a ___ weekend in astoria

"have yourself a merry little christmas"

the song runs through my head, played by Chris Botti on the trumpet. very jazzy. i write this as i listen to a Christmas station on Slacker Radio. memories of this past weekend, filled with the holiday spirit and hundreds of people dressed up as Santa Claus, running through the streets of my little neighborhood.

what is this? a parade? an audition? a mind trick? no. it's Santa-con, as we found out later. this image was taken from our kitchen window, looking out on our street! i was working in the studio when Brian called out to me. we sat waving at all the Santas for about 20 minutes, and they kept coming! from the subway station, we think, which you may be able to see in the distance. there are too many websites about this "convention".

this was Saturday, which i spent in my studio, preparing for Winter Blast. the craft fair was on Sunday, and i had been preparing for a number of weeks [[perhaps even months]], and had some last minute preparations to do.


Sunday brought with it hopes of a day full of meeting people, showing off my work, and i was crossing my fingers for some sales. from reading a lot of forum posts about craft fairs, and some blog posts from crafty friends who have sold at fairs, i had little to no expectations about the day, it being my first craft fair and i had no means of comparison.

Brian and i woke up fairly early for a Sunday morning [[7:30am]] and started loading up the car. it was like a very good omen that the car started immediately! we had given ourselves some extra time to heat up the car [[long story short - the ignition for our Saturn Ion needs to be heated up via heating up the key on very cold days]]. we got to the hall to sell in good time and started setting up! i had brought a mish-mosh of table cloths, what i had in the house, but i loved the multi-color feeling of it. [[more on this later]].

my table right after setting up.

the show started with no real organization, people started coming in the doors before a lot of the sellers were done setting up, including myself! but by 10:30am my table was ready and Brian and i were manning the booth! excitement coursed through my veins as i anticipated meeting my customers face to face, different people looking at my work, being surrounded by fellow crafters!




still no sales. i was beginning to be disheartened. Brian and i started coming up with every excuse in the book why we weren't selling.

1. the downpour of rain that day.
2. bad advertising
3. weird location
4. rain


by this time, i started writing down some trends i was seeing, what was selling, what was popular, what other sellers were doing. i walked around a bit and talked to some other sellers, i wasn't the only one there selling for the first time at a fair! i wasn't the only seller disheartened by the poor turnout.
popular vendors:
-beaded jewelry

-solid tablecloths, to make the product POP!
-a lot of the vendors didn't have a sign with their shop name - strange
-donating an ornament for the raffle was a good idea, even though it didn't bring many sales, it did bring people over commenting on how they liked the ornament!


Brian was such a great support. if it weren't for him, i wouldn't have made it to 4pm with no sales.


my first and only sale! a fellow craft vendor bought an ornament, which i unfortunately don't have a photo of. at this point i was offering 10% 0ff everything at my table. "end of day sale"


we started packing up. i left without talking to anyone, or saying thank you, because frankly, i was very disappointed. i really don't know if i will do an event with this company again, and i'm definitely not going to do another craft show until i have a more cohesive look and more stock. [[more on that in a later post]]

if anything at all, Sunday was a great learning experience for me. i feel it was money well spent [[$80 for an 8-foot table]] and despite the extreme exhaustion i felt in preparing for the show, i am happy that i was able to participate in something, spend a lot of time in my studio the past few weeks, showcase the work that i'm proud of and get feedback! there were quite a few people that stopped by my table, and even though they didn't purchase anything, some signed up for my mailing list and most took a business card! so who knows what will happen. i'm staying positive.

the vendors across from my table. the jewelry lady and i liked to make fun of the DJ when there were no customers around.

news for this week and the weeks to follow!

update :: Pink Graffiti will be hosting a giveaway at my blog! keep your eyes on the blog, the giveaway will be starting this weekend! sorry about the mix-up, i am a bit under the weather this week.

Pink Graffiti is also going through some changes, which i will go into greater detail after the holidays. i'm going to be taking some time off from crafting to go back to the "drawing board", so to speak. lots of sketching, new ideas, retiring some current items, etc.

happy holidays and i wish everyone luck with all their preparations! [[this image and the first are of our Christmas tree]].


Mom/Julia said...

Live and learn. Sewing fun things gives you pleasure and sooner or later others will enjoy them too, but never to the same measure that you do in the act of creating. That's what I know to be true. In the meantime, it's so sweet to see your tree and the two of you together through thick and thin. That's how it's supposed to be. Love you both - juls

Ruth said...

I agree with Julia. What warmed my heart the most after your disappointing day was how Brian was there with you and encouraged you to see this in such a positive way. Most success stories come with disappointments along the way!

Everything looked so pretty, including you, and your handsome honey.

But those SANTAS!!!!!! OMGoodness, what a riot. It must have been amazing in person. And picturing you waving at them for 20 minutes is adorable!

SwedeHart said...

Have you ever considered spray painting your tree black with a black table cloth to make it pop? That would be hip. I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

sweet and dirty said...

your set up looked so lovely! if it helps, i sold only one thing at my first handmade fair...and it was within the last 15minutes. its great to get out and network though, and you never know what can happen when those cards get picked up! keep it up, it looked fantastic!

lesleyanne said...

thank you Logan! that actually does help, a lot. :) happy new year!