Today was the 2nd annual Library Craft Fair.  Last year I went as a spectator, and said to myself (of the presenters), “I could do this!”  I nudged Mr. Apron and asked him to remind me about what I said at some later point in time.  He did, and I sewed my pants off these last few weeks, and lo and behold — I did it!  My first craft fair.

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Here (if I figured out how to imbed a picture in my blog — wordpress makes things complicated) is my setup. 

I offered”I spy” bags (pouches filled with tiny treasures to locate), zippered pouches (like a coin purse), potato-stamped onesies, retro purses, reversible tote bags, sock monkeys, and baby jumpers.  I actually sold 2 onesies, 2 sock monkeys, 3 zippered pouches, 1 I-spy bag (stock), and 1 I-spy custom order.  The funny thing is, my mother-in-law works at the library, and has a tote bag similar to the ones I brought with me.  My mother made it for her as a birthday gift, and she received so many compliments (and covets) that the Library Ladies begged me to make and sell some.  No one bought them.  Alas, I digress.

I had many positive interactions with adults and children, inviting the kids (who were constantly being told “Don’t Touch”) to come and play with the I Spy bags.  Teens were interested in the zippered pouches but spent an inordinate amount of time with the I Spy bags.  People in general gave me good feedback about my wares, lamenting they did not have babies to buy for.  (Though one grandma about to buy a jumper for her almost-3-year-old was told abruptly by her 5 year old grandson, “She never likes anything you pick out.”) They were impressed that I made everything myself and seemed to be drawn to the colorful (if a bit chaotic) table, even if they did not buy anything. 

I learned many things today. 

Here is a short list (oh, how I love lists!):

  • Cluster all baby items together.  I think many people thought all my stuff was for babies, so they didn’t even see all the lined tote bags.
  • Use more signage.  I got many “What is this?” questions about the I Spy bags.  Kids were quick to figure them out, but adults need help. Other things which did not scream, “I Am A Tote Bag!  Buy Me”! need signage, too. 
  • Play up the therapeutic angle of the I Spy bags.  My friend the fellow SLP bought one to use in therapy.  Adults remarked they’d be good for OT (yes, I agree).  Parents can often be Wolves (see post “Girl Crush”), and don’t see the inherent value of quiet self-entertaining play.  Next time I’ll emphasize the language and occupational therapy uses. 
  • Figure out how better to display the jumpers and onesies.  I like the clothesline idea, but it was shaky at best, and the jumpers were just pinned to the tablecloth, making them inaccessible for people to fondle. 
  • Make signage to make it clear I am not just making baby clothes.  really.  Make more adult clothes to emphasize this point.

All in all, it wasn’t a resounding success, but a good first try.  My friends came to support me.  Mr. Apron stood/sat by my side.  I sold some things.  I took a custom order for an I Spy bag.  I gave out many business cards, which will hopefully turn into business!  I may be so inspired as to give it another go at the upcoming Philadelphia Independent Craft Market fairs this spring/summer.

Have you done a craft fair?  What have you learned?  What would you buy?  What do you look for?

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