Thursday, July 29, 2010

Handmade Promenade recap

Well guys, my first real craft fair came and went, and sadly did not go as well as I'd hoped. I told myself not to get my hopes up too much - I'm just starting out, and it was on a Tuesday. I told myself I'd be happy just to get out there and get my stuff seen. But I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't very disappointed that I didn't sell anything except to three friends of mine. I got a lot of compliments on the work, but every time someone walked by without even stopping, or with only a cursory glance, I felt wounded. After working so hard to make ceramic designs that I was really excited about, I started doubting myself and all my hard work. I started doubting my pricing. I doubted my display set up. I definitely have some doubts about the appeal of my business cards. I really started doubting the ceramics themselves. *sigh* As my husband is fond of telling me, I'm really good at beating myself up, and this was a perfect opportunity.
My husband perfectly expresses my feelings here.

But I'd also be lying if I said I didn't have a good time. I really did! We were lucky enough to have a booth next to Talia of Conduit Press (whose handmade journals and secret stash books are AWESOME), who is an acquaintance of my husband, along with her husband Jim. I'm so bad at introducing myself to people I don't know, so it was cool having someone to talk to that I'd already met.

And man, there were some amazing crafters there! There was not a single booth that didn't have stuff I would buy if I weren't broke as hell. I felt pretty honored to get to show my work along side such talented folks. Most of them I've seen at other events I've gone to as a shopper, so I was already an admirer of a lot of them. It was very cool to meet them as a fellow crafter, and give them all a mustache sticker.
Nich's Dad, who doesn't need the sticker, but was a good sport about it.

In the end, I feel like it was a good trial run. I got to test out a display arrangement, and I know what I'd like to tweak next time. And having this deadline got me going on a banner and a new kiln load of stuff, which is excellent. Yes, my bank account is on it's last legs, and I'd like to make a little money, but I know that will come in time if I just keep at this. I'm reminded of how many people's work I've admired but couldn't afford at one fair, but saw at another and finally got to make a purchase. Hopefully people will begin to recognize me and my ceramics if I just keep it up. It's worth it to get to make things I love.

To see pics of the whole thing, with links to all the crafters that were there that day, visit my facebook page.


Martha Latta/ Sunday Afternoon Housewife said...

Lori, I just want to say again thanks for coming. I know the day wasn't as stellar as any of us would have hoped for, but the best thing of all is that you got your stuff out there. People saw your work and that is what matters, trust me. The next time and the next time it will get better. If you ever want to talk one-on-one about set ups/ fairs/ pricing/ tagging/ marketing/ etc. I'd be happy to chat with you. I'm sorry I was broke as hell too and couldn't get your cupcake stand- but you're right, there's always the next one. Take it easy and thanks for being a good sport.

Linda Starr said...

Wow, your cups are wonderful; the economy is taking it's toll every where, but the banner behind your booth (husband) is great. Believe me we all have doubts, and unfortunately the flavor of the economy causes more than necessary. Your work is beautuful and every fair is different. Another one may bring great results.

15 Painted Cups said...

Martha, you don't know how much I appreciate being able to do that fair, and that you put the whole thing together. You even provided the tents and tables! I really can't complain. It was good for me to just get out there and get my feet wet. I'm just terribly insecure, and I worry about whether my work is good enough. I will definitely take you up on some advice giving - any help would be appreciated!

Linda, thank you so much! I just made that banner a few days ago - I'm glad it worked out!

Three Ninjas said...

"I got a lot of compliments on the work, but every time someone walked by without even stopping, or with only a cursory glance, I felt wounded."

Holy crap do I know how terrible this feels.

15 Painted Cups said...

Thanks Jason. Of all people, I know you'd sympathize. It sucks, but I think it's just something I need to get used to. I definitely need a tougher skin.

Anonymous said...

oh Lori, you had a GREAT first show! Really, the first few are just about experience and figuring out your set-up and how you want to interact with people! I think you did a GREAT job! Heck, I sold nothing, so don't feel too bad! You'll definitely do better next time- I just know it:)