Monday, October 6, 2008

Does the Sluggish Economy Carry-Over to Crafts and Craft Shows?

Going into my first craft show (this past weekend in Eagleswood- Country Fair) I have to admit, I was a bit concerned about how the economy would affect the early Autumn shows. After having a decent summer on Etsy and an okay late summer craft show, I was prepared to see my little business "kick it" into high gear for the fall.

When September proved to be very slow, I chalked it up to back to school and thought perhaps that a late September rush would occur. A couple of late September sales bouyed my hopes. However October sales on Etsy have remained sluggish and I had fears going into last Saturday's shows.

Like many other crafters/artists, I have prepaid into many shows for the fall and I'll average 2 or 3 shows a month until Christmas. Clearly the economy has had much to do with the sluggish sales on Etsy (I know I'm no the only seller that has felt the crunch in the economy).

The show I did this past weekend isn't a craft show, but actually a Country Fair. Cheer gyms were performing, there were antique cars, pony rides & games for the children, pie-eating contests, etc.

So I went into the show expecting a poor showing and hoped that I could promote my Etsy shop and maybe make a few show sales and future online sales from the show. As it turned out, I handed out quite a few business cards, spoke with a bride-to-be about possibly creating sea glass jewelry for her wedding and ended up with a custom order for another customer, along with promoting a few of my future shows to people who live in those areas.

Overall, the show did better than last year's figures and wasn't a waste of time. Not that it would've been... my family came to the show with me and my sons were able to partake in all of the activities and really enjoyed themselves. This was the one show that they are able to come to without being bored after 30 minutes.

I had hoped to match last year's figures and I ended up exceeding those numbers (if only slightly) but I think I'll have a few repeat customers at a few of my future shows and hopefully this show will lead to a few online sales also.

The jury is still out on how the economy is going to affect my craft show schedule. This show will give me a reason to have a bit more of a positive outlook as I head into a few of my big shows later this month.

But I'm still hoping the economy regulates a little more, so people feel a bit easier about spending money in the very near future.

til next time...


PS- my first attempt at wire-wrapping...this beautiful frosty white piece of beach glass was found this summer on LBI, in NJ and will go into my Etsy shop shortly. Watch for a Sea Glass blog later this week!


Debbie Gootter said...

Great article- interesting topic

Paper Girl Productions said...

This is a great post and I'm wondering the same thing.

Conscientia's Cameos said...

hmmm that's strange that you had a really bad September when it was my best month ever, more sales in that month than in the previous 4 months combined!

Kari said...

Glad the show went okay for you. I love that white necklace, very pretty!

mine, by magpie said...

really interesting reading. i haven't been to a show at all yet, so it was good to read your take on the whole thing.

Beadz n' Thingz said...

Your post caught my eye as I am currently preparing for my first craft show. I am nervous about it, but I am hoping that at the very least, it will be an exciting and different experience.