Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Family Festival Show, Etsy Yart Sale, New Sea Glass Jewelry...

I was a bit surprised by last weekend's turnout and the number of people that were buying handmade items. It was a better than expected show for me and I believe those around me also did better than they expected. It wasn't the greatest sales day by any means, but I suppose when you don't really know what to expect from a family-type festival and come away happy you did the show, it most have been a good day.

So here I am again, same situation as last week, raining weather leading into the show, the possibility of a nice day, and a family festival atmosphere... and I'll have a tent set up with my displays for all to see. The "Field Dog Expo and Family Fun Day" is another first time show for me to attend, so I have few expectations and while I'm not sure if the show has ever been held before (I suspect it has, but w/o the family festival) I have no idea if it's well attended. Here's hoping that everything falls into place just like last weekend....

After seeing tons of threads in the Etsy promotions forums about a Yart Sale, I decided to bite the bullet and create a category with about 25% of my shop on sale. The Items in the Yart Sale section have been marked down anywhere from 15% to a little over 20%. The sale for my shop ends until very early tomorrow morning, as my shop will be inactive during tomorrow's show. If you get a chance, check out my Yart Sale category, perhaps a piece of handmade sea glass jewelry you've been eyeing is on sale today!

I added a new sea glass bracelet to my Etsy shop (image above) and I will be listing a pretty light gray necklace(image also above) in my ArtFire shop later this morning. The gray pieces are really tough to photograph well. Grays and purple pieces of sea glass tend to be chameleon-like in the way they change colors against different backdrops and changes in lighting. The are indeed very tough to capture to show off the true color.

Time to do a mock set-up of my displays for tomorrow and make sure I have everything I need.. ugh, I have to check on my tent walls, I bet they were just stuffed back inside the carrier after my last outdoor show last winter : (

til next time...


Monday, June 8, 2009

Selling Handmade at Family Festivals

I don't often "do" the family festival-type shows. Instead, I prefer to show my creations at handmade fairs and craft shows. Yesterday, I did a 12th annual, local family-type festival and really didn't know what to expect.

The reason I rarely do these types of shows is because of what I call the "money-suck factor". Family festivals have many diversions for the customers money. Ice cream, hot dogs, kettle corn, get the picture. In these shaky economic times, there may not be a lot of money left to spend on a piece of jewelry, some photos, or a knitted scarf.

My observations on the turn-out of yesterday's Barnegat Bay Festival....

After a week filled with rain and thunderstorms, the weekend finally cleared up and Sunday was the best day. And the people came out in droves! The festival was held on very large grounds and the vendors were spread out (I lucked out by getting into one of the two huge tents & it was the one closest to the bay...which provided a nice breeze all day).
Many people came through the tents, some for a reprieve from the all-day sun, others were there to look and shop. It was clear that many people that attended had a "festival-budget" and the budget didn't always include spending money on handmade items.
However, some people were already buying gift items (it helped to have gift boxes for my sea glass jewelry with me) for birthdays and even the holidays. In a few cases, it helped to have the hubby or boyfriend at the festival, because they were often the deciding factor in the purchase, and in yesterday's case they were the reason the purchase was made! (A plus for family festivals)
People go to family festivals with the idea of spending a day out and having a good time. They may or may not have money to spend at your display, but if they see something they really like, they will look for your business card at the very least.
If you can find an established family festival event that is inexpensive to attend as a vendor, consider giving it a try. The vendors around me yesterday said they would all be back next year. The show was run flawlessly, the traffic was very good and there were enough people spending to make it a worth while event. Plus we were able to enjoy a great breeze and a constant view of the boats sailing on the bay.!

Not a bad day at all and the show opened my eyes to the possibilities of doing future festivals during these shaky economic times.

til next time,