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Thread: First (maybe last) Craft show

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Central Iowa

    First (maybe last) Craft show

    I spent both days this weekend manning a booth at the local craft show. The show has a history of big crowds and being kind to vendors. I sold a few bottle stoppers and angel christmas ornaments and 5 slimlines. I was kinda discouraged. After table rent and raw materials I cleared about $125. When you factor in the time spent making the items and 2 days sitting at the table with my wife (that was the bright spot, I've been putting in a lot of hours at work lately and enjoyed spending time with her), I figure we cleared about $3 per hour. The customer base was a little less than 1/2 of previous years.

    There were a couple other booths selling pens but they didn't move much either.

    I don't think the prices were out of line, I had slimlines at $14, Ruth Niles bottle stoppers @ $18 and Silicone cork stoppers at $12. The little angel ornaments were $9. I have until July to reserve the same space, will have to wait and see. I may have to leave the craft shows to some of you veterans.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Sounds like it was pretty slow, but at least you made it in the clear and got the time with your wife. Prices don't seem too high to me though.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Doug, don't be discouraged. Things seem to be slow in any kind of sales environment lately. I suspect by summertime things will be better. If there's anything I've learned in the past year or so of doing shows, it's that they are all unpredictable. I've had bad luck at shows I thought would be good, and I've had good sales at shows that I thought would be slow.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Buse Township MN
    How did the other vendors do, especially those who have been there before????? Was this a juried show or an open to all show???? Handmade items only or imports okay???

    Bottom line is you ended up in the black and spent time with your wife. Sounds like a resonding success to me!
    Every child deserves a family. Adopt. Foster. Get involved.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Reno, Nv
    Keep it up Doug Several years ago I did pens and stoppers, that was all I knew how to do. We did well in a good economy. pic's, happy for a day with your wife...mine thinks I'm 200 mi away today...but (suprise) I'm home!! . Third...if cars and houses aren't selling...not much else will. Make more stuff, give some out for fun and improve on what you do. It kinda feels like that's what we're all doing...chin up...gouge down!!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    I agree Doug that times now aren't doing real well. I went to a craft show last week. I sold 3 stoppers and 4 pens. Didn't sell a vase, bowl, platter, etc. at all. People just aren't spending now. They are hanging onto their money because of not knowing what will happen. Hopefully next year will be a better year.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: That’s when you return from work one day
    and say, “Hi, Honey, I’m home – forever.”

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Doug, don't give up after only one show. The first show that I did, four years ago, I didn't make enough to cover booth rent. The one I did a week ago, I made $1.00 more than my booth rent. I can usually clear 5 to 6 times booth rent at a show, but this year has been slow, slow, slow. People are looking, lots of people, but they just aren't opening their wallets like in past years. Given the current state of the economy, it doesn't surprise me that sales are low. But....things have to get better, they can't get much worse.
    Nancy Laird
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Tampa & NC

    First show

    Hang in there Doug.I have been doing shows for many yrs and I have actually set up at shows for for less than 25.00 setup fee and never even got that back.You just have to keep trying and if you can do a little research on shows you may be interested in and see how they work out.Right now with the economy and all, things are slow in the craft business.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    in todays economy showing any profit is admirable...
    don`t get discouraged.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Doug you made more money last weekend that I did

    Things will turn around, they just have to, keep at it
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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