Sunday, August 26, 2012

Craft Show Jitters

A few weeks ago I made the decision to do a craft show this fall.  I participated in this particular craft show a couple of years ago and had a great time.  It's at a local church and they have a pretty good turn out of people.  I wasn't overly intimidated by the other vendors or clientele and I even made some money.  At that time, I sold primarily jewelry I had made because that was what I had stocked in my Etsy store at the time (my Etsy store is currently empty but will share the link as I add some items).  Every year in August I start considering craft shows.  Fall shows are my favorite and I've noticed that there is a much better turn out in fall and people looking to purchase more often with the holidays coming soon.  Most years I either chicken out or have too much going on that I don't have time to create enough items to sell.  The people who are regular craft show vendors have a TON of items at their table.  My fear of shows toggles between 2 things - either I won't have enough items on my table and it will look empty and pitiful -OR- I have plenty of items and no one even stops to look at what I've made.  It's scary to put your time and your heart into making things you genuinely love and not be sure of what the public reaction will be.

This particular show was a great experience for me - especially as my first craft show.  The people were nice, I had a lot of positive feedback, I sold some items, and I even walked away with a couple of custom orders.  That year, I also did a show at a local high school.  That show was not as good.  There were a lot of people and a lot of different vendors.  They overbooked the vendors so we were spread out throughout the school.  The majority were in the gym and that's where most of the customers wandered.  Me?  I was tucked away with a handful of other vendors in this weird side hallway that was a dead end.  There wasn't even many signs to point people in our direction.  The majority of the people who actually visited our hallway of misfits, were just people who got lost.  That show was a lot of work and very little reward.  So this year, I signed up for the show where I had a great experience and hope for the best.

Fast forward a few weeks and I'm still feeling pretty good about my decision but have my moments of panic.  I've decided that I'll be selling some crocheted items and some other home decor type things and recycled item creations.  I will be sharing some of what I make here on my blog as I prepare for the show. 

My goal with my crocheted creations is to stand out from possible other crochet items.  I want to create things that look more modern and am trying to pick my yarn colors accordingly.  I will have bright colors but I'm also trying to find some colors that are a little more chic.  I found this wonderful Ivory Tweed yarn recently and am loving the look.  I've also been mixing two yarns together in projects to form bi-colored yarns and also make the yarn thicker to help my projects go a little quicker.  I want to love everything I sell but I'm on a limited time frame and need to be efficient too.  If you've ever crocheted, certain projects can be pretty time consuming.

Below is the majority of what I've been working on lately.  I want to create different sized baskets and bowls for home decorations.  My plan is to showcase their use on my display table -- they are great around vases, bowls, Mason jars, maybe some potpourri or hard candy, in a bathroom they can hold cotton balls, etc.  They add a lot of color and are fun to add here and there in a home.  I'm not using any patterns so make these up as I go which is fun and keeps me motivated.  I spray them with a heavy starch to help them keep their shape better and I crochet them in a way so that they stand firm too.

The larger basket's handles are made from tying suede cord and then crocheting around it.  That way the handles don't stretch out and will hold the shape longer.

So far I think I'm on a good pace and am happy with what I've created.  Crocheting is also a great way to work out stress after a tough work day.  Now that school is back in session (which means sports practices, games, etc), I can throw my projects in a bag and crochet during practices or in between games.  I just have to keep plugging along so I can make this happen!

An off topic item, I've been working and reworking the design and layout of my blog this weekend.  If you've checked back and seen a hot mess occasionally, I apologize for the changes.  It is definitely a work in progress and I'm working to find my "voice".  Thanks for reading and please feel free to share with friends.

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