September 23, 2013

2 Days in the Life of a Craft show Vendor


Click this image above to get the full panoramic effect.... I am really loving the ios7 for my iPhone, and it's new camera features!  So above, you'll see the general area of where my booth was set up this weekend for a 2 day show in Sharon Springs NY. I'm usually always in this general spot, but never so close to an entrance, which was just to the left of the both to the left of mine. Which made it nice for traffic. Also, another bonus- I had lots of sun throughout the weekend making it a bit warmer. It was a chilly weekend!

Setting up the booth early Saturday morning, took some extra time because I was by myself. Setting up the 12 x 12 tent with one person is a bear.  It CAN be done, and WAS accomplished but not without a lot of sweat and almost tears.  The rest of the set up was easy-peasy. As you can see, I used my pvc pipe system to raise the tables up 14 inches. they are surprisingly solid and with all the heavy wood crates and slate tiles on them, helped tremendously in stabilizing them.

 Added a bit of Autumn flair with some fake leaf garland.  and just look at the natural leafy carpet down on the ground, perfect!

 the check-out station also had some leafy foliage decoration. This green box is the best - put trays of jewelry inside, and would pull things out of "the vault" when pieces would sell.

A woman came into my booth this weekend and asked if I had anything with acorn charms. So I pointed out the 3 pieces I had on display that incorporated some acorns. She found one she liked but said " well I really like it! But I just don't need the jewelry, I just want the acorn"
Ummm. maybe you should head to a bead show? She never once asked me who made the charms, which is something I would have gladly shared with her, but she acted like I was going to sit there and just take apart that piece and give her the acorn. I don't think so. Sorry Charlie. Doesn't work that way.

 Display was pretty much as it usually is for my shows. Wood crates, linen  tiles, busts, and some slate tiles for displays. This table, I pushed up against the front of the tent and was the first thing people would see when walking by. A bunch of FB friends suggested this to get people engaged, and it really worked wonders! I will do this from now on! I always had people looking, and usually coming in to see more at the second table.

 In the future, I will do a few things differently. My tin pieces (seen above) were the highlight but I didn't have many to show. SO I will have MORE tin for my next show, and I will definitely bring some un-cut tins to show people what exactly it is I've been using. A woman stopped by and wanted to know where the pretty ceramic disc necklace went that she eyed earlier and I realized it was one of the tin necklaces she was actually talking about.

I think I need to also invest in a few more busts so that I can have a bit more to display vertically.


 I need another crate like the one above, far right that I use to display earrings. I could have used another display for the front table. I could only display about half of my stock on this one crate.

I notice in the photo above, a wrinkled tablecloth which normally doesn't bother me but makes me think maybe this would have been a great spot for a banner. I should look into getting one made up.



The first day, was kind of a disaster. I got home all excited to find out I had really done well that day in sales. Went to process my credit card payments only to find that I failed to get all the info I needed to process them manually. I had little to none cell service in Sharon Springs.  So I couldn't use my square at all and there was no free wi-fi to speak of. So I took down numbers to process them later and forget to get the CVV code on the back of each card. I did get everyone's name and billing zip code so I was able to look most of the people up online and could call home phones if they had them listed. I left several messages for people but have only heard back from one. So if you saw me at the show this weekend, made a purchase with a credit card on Saturday, please call me! I need that number to process the payment!!

This was my view at one moment on Sunday. It was nice to see many men stop to check out my booth too. These guys hung around a few minutes, looking at my jewelry.

I had really great feedback from shoppers all weekend - the majority said that my jewelry was VERY unique compared to what they saw other people selling. That's a good feeling, to know that I am actually standing out a bit from the crowd. I relied on what people were saying because I never got the chance to go around and check out what people were selling.

Packing up my booth was BRUTAL. Many trips to the truck that was parked a ways away, made me realize that I need to possibly invest in a wheeled cart that I can pile all the crates on and carry them all at once because I had to have taken about 150 trips back and forth. It felt like 150, I know it wasn't. This will absolutely be the last time that I do this show alone without an assistant. 

All in all it was a successful weekend. Sunday wasn't as busy as Saturday was, but got a few sales and had a nice time talking with people that were out enjoying the festival. Made a few new friends, and enjoyed some good conversation. 

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos (as always). It looks so pretty up North. Were not yet experiencing Autumn yet. It is breezy and rainy today. Mark and I thought about doing local festivals, we have Christmas on the square. I believe the city does host a Halloween event.

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  2. Your booth looks wonderful and your story about the acorn lady is one I have heard before. What are people thinking? It is so unfortunate about the credit cards! Hopefully the people you contacted will be honest and call you back for payment but I fear most will think they got a free piece of jewelry.

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  3. Love how rustic your booth looks - it goes well with your chunky style of jewelry! Really like your earring display - with the hanging cards too. I might have to look into that :) I hope folks call you back - that kind of sucks.

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  4. Interesting thought about the acorn lady. I have had several maybe not look for something specific like that, but be drawn to something simple. Now, not only do I take more detailed designs to my shows, but I also offset them with artisan simple pendant necklaces (I have some acorns on just a simple ball chain), for those who want a more simple look, but love the art. I consider them bonus sales! Your display looks great! I admire you setting up an outside display alone...I have never done outside before, but I know I should!

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  5. Your booth looks lovely. Sorry about the sales but their are a lot of good hearts I hope you took cell numbers to call they will gladly give you the info. good Luck

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  6. You have a really pretty set up. I am really glad you had a good show!!!

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  7. I read a great tip in Sunshine Artist - the Vendor used a large wheeled trash can to move her displays back and forth and to store her display in when not in use.

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  8. Your booth looks very pretty. I agree about a banner on the front of the table. I think it helps to reinforce who people are shopping with. I'm SO SO sorry about the cvv problem! I felt awful when I heard about it. I hope people will eventually return your calls to pay you! You are right about having a helper. Nellie and I barely made it through all the unloading and packing up - we were beat! Don (hubs) as promised to help me in the future - yay!

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  9. I can see why you had a lot of traffic, your display is wonderful! I have a few of those crates that came from an old apple orchard where my husband grew up. I use them for everything! I am praying that everyone calls you back! So glad you got some good feedback on your beautiful style of jewelry!

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  10. Just a thought, you might consider selling your components at these shows because not a lot of people get to Bead Shows and sometimes large shows are overwhelming to hobby designers,(me included) love your whole set up, the less is best adage seems to work.

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  11. Lorelei, in my opinion, you are one of the most inspiring jewelry artists out there. Your color and media combinations are dizzying. Every time I see a new piece of yours, I sigh in appreciation.

    On a separate note, I *love* that you raise up the table legs. I have never known anyone to do that before. Do you fill the pvc with cement? Do tell! I wonder if bed risers would do the trick! You've got me thinking ...

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  12. I have used the PVC raised table trick for years, way back when I did artist bear shows and made miniatures and you'd want them closer for the same reason you want jewelry closer to the shoppers eye. Plus they are light and packable for air travel. A large rolling suitcase can work well for moving more than a few things at a time, too. The plastic trunks on wheels or even a cooler with wheels and handle can work, too.
    Good luck with the numbers! what a nightmare....

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  13. I agree with Kim. If you look at my inspirational jewelry board on pinterest you can see how much pieces from you are pinned there :)

    So annoying those people don't call back.. I would feel terrible and guilty if I was one of them. I hope they will do to eventually and call back.
    An about that acorn.. In belgium we call it: mensen die denken dat de evenaar door hun gat loopt-> people who think the equator runs through their hole.. :)

    x Ellen

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  14. Nice blog post "2 Days in the Life of a Craft show Vendor" , specially it's images i found amazing! Thanks from
    Mobile Marketing

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  15. Wonderful, honest post! I appreciate your willingness to "put your head on the chopping block", so to speak, and admit things you'd do differently, as well as the things that worked. It's a help to us who are learning right along with you!

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  16. Lorelei, I'm grateful when you share information with us and I have found a lot of interesting beaders, pendants and beads from your tips! You're always willing to post a tutorial or a link and it's not something everyone does. I have found a lot of inspiration in your work, whether it be the beads you use, how you use them and how you pair colors! I loved looking at the photos of your show and I'm glad you did well! I certainly hope that the people who paid with credit cards will call you to pay for their purchases!
    Thanks again for an informative post!

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  17. They don't let you drive to your tent to pack it up?????? that is insane. I would not do that show-so not worth it to ruin my back. Carts are always a good option though. :(

    Your set up looks really nice, and yes, always have a table in the front, people casually walking by see what you have and it draws them in. Busts are always good, and encourage people to try stuff on. I can't tell you how many times someone didn't think they'd like something until they tried it on. I make a little area with a mirror so its easy for them! congrats on the sales!

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