Sunday was the annual Temescal Street Fair and it was a great success! I just want to thank everyone who came out and said hi and supported my small handmade business. Your support means the world to me and it's how I'm able to do what I love for a living.
I got my start selling my handmade jewelry at craft fairs, trunk shows, and other forms of in-person selling events (which are often called "Pop-ups" nowadays) about 10 years ago. For all their hard work and challenges, I am still a HUGE proponent of them as a way to break into selling your handmade goods. There are so many advantages to them. You get direct feedback from customers (and potential customers) about your products, you get to experiment with how best to merchandise your products, and you get to become well-versed in how to talk about what you make (not as easy as some might imagine.)
The more I've participated in and sold at all variety of arts and crafts fairs and events, the more comfortable I've become with selling my work. That can be a hard thing for some makers/artists to work out in their heads, and as with most things it only gets easier the more you do it. I would encourage those out there who are curious about selling their own wares at craft fairs to give it a try! It can be kind of scary and intimidating at first, but there are great resources out there to help you prepare for your big day. I would also encourage makers out there who have tried fairs and feel like they were a big failure, to try again, but first scrutinize what it is you're doing and look for the holes. Could your merchandising be better? Could you offer a more diverse price range of products? Do you need to work on your salesmanship? Or maybe you need to try a different type of event?
I make that last point about trying events again even if you've already tried and felt like it was a miserable failure because generally most of us makers who look like a "big success" have had countless events that were BIG TIME FAILURES. Myself included. When I said at the beginning of this post that I got started selling at fairs 10 years ago, that time span is what it is because I first got started, vended for a couple of years at events and then realized that I needed and wanted to pull back out of events until I figured a lot out about my brand. I took two years off from selling (but continued to sell on Etsy and on consignment at a limited number of shops) and then re-entered the world of fairs and events much more prepared. But even then it was still a very bumpy ride.
I'm writing this post because after yesterday's Temescal Street Fair I'm feeling very buoyed up by all of the compliments and general love for Tangleweeds. And I've been meaning to write about vending at fairs for quite some time. I'm also considering putting together an e-course of sorts all about vending at fairs. Over the years I've been approached by many fellow makers seeking advice on this topic. As I mentioned earlier, I think there are some great resources out there already that cover this arena, but I think that many of these resources fall short of covering many common scenarios. Or I might turn it into a blog series. Not sure just yet, just something percolating in the background of my mind while I work on production for the Renegade Craft Fair.
In the meantime, happy Monday everyone!