Monday, 21 November 2016

Back from Crafts in the Pen

I'm back from Crafts in the Pen!
The weather was so foul, there were even a few cancellations from the exhibitors. And still at least 160+ pens were full of wonderful stuff. The quality of products on offer was much higher this year (means competition  😊) and  1300+ visitors on Saturday only. I believe that Sunday was a bit quieter but still it was a good flow of people.
 - I've met some nice people, old friend and made new ones;
 - There were quite a few customers who have already bought some stuff from me last year or at the other shows and they came to say hello, thanks, and buy more. I'm really touched!
 - I've been shown items I sold last year being very heavily used (like phone cases) and in perfect condition still! What a relief!
 - I've not been frozen to death, being better prepared;
 - We booked a double pen this year to have more space and let people to browse and it worked quite well;
 - The fish were the stars 😊!
 - I sold very well, even better than last year despite the more competitive market.
And we stayed with friends for two nights which was very nice.
Just a few pictures of my stand below:

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

What is a good fair?

Just before my largest craft fair of the year I started to ponder on the subject :) Why I need a fair at all and what is a good one?
At first it's of course fun and excitement! Meeting people, getting their reaction, making new acquaintances or friends (even better).
But from practical point of view? What's in it for me?
- I could sell things which I do not sell through Internet. They are bulky or heavy like pictures and cushions or I do not know how advertise them properly like fish. I still want to make them and the fairs provide opportunities of sales.
- Felt is difficult media, it's much easier to sell in real.
- Not only to sell but to attract attention of  "important" people like those who run shops, galleries and other craft events. You may not even know about them and it could be more difficult to get into uninvited.
- Spread the word about yourself especially if you make something unusual. I become known as "a fish lady" :)!
- Advertise your classes if you teach. I've got one fantastic student for the fish course!
All these points above may be hard to estimate in money equivalent so let's talk profit!
What fair is good in profits? How to calculate it?
1. Put all the expenses together. Everyone could get it different and it very much depends on the particular fair, but general points are: - the cost of the stand.
                               - if the fair is far away  - the traveling and accommodation cost. In my case I need to include the cost of my husband's day away of job because I do not drive and anyway I need his help for a large shows.
                               - comparing to Internet sale there are extra expenses for staging the stand. They could be one-off (table  covers) or regular like extra packaging.    
2. Put your sale profit together.
3. Now it's a tricky one. I know a lot of people consider a fair to be a successful one if  #2 is more than #1. Not exactly.
I do sell through Internet and in a real shop. If I was to sell there (not at fairs) I would avoid all expenses #1 but will lose 35-40% of commissions.  So I deduct say 30% of my profits #2, then deduct expenses of #1. If the result is more then zero I am in profit! How much it's to everyone to decide!

To finish on a lighter note I'll show one of a few cushions ready for the fair. Hope to sell it and make some profit :)!