Yucka-Poo Weather and no AAC this week:(

Hi friends! Guess who doesn’t have her act together this week? Yep, that would be me. It’s funny just how much time gets sucked up dealing with feet upon feet of snow. I feel like I have been behind all year (I blame snow, jury duty and taxes…boy, I’m really gonna have to start coming up with a better excuse than jury duty, then again I’m still blaming my extra 15 pounds on my twin pregnancy. They’re 10 now.) So today was spent driving in a nasty snowstorm (not bad enough to cancel school so I figured the roads were fine and I had all 3 kids yearly well visits scheduled so I hated to cancel) I allowed 45 minutes to drive a distance that would have taken 20 normally and I was still 2 minutes late! The roads were not any better coming back but I was home by noon with the kids safely deposited at school BUT THEN I got my darn car stuck in my own snow bank in my own driveway except for the tail end hanging out in the road. Did you ever see the move Fargo and the scene when William F Macy’s character is scraping ice off the windshield and then he just loses it? Yep, that is this winter in Maine. For a born and bred Mainer I am pretty useless with outdoor winter car problems, luckily my niece Sarah around and helped me try to dig out the van (it did not work) but then our friend Jim stopped by in his truck and he was able to pull my van out. After that I needed a nap. I was somewhat productive yesterday but could not get an AAC filmed and Monday I ended up grocery shopping and since I HAD to leave the house so I decided to bring some more handmade stuff to my shop and freshen up my booth while I was out. But hey, I got the booth tour video I have been promising since January 1st done, so that’s something! Check that of the to do list LOL!

The Schoolhouse Antiques Mall is located at 530 S Main St, Brewer, ME 04412 Phone: (207) 989-9777 if you are ever in the area and want to check it out:)
I have arranged with Kathy and Lorraine to film a fresh batch of Ask a Crafters on Monday so you won’t be high and dry next week. Thanks for understanding and til next time happy crafting!

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Ahhhh, I can relax now -or- Christmas craft fair done!

Hmm, I couldn’t quite decide on a title for tonight’s blog post. I love doing craft fairs and preparing for them but there is a span of about a week before it happens that I am a complete stressed out lunatic. When the power was out for 4 hours yesterday I could have had a psychotic break but instead I decided to sit in my living room with the wood stove on and knock out a few more watercolor cards (and film them as tutorials, hey my camera was freshly charged LOL, they are up on my YouTube channel) rather than throw a nutty. Cuz really, what would a tantrum have solved? I changed my craft fair booth up a bit going with an “L” shaped table and using all of my booth as “shoppable space” rather than hiding behind a table. I really like it more this way. I filmed a video showing how I set up and share tips for craft fair sellers:

What do you think? OK, you are probably wondering how the show went…

…it was S-L-O-W! But, that’s OK, the people who came were ready to shop (it’s 12 days till Christmas you know!) and I was prepared for the slowness by having my watercolors and blank cards so I could create custom cards on the spot. I also found that it drew people into my booth that might have been shy about coming over, what can I say I’m quite a spectacle to behold! LOL did I mention there was juggling?

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So I thought that I would offer some  more tips for those of you selling (or wanting to sell) at craft fairs:

  1. If you make jewelry, clothes or knits wear them! I got a commission to make a wrap like I was wearing for a lady, she even paid me half up front! It may seem obvious what items will look like on but you will have more buyers if you wear it! “hmmm, this is a necklace but good heavens, what will I do with it?” I am not kidding.
  2. Demonstrate a product. I brought my watercolors, a waterbrush and blank cards along in case it was slow. I painted cards on demand and people who might have walked on by stopped to watch. I also juggled which caught the eye of another vendor who snuck over to grab a set of juggling balls for her grandson. She never would have seen them otherwise!
  3. Act like you are happy to be there! Nobody wants to buy from a sourpuss. Be friendly but not stalky. Let them know you are here to help or explain anything to them. Also get to know your neighbor because you can keep an eye on each other’s booths if you need to grab a cup of coffee or go pee..and you will need to go pee after all of that coffee!
  4. Price everything. People won’t ask. Just price it.
  5. Speaking of pricing charge a fair price, you work hard at your craft, it probably is not going to make you rich but you should at least earn minimum wage for your labor. Rather than discounting a $5 pair of earrings to $3 offer 3 pair for $10 or $5 each. That way your best customers get the best deal and no one feels ripped off.  I feel the same way about offering slashed prices at the end of the day (unless it is perishable) because how would you feel if you paid full price and then walked by a booth and they were selling it cheaper to someone else? Next time that person will wait til the end of the day to buy. My prices are the same at 9am as they are at closing. I saw people giving away their stuff at the end of the day! You need to value your work and charge for your time, you are worth it.
  6. Upcycle items for display. Buying fancy displays cut into your profits and if you are a first timer it will put you into the red. Use crates and suitcases that can be used as storage and display. Build tables from saw horses and hollow doors (nobody will know after you put on a table cloth!) and use boxes and baskets to make your table tidy! Old picture frames make great displays, you can staple wire mesh to the back or add foam core to make a pin board display. You can even glue clothespins to the backing board to clip cards and stuff up on! My standing display racks were throw-aways from a local store, keep those eyes peeled when you see a shop changing displays! They might give you the old one or sell it cheap!

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I bet the question that you all are too polite to ask is how much did I sell? Well, we are friends so I’ll tell you:  about $220, I say about because my 3 kids were hitting me up for cash throughout the day hahaha! I not going to complain, it was good considering the low turnout for the show, with a strong turnout I reckon I would have tripled it but you just never know, factors like it being so close to Christmas, the frigid coldness today and a snowstorm on the horizon for tonight may have pushed people to go to town to hit the big stores rather than a leisurely craft fair shopping day. Still it beats staying home and making nothing! 😀 I had a hunch it would be slow and I’m glad I brought my watercolors. I had a fun day and so did the shoppers and the kids who came to see Santa and partake of the candy buffet and other activities. Go into a craft fair with a positive attitude and you will do well no matter how much you sell! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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