Saturday, April 28, 2012

Craft Show! (Part II)

In this post, I announced that Mr. Sequin and I would be participating in our first craft show together. Well, the frantic making of things is finished, the show has come and gone, and I have plenty of things to share.


What Sold...

I'm happy to say that Mr. Sequin and I more than made back our entry fee. He sold some of his recycled silverware pieces, including my favorite spoon pendant. I sold some (pink!) Barbie shoe earrings, a few miniature notebooks I'd made out of hula hoop take and playing cards, and some sequin earrings, and I also said good-bye to a few of my favorite pieces.

I sold the thinner version of this sequin cuff. In fact, it was the first piece I sold... and I sold it before the show technically started. A very nice lady came in early and fell in love with it -- and away it went!
The darling little button ring found a home with a lovely woman. It fit her like it was meant for her! It's easier to let go of things I make when they go to people who love them as much as I do.

The Best Part of the Show...

The best part of the show, though, wasn't financial -- it was social. As I mentioned in my birthday post, two of my favorite people showed up, one of whom had a birthday present for me. Around this time, two of my other favorite people showed up, and I finally got to make introductions.

I also made new friends. What are the odds of every single vendor in the show being completely awesome? I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter... because they were. I wanted to adopt them all into the Sequins family, including an adorable jewelry arts student, a writer who makes awesome bags and shares my love for Thai food, and Sheila of Cheeky Magpie, who was delightful and bubbly and made any slow periods pass quickly.


What Didn't Sell...


There were things that didn't sell. I got some compliments on my hand-painted scarves, and people had a lot of questions about the techniques I used, but both scarves went home with me at the end of the show.

Including this one, my favorite so far. Made with techniques from Cyndi Lavin's beading ebook, and also my own medicine dropper technique.

Some of the safety pin earrings sold, but I have tons left over. This pair might make its way into my personal collection -- especially since I figured out how to clamp the pins with my flat-nose pliers so they can't open up again!

I still have some Barbie shoe jewelry left. People loved the Barbie pumps, but this kind wasn't quite as popular:So cute! So pink. I also have a white pair and a Barbie shoe bracelet.


What I Learned.


I learned some interesting things that I hope to carry over into the next craft show.

  • It's about the friendships and connections as much as the income.
  • It's easier to let go of pieces when I see how much customers love them.
  • I should list the prices up front instead of having a behind-the-counter price list.
  • Earrings and necklaces tend to sell more than bracelets -- possibly the size thing?
  • I should bring a project to work on so I don't stare at customers (thanks, Vanessa!).
  • A practice run of setting up my table at home is a smart idea (thanks, Mr. Sequin!).
  • New to doing shows? Having a show partner helps so much (thanks again, Mr. S!)
  • I should resist the temptation to run off and spend my money when the show is done. Oh, four pounds of rainbow fabric... whatever am I going to do with you?

Your turn: What are some things you've learned from selling your work? Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic day!

PS: Also, check out this great blog post from Michelle Mach on how to find craft show!

33 comments:

  1. YAY awesome post & I'm glad you had such a good time. Love, love, LOVE the bracelets!!!! Cool that you learnt so much too, I haven't done a craft show but from online sales (& favourites/popularity etc) I can say that what sells most is what I like most! So there's an easy-peasy rule: make what you like yourself haha much love xxx

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    1. Thanks, Jenny!

      That is such a good tip! Make what you like. This definitely frees me from making things I'm not excited about! :)

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    1. Thanks, Roberta!

      I've been thinking about what you wrote last time about not doing shows and preferring the sales to come to you. It sounds like you're doing well selling online, but if you're ever looking to branch out, selling to a gallery is a great option because you don't have to be there to sell things. So is selling with a partner at a craft show -- my new friend the jewelry student had a silent partner of sorts who showed up for a little while, then left her more extroverted friend to handle sales. So smart. :)

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  3. Your show was completely awesome! I do love my earrings! :D

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    1. Thank you! :)

      Those sunshine earrings looked adorable on you this weekend.

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  4. I am happy you had a good show! A debrief is always good, too. I think earrings are an affordable splurge to people now (and yours are cute!) -- I have a bad habit of spending in other vendors booths as well -- sales tags on items makes things sell better, I think, because people aren't embarrassed if they ask and then can't afford it.

    YAY on the show!

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    1. Thanks, Lori! <3

      Good point about the tags! Also, I know that when I'm shopping, I sometimes feel to shy to ask about prices -- having prices up front eliminates the need for that. :)

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  5. Great post, I found presentation was everything when we had our show.
    Debbie

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    1. Thanks, Debbie!

      Yes, the right presentation makes all the difference. :)

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  6. It sounds like you had a fun day and learned some things, too. I've never done a craft show but I'm sure it's a lot of hard work.

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    1. It really was a fun couple of days. And there was a lot of work involved, but I found that it was so much easier with Mr. Sequin as a partner. I had to make less, and we also divided up the responsibilities. :)

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  7. Congratulation on having a wonderful show. It is always nice selling your creations to people that are really happy to own it and making new friends is a plus too. I would like to do some craft shows in the future.
    Therese

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    1. Thanks, Therese!

      Michelle Mach has a great post on how to find craft shows: http://michellemach.com/blog/index.php?/archives/445-How-to-Find-Craft-Shows.html

      I'm going to add a link to her post in this one, too -- it's such a valuable resource!

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  8. Great post. Glad you made back your table costs and a little bit more. That was my first experience sharing a table with my pal Kim of Numinosity. I learned alot, made back my table expense and a little more, and yes, spent it there too!!! LOL. The social part of it is fun. Sometimes the right show will be good, that time and practice I believe. Thanks for sharing. Yeah!!! xox

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    1. Thanks, Corrine!

      How funny that you spent your money at your first show, too. Maybe it's a rite of passage? ;)

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  9. Glad you had a good show. As I said before I always take work, more to keep me from going stir crazy than willing the customer to buy ;)Also you are with some like minded people, such a relief! If you're out there, people might find you, if youre hiding at home, they won't.....I guess ;)

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    1. Taking work to the show really is the best advice ever. I had fun working on my freeform beading and talking to Sheila during slow periods, so it didn't feel like I was wasting my time, either. :)

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  10. Sarah, I'm so happy you had such a positive experience! Show's can be a ton of work the preparing, setting up and taking down. So having success and seeing people fall in love with your designs is really the "special sauce" of doing a live show.

    I tag each piece of jewelry individually. Saves people from having to ask, and it allows me to converse with more people at my table. It also acts as a safety net because I don't have to turn away from the table (there are some unscrupulous people out there who will pocket pieces if you've turned away and aren't looking.)

    Glad to see one of your sequin bracelets found a new home. How very special! Have a fantastic week!
    {Hugs!}

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    1. Thanks, Dawn!

      That's another good point about tagging pieces! I'll have to make some cute tags for the next time I do a show. :)

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  11. You're welcome, Sarah! I also forgot to mention the cardboard risers I found: http://www.gershelbros.com/cgi-gershelbros/sb/productsearch.cgi?storeid=*1c5d4ae680ef71ad5226464abbac24e5

    Having vertical levels for your display will make it so much more dynamic.

    Also, RAINBOW FABRIC?!?!?!? I WANT!

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    1. Thanks for the link, Vanessa! That entire site looks awesome. I'm going to send Mr. Sequin a link to it -- he'll be so excited about the mannequins!

      There's so much rainbow fabric, I could spare some! Very soon I'm going to make sure that it's color-fast. It used to be a huge poster for some sort of science event called Imaginations Unbound.

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  12. I was complimented on my lighting by a buyer's husband. I thought he was being funny at first but he was actually serious and pointed out how the 2 desk lamps I had in the center of my display (2 tables jammed together ) made the beads sparkle. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and thanks to the commenters too for tips!

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    1. Lighting is another important thing, that's true!

      Thanks, Sandra, and I'm so glad that we could share some pointers with you. There really are some great comments on this post! <3

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  13. Very cool! So glad you had a good show. It really is all about the people. I find the more I interact, the more fun I have, the more sales I make. I am not an extrovert by nature, but find that if I'm "teaching" someone about the beads, it feels very natural.

    When is your next show?

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    1. Teaching about the beads. What a great way to handle talking to customers, which isn't always my strong suit! I did find that the times when I talked to people about the materials I used, they were more likely to buy, or just to want to chat.

      Not sure when the next show is. The next creative reuse one isn't until December, I don't think -- I'll have to see if there are any before that. :)

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  14. Congrats on your first show! I'm glad it was a success! I think your Barbie shoes are adorable. I have many many pairs just like those (they were the "style" in the early 80's). I agree with fellow commenters about having everything tagged. I have done a few "open houses" and it allows you to socialize while people shop. I also like having the price right on the item so there is no question as to price. People love to negotiate and you can always reduce your price but you can't increase it.

    Thank you for sharing your experience in your blog. As always, your blog is a great source of information. Keep up the sequintastic work!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa!

      I love Barbie shoes. I wish Mattel sold huge packages of them all by themselves because I could find a million uses for them in jewelry!

      I'm so glad that you see my blog as a source of information! That's definitely the goal, so your compliment means a lot. *Hugs.*

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  15. Great post, I'm glad it went so well!! Love hearing you're experiences, and can't wait to see what you make for the next one!

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    1. Thanks!

      I can't wait to see what I make for the next one, either. Maybe some sequin and felt ornaments? I think I'll start early this time so I'm not making stuff at the last minute.

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  16. Very cool, I can't wait to try this, you inspire me yet again!

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  17. Looks awesome! Glad you had a good experience at a craft show!

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    1. Thanks! :)

      I'm glad, too -- this makes selling online seem less intimidating.

      There's a show in December I'd like to do at the same place, and there's also a huge, upscale one that I want to find out more about. :)

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