Sunday, 29 May 2011

What was the point?

Well I have a little bit of musing for you today and I would love to hear what you all think!

You might have noticed ...or maybe not...that I have been missing a bit around blogland. I have dedicated a lot of time getting ready for a Ladies Pamper Evening that took place on Friday night. I was very kindly asked if I would like a table. 

So I have been busy beavering away behind the scenes ALL last week. I did not meet up with anyone for coffee, my kids lived on stuff out of the freezer and I did not do any housework...just so that I could have a table full of stock.

Bet you can guess where I am going there with this one! Well the hall was FULL of glamorous women with lots of cash to spend. I had lots of oohhs and ahhs and this is lovely from many admirers ...but on the night I only sold a handful of tags and a couple of altered pegs. It was most certainly NOT worth all the sweat and hard work that I had put into it..

So I have a couple of questions for you my lovely readers.....,

Do you do Craft Fairs? 

And if so, is it worth the effort that goes into getting a table full of stuff ready?

What do you find sells...  lost cost items only?

What type of events work best for you...ladies only evenings  or family friendly school type affairs?
I would love to hear your thoughts. I feel a bit rubbish about it now.  Anyway I will stop the pity party and get over it and move on :)

I am glad I did it...if only to learn about what people don't want!

Back soon with cheerier posts!! LOL!

Judy x


Janette said...

Hi Judy, I don't do fairs of any kind, I know a few do and it's very much a case of swings and roundabouts. Your work is beautiful, so don't feel down about this....could this be why so many are taking to ebay or etsy....who knows, take care.xx

paola said...

AWWWW girlfriend i hear ya! I was asked to do the same thing for my kids school fair once, never again! same experience i had. What i do now is i supply a couple of shops that sell gifts and give them a flat rate for my cards, they take everything i have. I wait a few weeks and then give them a ring when i have say fifty or so cards and they come round and pick the lot up, i dont even need to do envelopes they take them as they are. The other thing to try is perhaps rent space in a gift shop for displaying a few of your cards as that is also working for me right now in a small coastal town that does have a lot of tourists traipsing through there on a regular basis. Dont lose heart your work is stunning, people just dont have a clue about what handcrafted items are all about.

Denise and Louise said...

Hi Judy
Have done Craft Fairs in the past and it definitely was swings and roundabouts at those. You could never tell what would sell and how well you would do!! Ladies evenings - forget. Have done a couple of these and hardly sold anything, same as school fetes.

I know exactly how you feel - you put all that blood, sweat and tears into your creations and then hardly sell anything. What really gets my goat is when you do a fair and people buy factory produced cards which are churned out by the thousands and then just comment on how lovely yours are and what a long time it must have taken you!!!!!
Rant over - your items are gorgeous so don't feel down. People do not seem to appreciate hand-made the way they used too I'm afraid. Stick to Etsy etc. At least there people are looking for hand-made :0)
Denise xx

CraftyC said...

Hi Judy, sorry it was such disappointment and all that hard work. I've done a few crafts fairs, fetes etc a few years ago and decided just not worth it. Unless its up for a £1 peeps just wont part with their cash. Love to look and comment but don't think they appreciate the time and effort put into it all, so now my crafting is just a hobby and I get just as much pleasure.

Mags said...

Oh how I sympathise!!

I don't do fairs, but last Christmas a friend asked me for some cards to sell at a fair for Scope. I made 48 in just over a fortnight, and a notice that ALL money would go to Scope. Not a single one sold. I was spitting mad!!!

At least I don't have to worry about this year's Christmas cards!

Have a relaxing weekend!

luv, Mags x

Karen M said...

Aww, that's really disappointing and disheartening. People do not appreciate hand made gifts and cards the way they should. They just want something for nothing. I've been caught out too and now i just do it for my own pleasure and for some faithful friends and family who ask for cards and pay reasonably. If I'd been there i would definitely have bought those gorgeous pegs! Where did you get those?

Pam said...

Hi judy, I know what you mean, I was offered a last minute table at a school event, I beavered away making snowman soup and chocolate decs for trees, cards etc. I paid my £10 & raffle prize for the table and sold £13 worth of goods! Yet the day before we done a lunch time event at work and I sold £90 worth and about £20 worth of orders its just very hard to guage.

Hugs Pam x

Lisa said...

Hi Judy, How disappointing for you :-( I have never done a craft fair so can't offer any advice but just wanted to let you know your cards are lovely so pleased don't feel disheartened.

Lisa x

fionalawlor said...

Your stuff all looks amazing and really well priced so i think the people were just being tight!
I did a Valentines day fair last year and I was the only one selling cards and I still only made €50 and the table cost €30 lol and the cards probably cost more to make than I sold them for hahaha waste of my time but luckily most of us do it for love and not money.
I do sell my cards in a handmade crafts only gift shop and they sell quite well there, is there anything like that near where you live?
Fiona x

sassy said...

what a darn pity all that wonderful work to be overlooked i certainly would have bought one of them boxes...but i dont dwell in the pampered ladies circles lol...well not at thee minute but well done you for giving it a go heres a free ((hug ))for all your efforts sassyx

~ Ali ~ said...

Sending hugs you know I'm on the island so i try and support any events etc that are being run. I had a table top sale today and took in £47 my table cost me £5 so i made £42.......I made a few Me To you cards CAS and CASish I could have sold them 10 times over. Today was a funny day as cute went down a storm where as normally it is CAS all the way flowers butterflies you know my style. I only had cards today normally have notebooks, candles etc and of course everyone always asks for things you don't have lol. I don't do mainland craft fairs might one day. I was approached today for a booty on the island for July so got loads of time to create for that. what about trying to take more cards with you and see how that goes next time.

sending you hugs

Ali x

Shazza said...

sorry it was so disappointing Judy but it is no reflection on your gorgeous creations. I gave up after doing a couple of fairs, as someone else said, they want things for £1. Full of praise etc but no one actually wants to buy. I'd stick to Etsy

Heather said...

Your stuff is just wonderful. I've only done a couple of craft fairs and it was a lot of work with no reward. I just don't do them any more.

Chrissy said...

Been there Hun! done that.Dont dispair though, I just sit at craft shows and colour. I put a certain amount of bits in boxes and set it up..what will be will be. You get great weeks, and naff weeks.But, I just sit and colour.Smile nice at the funny people, offer assistance,not too pushy, make sure that the lady before may be coming back for that, its the last normally grab it then.And sale tickets work quite well, dont put original price, just say SALE!!


Sew Sweet said...

Hi Judy, I have emailed you hunny : )

Just to add, When i have done craft fairs, school fairs and at my local Sunday carboot and Market. I only take my Clean & Simple cards. And i mean CLEAN & SIMPLE! I sell them for £1.50 each and usually do very well with them. A couple of weeks ago I took £125.00 in just 3 hours. But then have done fairs before and not even made my money back for the cost of the table.
Your hard work will pay off in your beautiful etsy shop : )

emma x

Anne said...

Don't get disheartened Judy -- these sort of things are often a disappointment --- people don't appreciate the work and tlc that goes into handcrafted items and yours are stunning .
Keep smiling and I'm sure you know a better door will open
Anne xxxxxxxxxxxx

Paula said...

So sorry you put all that effort in with little reward. My Mum crocheted her own designs & it was very much the same. I've just not sufficient experience to be able to say anything. Sorry not to be much help.
People are very strange.
Paula (PEP)

Kat said...

Hi Judy what a disappointment for you but as lots of others have said it's fairly typical. People don't really appreciate the work you put into handmade items and they expect to get them for next to nothing. Wish I'd been there I'd definitely have been buying as I know your makes are absolutely stunning in real life. People were just saying at the craft day at the Papeterie on Saturday that car boot sales are the same, they expect to get your nearly new items for buttons!

I'm sure your lovely cards, boxes etc would sell easily in the right place.

Kat xx

Aileen said...

Oh dear Judy, that's such a shame. All your items are gorgeous and worth the price for the effort you put in.

I have a school craft fair on Sat and i'm quite nervous about what will sell. Sending hugs. x

SemSee said...

Oh Judy, I know exactly how you feel. I did a craft fair last summer and didn't sell anything. I ended up packing up before the end, as it was obvious is was a waste of time. Then I did another local one just before Christmas which lots of people told me was the local craft fair "of the year". I priced my cards at £2.50 (which barely covers costs) and I only sold one. I did sell lots of tags (5 for £1) and also a lot of "thank you teacher" altered notepads (£2 each). I covered costs, which was good, but I won't bother again. I also set myself up and coloured. Lots of people were interested and oohed and aahed about my colouring and thought my cards were amazing, but failed to buy them, LOL! Even though I had lots of special Christmas cards (For a special son at Christmas, etc.). What was crazy is that I was placed between a handmade jewellry table and a homemade jams table. The jams were selling for £6 per pot and the jewellry was priced at £20 per pair of earrings (which I know only cost a few pence to make) ... these 2 ladies couldn't keep enough stock on the table! Go figure, LOL! Why not try to find a local florist or a local fancy gift store and take some samples to them - I'm sure they'd be interested and would be able to tell you a realistic price to sell, then you can decide whether you're happy to sell. Or just stick with Etsy. You create stunning work Judy. Mwah! Hugs, Sem x

Dorcas said...

Hi Judy,
Well I can't say much more than the other ladies but they're right. Most people don't appreciate handcrafted items. I have done craft stalls for jam, my pencil work etc and never sold anything. No I take that back. I sold one jar of jam. (I had brought about 100 with me). People just come to look. And ooh and ahhh. Oh, They'll buy a hotdog for $5 and lemonade for another $4 but if you can't eat it its just there to look at. lol
I did as some of these ladies suggested and took my cards to fancy gift shops within an hour's drive from my home. Most would not even LOOK at my cards,let alone talk business. They just said they weren't interested, we don't take papercrafts, already have a card designer (not handmade) etc etc. I did have two gift shops who were willing to take me on (I canvassed about 30) but they wanted 60% of the profit. As you know we crafters barely scrape even as it is....the other shop wanted a flat rate of $25 or $30 a month to keep my cards there regardless if any sold. It was a new shop in a bad location and as I never saw any cards there I declined the offer.One thing is scraping even, another is going in debt! lol
So now I sell to family and friends (not much) and just give cards away. Make up little gift parcels etc. I was thinking of using some as blog candy too. If anyone appreciates our work its fellow crafters!!
YOur work is GORGEOUS, Judy! I know its discouraging but try not to let people who don't know the art to critique it.

Juls said...

Hi Judy,

I am so sorry to hear that you had a dissapointing day, I have never done a craft fair before but have been advised against it as friends that have done it never made money.... your work is just gorgeous!! I just dont think people appreciate the value!!

Hugs Juls

Sam said...

Know exactly how you feel, I had a table at school fair but sold more in the staff room at lunch time afterwards!!
I have sold my cards in a couple of local shops on a sale or return basis. They sold quite well for a while but then demand fizzled out. I certainly lose motivation when the cards don't sell, lets face it there's only so many cards a girl can store. I am lucky and have a few people who buy from me regularly and the receptionist at husbands work has recently offered to sell some.
I love crafting of all types, beading, sewing, knitting though it is nice to have an outlet for it. I will take a look at Etsy, would appreciate any feedback. Tried Ebay but not had any success selling cards there.
Sam x

Anonymous said...

Thats such a shame, your items are gorgeous, i would certainly have purchased from you.
My mum and myself supply cards to a hairdressers and send the profits to a local charity, but i would spend hours on lovely stamped and flower embellished cards only to get them back when they hadnt sold. I now make really cheap cards that have a simple design on and sell them cheap, it is really disheartening.


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