Last night I wanted to come home and post, or sew, but instead I watched an episode of Murder She Wrote on Netflix (yup, I'm nerdy and tired of what's on TV these days) and went to bed before the sun went down. I realized my camera was still wrapped up with the craft fair stuff for tomorrow and so pictures will come later.
Besides... I was a teensy bit depressed.
I got to the craft fair and set up my shop and it was beautiful. I wrapped tulle around the tent legs and hung quilts from the side, and used the bright colored nursery fabric I had in the house to drape my tables and I was kind of shocked by how professional it ended up looking, since the tables underneath the draping fabrics were kind of pathetically broken looking on their own. Then I set up my quilts and the blankets and toy rolls. I dressed my mannequin and hung my Baby Bath Time Aprons and stood there and waited for the sales to come rolling in.
People arrived. The area was flooded with shoppers.
Now this isn't my first craft fair. I've been to small town craft fairs my entire life. And I've had booths too. I thought that if I easily made $500 at these little craft fairs I would at least easily make back the almost three hundred dollar fee at this giant 60,000 person craft fair.
Two hours in I'd had plenty of people tell me that the quilts were beautiful. I'd had a grouchy old woman act like $50 for a quilt was ridiculous and another say that a terry cloth bath time apron was a horrible idea and I'd continued to smile politely (as someone who has given a ridiculous number of baby baths in the past five years I can say that it is actually incredibly useful... but it reminded me of the scolding elderly woman at the last craft fair who was offended because "only nuns" should be allowed to sell rosaries... There's one in every crowd, folks!).
But not a single thing had sold.
As I sat and thought I realized that going with baby items in a town where it feels like a school is closing every five minutes, probably wasn't the best route. The words: "Oh these are beautiful, but I don't know any babies..." drifted past my ears repeatedly.
"I should have gone with dog and cat beds," I found myself thinking as strollers with dogs went by. The booth with paintings of cartoon cats looked like it was doing well. But no. I do ultimately make things that I enjoy making, and I'm not really a dog person at all (I know, I know, shocking admission...).
I dropped my prices a bit. Two quilts and one blanket finally sold. Patrick and Paul and I sat there, making little shady spots for Patrick as the sun moved, for 12 hours... I have one more day of the fair today. I'm hoping for better luck, but I'm not giddy and excited anticipating even a single sale after yesterday.
The prep time in the 10 days before the show was about 120 hours. Add the twelve hours from yesterday (and none of the work from the two previous months) and I think I made less than 10 cents an hour. With the two months prep, not counting the booth fee, and we're look at like a penny an hour...
I'm afraid this is my last craft fair...
On the positive side, and I'm really, really searching for a positive side right now, I guess I'm going to have a whole bunch of quilts to post on etsy very, very soon...