December 21, 2012

My first craft fair!

I participated in my first craft fair last weekend. It was a 3-day one, from Dec. 14-16th so it was kind of a big commitment for my first time! But I learned a lot from it, and I'll share some of that with you. I also took a few photos of my booth to show you my setup.

This is my whole booth! A 10x10 foot space was a lot of room, as you can see. I DIYed nearly everything.. scratch that, I *did* DIY everything. I didn't hand-sew the tablecloth or anything though (ha). I absolutely love the banner I made, I think it's very fitting and appropriate for my brand and I had a lot of compliments on it! I do need to add another banner (maybe for the table?) that says "nail polish" so people know what I'm selling... some people kept thinking I was there to do their nails. No thanks! 

As a fairly last minute solution, I am happy with my gift stands for my polishes, but in the future I need something more eye-catching and varied in height. I do have a good idea of something I'd love to use for craft fairs but I'll keep that quiet until I can do it! 

A quick word regarding "muggles" as non-nail polish collectors are often referred. It was frustrating when I'd have women pass me by with a quick "oh I'm too old to wear that" or "my granddaughter would like that" (you can wear glitter at any age!) though my favorite customer was a little old lady who wanted "sparkles for her nails" and couldn't decide between Cadance & Morgan, because she wanted to layer them! And while a lot of people didn't understand that the swatch wheels were layering options, she completely understood. I wish everyone would realize that wearing color on your nails, clothes, makeup, anywhere shouldn't be determined by your age or fake rules that don't exist! Wear what makes you happy.

I loved the look of this cake stand to hold my polishes!
 I'd also like to talk about my overall experience at this craft fair. My overall experience for this event was disappointing. I am lucky to have successfully made enough sales to cover my booth costs & make a small profit, especially with such a unique product that's not often seen at these events. I think that for my first craft fair, I did better than I expected! However, I was warned to not let this particular craft fair determine whether I do them in the future... and I'm glad I heard that advice. My overall feelings about the Holiday Crafts Bazaar in Lake City, FL was that "handmade" was not appreciated. Unless you were selling your items for dirt cheap, they were passed by. Luckily I have a product with a small price point, but even others I knew with inexpensive items weren't doing great.

 Maybe it's the people from Lake City or just that particular event, but it seems they expected flea market prices. Sure, most prices were above what you'd pay for similar items elsewhere - but that's the price for handmade, for supporting a local business. I keep hearing about "Buy Local" and I fully support it. I love buying from small businesses and particularly having a handmade feel to things I own. Granted, I tend to DIY a lot of stuff because I have that faith in my abilities but if I can't DIY it, I'm happy to pay someone else to make it. In the past I've always tried to save money which meant buying from large stores but now as the owner of a small business (and seeing the value in my time, effort, and creativity) I've been trying to buy from small businesses as well. If only others understood this! If you want to help your local economy, try buying local (and that's about as political as I'll ever get on this blog, I promise!)


  1. Thanks for sharing, this is very interesting. "Muggles" is a new term for me! I think most people like the idea of handmade, unique items, but they really don't value these items in the sense that they are willing to pay more for them. Or at least pay for the work and time that is put into making the item.

    So overall not the greatest, but I get the sense that you might do another craft fair?

  2. Ohhhh, come to England, EVERYBODY appreciates hand-made here! :D We would all love you here! xxx